Braces vs Invisalign

With so many options in the world of orthodontic treatment, you may be wondering which is best for you. Patients ask a number of questions such as: Which is more effective? Which is affordable? Ultimately, you want to choose the kind of treatment that will do the job best. The common choice is usually between traditional metal braces and Invisalign. But do you know the difference?

Here at Bennett Orthodontics, we believe in designing a treatment plan that is unique for each patient we see. With that in mind, we also believe that educated patients on an effective and specific treatment plan are satisfied patients.

Let us explain the difference between traditional metal braces and Invisalign, so we can work together to choose the best treatment plan for you, your smile, and your lifestyle!

Treatment basics

Braces and Invisalign are both designed to straighten teeth while improving your smile and overall oral health. Since traditional braces have been around for a while, most people have an idea of their composite. They are metal brackets that are glued to your teeth and tied together by wires and tiny rubber bands. However, today’s braces are more discreet and comfortable than ever before.

Invisalign is a newer treatment option (in terms of years of orthodontic treatment). This system uses a series of clear aligners that patients can remove daily. Thanks to a massive TV campaign in 2001, it started to see widespread use soon afterward.   


teen smiling with braces

The most obvious difference between braces and Invisalign is that braces are not removable. However, they are extremely efficient at fixing complex issues, and they typically work faster than Invisalign.

While treatment time varies from patient to patient, the average with braces tends to be anywhere from 18 months to 3 years. But you’ll often see signs of improvement fairly early. This can give your self-confidence a boost while encouraging you to stay the course.

One of the things that causes some people to shy away from braces is the amount of maintenance that goes into this treatment plan. There are quite a few foods to avoid, the brackets and wires need adjusting from time to time, and they can be difficult to navigate around while flossing. But the good news is there are a number of accessories available to make your oral hygiene routine easier. Additionally, the majority of issues that pop up can be resolved at home with simple tricks.

Patients will schedule follow-up visits for traditional braces every 4-8 weeks. During these adjustment appointments, Dr. Bennett will change the bands that are attached to the brackets, and the wire will also be tightened or changed. Generally speaking, you should be in-an-out in half an hour or so.

There may be some residual soreness after each appointment, but it should subside in a day or two. It’s highly important that you don’t skip these appointments.  This will most likely prolong your original treatment plan.


women using invisalign

What makes Invisalign such a popular treatment option is the fact that they are removable and invisible. Since these aligners are removable, patients can brush and floss the same as before. Another pro is that patients have to remove their aligners to eat and drink, so that means there are no food restrictions! Additionally, plastic mold are considered more comfortable and won’t irritate the mouth as brackets and wires may.

The comfortable plastic trays are virtually invisible, and the total number worn during treatment is usually somewhere between 10 and 48. Average treatment time is between 6 and 18 months, but that can vary from patient to patient. This is also based on a patient’s willingness to wear his or her aligner for the designated 20-22 hours a day because any deviation from this can prolong treatment time.

As with braces, patients using Invisalign will be expected to see Dr. Bennett every 4-8 weeks for follow-up appointments. Patients will also switch out aligners every 1-2 weeks in order to keep up with the shifting of teeth. This is an important part of the straightening process. If a patient skips appointments or doesn’t change out aligners when ready, treatment can be prolonged.

Let Bennett Orthodontics help you decide

Whichever treatment option you choose isn’t just about improving your smile but improving your overall oral health. This decision shouldn’t be taken lightly, so it’s important to find a provider like Bennett Orthodontics who is experienced with both braces and Invisalign. Dr. Bennett can recommend which method will best perfect your smile and teeth. Our team has years of experience working with both braces and Invisalign, and we’ll make sure you’re an active partner in any treatment plan we design.

If you’re in the Mobile or surrounding area and are interested in learning more, get in touch with us today to schedule an initial consultation. We can help you achieve the smile of your dreams!