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Invisalign® vs. Braces

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Invisalign® vs. Braces: Which Orthodontic Treatment is Right for You?

If you’re considering orthodontic treatments to improve your smile, Invisalign and braces are two popular options. Both are effective at straightening teeth and correcting bite issues, but they each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Our Woodland Hills dentist’s goal is to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your orthodontic care. We break down Invisalign vs. braces below. To schedule your consultation, contact our Woodland Hills dental office at 818-491-7294.

How Metal Braces Work

Metal braces work by applying consistent pressure to your teeth over an extended period, which gradually moves them into the desired position. This pressure also stimulates the jawbone to remodel itself, accommodating the new positions of the teeth. The main components of braces are brackets attached to each tooth and an archwire that connects these brackets. When the orthodontist adjusts the tension in the archwire, this initiates the teeth’s movement. Regular adjustments over months to years gradually realign the teeth and correct the bite.

Your braces treatment will also vary depending on the type of braces recommended. Your orthodontist may recommend metal braces, lingual braces, or ceramic braces.

How Invisalign Works

Invisalign is a modern alternative to traditional braces, designed specifically for straightening teeth by using clear, removable aligners that are virtually invisible. Your Invisalign provider or orthodontist creates a custom treatment plan using 3D images of your teeth, and a series of aligners are produced. Patients wear each set of aligners for 1 to 2 weeks, making slight adjustments to tooth position, and only remove them to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Regular check-ups ensure the treatment is progressing as planned, with the entire process averaging 12 to 18 months.

Once completed, retainers may be required to maintain the new teeth’ positions.

Breaking Down Both Orthodontic Treatments


  • Invisalign: Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible. They consist of clear plastic trays that fit over the teeth, making them a more discreet option over braces. Most of the time, no one will even know you’re undergoing Invisalign treatment.
  • Braces: Traditional braces consist of brackets that are adhered to your teeth and connected by a wire. They’re highly noticeable and may make some feel self-conscious during treatment. Some braces may also require other components, such as rubber bands.


  • Invisalign: Invisalign tends to be more expensive than traditional braces. Patients can expect to spend between $3,500 and $8,000 depending on factors such as geographical location, dental insurance coverage, and the complexity of their alignment issues.
  • Traditional Braces: Traditional metal braces are typically less expensive than Invisalign, but the cost can vary based on the complexity of the treatment and geographical location. On average, braces cost between $3,000 and $7,000.
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Treatment Time

  • Invisalign: Invisalign treatments typically last between 12 and 18 months, but they can vary depending on the complexity of the case.
  • Braces: Traditional braces often need to be worn for about 2 years, although this can also vary. If you have severely crooked teeth or severely misaligned teeth, your treatment may take longer.



  • Invisalign: Invisalign aligners are made of smooth plastic using SmartTrack material, making them more comfortable than braces. They can also be removed, allowing for relief if discomfort arises. However, the aligners need to be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours per day.
  • Braces: Braces are fixed onto the teeth and can cause irritation to the inside of the mouth. The adjustment process can also create discomfort.



  • Invisalign: Clear aligners should be cleaned regularly and taken out while eating or drinking anything other than water.
  • Braces: Braces require careful cleaning around the brackets and wires. Certain foods that can damage or get stuck in braces must be avoided.


  • Invisalign: Invisalign clear aligners are great for correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues, but complex cases may still require braces.
  • Braces: Braces are extremely versatile and can correct a wide range of complex orthodontic problems.

Visits to the Dentist

  • Invisalign: You’ll need to see your orthodontist every 6 to 8 weeks, and you’ll switch to a new set of aligners every 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Braces: You’ll typically see your orthodontist for a tightening every 4 to 6 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Invisalign is generally considered to be less painful than traditional metal braces. The reason for this is that Invisalign uses a series of smooth plastic aligners that are custom-made to fit your teeth, reducing the likelihood of irritation and soreness. Although there may still be some discomfort when switching to a new set of aligners every few weeks, it’s often milder compared to the pain and soreness experienced with adjustments for braces.

In many cases, it’s possible to switch from traditional braces to Invisalign trays, but it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. Before making the switch, your orthodontist will need to assess your specific dental needs and the progress of your current treatment. If your orthodontic issues are compatible with Invisalign, and you haven’t made significant progress with braces, switching might be an option.

Yes, it’s important to wear a retainer after any orthodontic treatment to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original position. Your dentist will likely recommend wearing a retainer for several months or even years after Invisalign treatment. The length of time will depend on your specific case and the extent of the orthodontic correction needed.

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Are you tired of feeling self-conscious about your smile? Do you want to improve your oral health and boost your confidence? Contact our Woodland Hills dentist today at 818-491-7294 to schedule a consultation and learn more about the orthodontic treatment options available to you. When it comes to Invisalign vs. braces, the best choice is what will help you achieve a perfect smile and pristine oral health. Call our team today at 818-491-7294 to schedule a consultation and go over your options for dental treatments that can give you a natural appearance for your smile.

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