Invisalign vs. Braces: Which is Best for You?

rendering of a scale with invisalign on one side and braces on another side

For decades, we have relied upon conventional braces to move teeth for us. But in the last few decades, there have been huge advancements in clear aligners. As a result, when people need to straighten their teeth, they should compare Invisalign to braces to determine which is the best method for them.

With all of Dr. Hedrick’s experience, she’s in a great position to advise people on the differences between clear aligners and traditional braces. Not only has she been practicing dentistry for over 20 years, but she also began her career as a dental assistant in orthodontics. She has since helped over 200 people straighten their teeth with Invisalign. We’re often asked how to select the best option, and we would love to share this information with you.

Conventional Metal Braces

Some patients of ours still opt for conventional braces, and they usually wear them for 18-36 months. The major downfall of these braces is the inability to thoroughly clean the teeth while wearing them, and we’ve seen cases of white and brown spots forming over patients’ teeth due to this problem.

Flossing must be performed by threading under the braces, one tooth at a time, which is a major issue. Brushing alone requires a lot of manual dexterity to do it properly. Another drawback is that a patient’s lips and gum tissue take a beating as they get used to the metal or porcelain of braces.


Invisalign was approved by the FDA in 1998. There are about 27 companies that manufacture clear aligners to move teeth. Invisalign and Sure Smile are the largest and most well-known companies that make clear aligners.

The process starts with a scan with our iTero scanner before we send it to Invisalign. From there, Dr. Hedrick designs a treatment plan for the functional and aesthetic issues that must be addressed. When we present this treatment plan to you, it allows us to show you what the results will look like. Finally, we can also tell you how long the treatment will last.

The biggest downfall of Invisalign is that it must be worn 22 hours a day for the teeth to move in the prescribed direction. Advantages include the ability to remove it to clean teeth and providing a more attractive look and greater comfort than braces.

Typically, Invisalign treatment lasts a year or less. There is an additional eight months of retainer wear for 22 hours a day after the treatment is complete. From this point, nightwear for the rest of your life is the only way to ensure no more movement.

Invisalign vs. Braces: Which is best?

Both are excellent options and it often comes down to personal preference. People of any age are eligible for both treatments, and the costs are similar, but we think the advantages of clear aligners make it an excellent choice for most people.

With either option, remember the crucial part is the retention phase afterward. We have great before and after photos that show some amazing Invisalign cases of all ages. Plus, we have some amazing Invisalign tips to get the most out of it. If you have any questions, please let us know, and we would be happy to answer them.

How Much Does Invisalign Cost and What Is the Process?