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Invisalign® & Standard Braces

Deciding if Invisalign clear aligners or standard braces are best to straighten your teeth

If you feel your teeth need to be more in line or straighter, you probably have had a few questions regarding which treatment would be best for you. Not only is cost a big concern, but what type of orthodontic treatment will work best for you. The end result is ultimately the most important thing in making an informed decision. The length of time that is needed to correct misaligned teeth is another consideration. The results of straightening teeth can often prevent issues such as tooth wear, gum problems and premature tooth loss if misalignment is severe enough.

These are a few basic facts regarding orthodontic treatment

Orthodontic treatment or (braces) have been used for many years for correcting misalignment of teeth. Even the ancient Egyptians and Romans were known to use similar devices to close the spacing or gaps in between teeth.

Currently orthodontic treatment is recognized as very successful in the alignment of teeth. Modern braces as we know them today are used to help straighten teeth, improve your smile and aid in overall better oral health. In some occasions braces are used to correct misalignment in teeth and jaw function as part of speech therapy.

Invisalign orthodontic treatment is a fairly new system that we first began to see around 15 years ago. The idea behind invisalign is for the trays to work in the same way as traditional brackets and wires, only offering instead a more aesthetic approach to wearing “braces”.

The more traditional braces are a series of metal brackets that are bonded to the surface of teeth and connected with wiring and rubber banding attaching the wire and brackets together.

Some people may consider this type of orthodontic treatment a little less appealing to the eye and somewhat unsightly. The standard bracket and wire type system does not always have to be metal. There are other options, such as a ceramic bracket system, to closer match the color of natural teeth rather than the silver metal option.

Invisalign products were designed to be more aesthetic and less visible on the teeth since it is made from a translucent plastic material. A complete set of x-rays, photographs and dental impressions are taken and sent to the lab so a 3D image can be created, and then plastic aligners can be made to move your teeth into the desired position.

Standard Brackets vs Invisalign Aligners

Since both standard orthodontic and invisalign are successful in straightening teeth, there are advantages and disadvantages between the two.

Invisalign trays are clear and more appealing to the eye.

Standard Bracket Invisalign
Usually metal brackets unless an extra fee is paid for tooth colored or enamel shade brackets. Invisalign trays are clear and more appealing to the eye.
These braces are worn 24 hours a day for an average of 2 years depending on the patient’s needs. The clear invisalign trays are worn 22-24 hours a day for 6-18 months depending on the patient’s needs.
Sometimes the cost of  treatment is $1,800- $5,500 Average cost is $5,000
Sometimes the brackets are hard to clean around and the patient must be very diligent in brushing around them. Trays are removed and cleaned and the teeth are brushed normally.
Follow up visits are usually once monthly in order to tighten wires and change the banding around brackets. Change aligner trays every 2 weeks with recheck visits every 4 to 6 weeks.
At the end of treatment, this will require a retainer or positioner worn mostly at night. At the end of treatment, this will require a retainer or positioner worn mostly at night.
  • Bracket and wire system is more effective for more complex issues.
  • No temptation to take them out and  leave them out for extended periods of time.
  • Brushing well around brackets leaves no extra step like cleaning trays that are removable.
  • Trays are almost invisible  and removable.
  • No issues with food getting caught in brackets and no difficulty eating.
  • No discomfort from wires.
  • May cause mouth sores and discomfort from brackets.
  • Could cause discoloration to teeth or decalcification around brackets if patient is not diligent in oral hygiene.
  • Trouble eating sticky or hard foods.
  • Can cause discomfort from the movement of teeth.
  • Keeping up with trays while having to remove them for eating and drinking.
  • Bushing after every meal is very important to avoid staining
While there is good and bad with both systems, patients involved in rough contact sports are not the best candidates for standard braces.
  • Patients with bite issues.
  • The rotation of canines or premolars.
  • Patients unable to commit to wearing trays for at least 22 hours a day would not be good candidates for the invisalign tray system.

Since there is more than one choice available, your orthodontist can help you in making the right choice for getting the best result for your smile. There are many things to consider in deciding the best treatment to straighten or align your teeth.

If you would like more information on the Invisalign tray orthodontic treatment, please visit – how invisalign works.

If you have questions or would like more information, your dentist Dr. Kelli Slate will help lead you in the right direction for your orthodontic care.


Invisalign and the Invisalign logo, among others, are trademarks of Align Technology, Inc., and are registered in the U.S. and other countries.

© 2017 · Kelli Slate, DDS, 6342 La Vista Dr, Ste C, Dallas, Texas, TX 75214.
Email: reception@drkellislate.com
Tel:telephone number (214) 821-8639