Invisalign or Braces: Which Is Better?

If you’re thinking about straightening your teeth, you will have to choose between going for an Invisalign or braces. So, how do you know which one works better for you?

If you’re thinking about straightening your teeth, you will have to choose between going for an Invisalign or braces. So, how do you know which one works better for you?

There are pros and cons for both of these treatments, but no matter which one you choose, the result will be the transformation of your smile. If the dentist you visit is experienced enough to know what they are doing, you can rest assured that they will tailor the best treatment to suit your needs.

Before you move on to fixing your teeth, let’s explore the two options a little further so you can know what to expect.

What are traditional braces?

The use of traditional metal braces is the most original form of orthodontic treatment. Similar designs have been used for many centuries dating back to the early dynastic periods. Of course, since then, these designs have evolved and improved into what they are today.

Braces are made up of standard metal brackets that are glued to your teeth using an adhesive and then connected by a wire. By periodically tightening them every few weeks, the pressure will eventually cause your teeth to fix themselves. During this whole process, the braces cannot be removed.

Braces can be used by anybody and are not just limited to either children or adults. For children, the best ages would be between the ages of 8 and 14 because this is the time when their head and mouth are most conducive to straightening. However, as long as your oral health is good with no extreme problems, you can get braces done at any age.

The treatment will usually take anywhere between 12 to 24 months. It will depend on the severity of the problems that need to be fixed. For older patients, it could take longer and go up to 36 months to complete. Traditional braces also cost anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000 and can even go above that depending on the treatment you need.


  • Suitable for all treatments – Fixing your teeth may incur more than one issue such as needing to correct your facial muscles and jawline as well. All this can be accomplished using only braces instead of multiple procedures.
  • It is more effective for dental cases that are quite severe
  • They are usually less expensive than Invisalign options
  • The metal braces are always moving your teeth because they are not removable. Invisalign needs to stay in your mouth for over 20 hours a day to be effective.


  • Compared to Invisalign, the braces do not look as good due to the large amounts of metal being used.’
  • Difficult to brush teeth – Due to the metal stuck to your teeth, brushing and flossing becomes difficult.
  • You need to watch out for what you eat and drink. Sticky and hard foods can cause the metal wire to break, requiring a trip to the dentist.
  • You will need to visit the dentist at least once a month to get the braces checked and adjusted.
What is Invisalign?

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign or “see-through braces” are perfect for those who want their braces to be invisible. It is made using smooth, BPA-free clear plastic meant to gently move your teeth over time. They are created by making a 3D scan of your mouth and then configuring the aligners to fit your teeth perfectly. The aligners will fix your teeth slowly by adjusting them using a new set every couple of weeks.

When you wear them, you will barely notice that they are in your mouth. They will fit comfortably on your teeth without the use of additional wires but are still proven to be an effective form of treatment with long-lasting results.

Invisalign is usually preferred by those who wish to hide the treatment and don’t want their smile affected by all those metal pieces. They are easier to maintain and you will be able to brush and floss normally as well. However, if you are not diligent with wearing them or have a habit of forgetting, this treatment will take much longer to complete and will be more expensive overall.

The average treatment time using Invisalign is around 12 months. Of course, this will be adjusted depending on the level of fixing you require. If you’re wondering which is cheaper – braces or Invisalign, you should know that Invisalign costs between $3,000 and $7,000, more expensive than braces.


  • The main benefit is that Invisalign looks much better and is discreet.
  • You don’t have to worry about what you eat and drink. During the times that the aligners are out of your mouth, you can eat anything. Keep in mind to wear them for at least 22 hours each day.
  • The aligners are easy to remove and clean every day. You can also brush and floss like normal which reduces the chances of gum disease and other problems.
  • Compared to traditional braces, you need to visit the dentist less often. Since you only need to replace your old aligners with new ones every two weeks, your dentist will usually provide you with a few sets in advance. Therefore, you may only need to visit them once every 2 – 3 months.


  • Whether this treatment will be successful or not will depend on how you wear them. If you have them off a lot of the time, it will affect the treatment.
  • Also, the chances of the aligners being lost or damaged are high when you constantly remove them.
  • You can’t consume or inhale anything other than water with the aligners on. Therefore, it becomes a problem when you’re in public and need to remove them to eat.
  • Invisalign cost: The cost is quite a bit higher than traditional braces and may not be affordable to everyone.

Choosing the right treatment for you

There are many factors to consider when you’re choosing between Invisalign or braces. While they both have their unique traits, both options are great for the reliable fixing of your teeth. If you make sure that the doctor you visit is experienced, you have nothing to worry about.

If you require braces, cosmetic dentistrygeneral dentistry, or anything in between, you can trust Image Dental to be the best expert to help you. Contact us to set an appointment and get yourself that perfect dazzling smile.

Stephen Nozaki, DDS, MPH, DIDIA

Dr. Stephen Nozaki is the owner and lead dentist at Image Dental in Stockton. He is a dedicated professional born and raised in California's Central Valley. With a commitment to his community, he brings advanced dental techniques learned from extensive education and continuous training from around the world. A third-generation Japanese American, Dr. Nozaki has a rich background that includes international living and a deep passion for both dentistry and outdoor activities. His focus in dentistry aligns with his passion for cosmetics and dental implants.