Invisalign or Braces? Which treatment is right for you?

Teeth straightening, once considered as only treatment for teenagers, is becoming more and more common amongst adults. But what are the different options we have to achieve that beautiful straight smile? And are there any benefits to straight teeth other than aesthetics?

Straightening your teeth brings more benefits than just a confident, beautiful smile. Straightening your teeth can improve gum health by smoothing out any of those tricky angles that plaque likes to remain in undisturbed. Thus it leads to reductions in plaque and tartar! In addition, studies have shown that you are more likely to develop gum disease when you have misaligned teeth, leaving us with more than just aesthetic reasons to undergo orthodontic treatment.

But what are your options?


Invisalign or “invisible braces” are a sequential course of 3-D printed aligner trays, much like a thin clear mouthguard. A scan is taken of your teeth as they are now, and a series of aligner trays are made to straighten your teeth in gradient stages into their final position. The patient wears the trays for 22 hours a day (only taking them out for eating and oral hygiene) and changes them every week. Treatment duration is 3+ months depending on your case, with routine monitoring appointments every 2-4 weeks.

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

  • Easy to clean- unlike traditional braces, you can easily remove your aligner trays to brush and floss your teeth
  • Invisible orthodontic treatment- as the name suggests, “invis-align” allows you to straighten your teeth without it being evident, unlike metal braces, a benefit that most adults appreciate
  • Being able to see the result before you start- the Invisalign scans can show you what the final result will look like before you begin, which is pretty fun and good motivation to wear the aligners for the required 22 hours a day
Clear Invisalign aligner

What are the disadvantages of Invisalign?

  • Not able to treat more complex cases
  • Compliance- the patient needs to ensure they wear the aligners all day!

Metal brackets or ‘braces

Metal braces are what most people would be familiar with in terms of orthodontic treatment. These are colloquially called “train tracks”. They consist of metal brackets attached to each tooth with dental glue and a wire threaded through these brackets. With various manipulations and careful treatment planning, the teeth can be pulled and pushed into position. Treatment duration is between 12-18+ months with routine 4-6 week appointments throughout.

What are the benefits of metal braces?

• More complex cases can be treated with metal braces due to the ability for other orthodontic appliances to be used simultaneously with them

Girl with braces

What are the disadvantages of metal braces?

• Aesthetics – “train tracks” are an obvious metal appliance in the mouth that can concern adults and teenagers

• Hard to clean- metal brackets and wires attract dental plaque and make it hard to clean around, which can cause gingivitis as well as tooth decay around brackets, leading to permanent marks on the teeth

• Irritation to the skin inside the mouth from the metal brackets and wires can lead to painful ulcers and sores

So Invisalign or Braces? Which treatment is right for you?

The dentists at Crows Nest Dentists will be able to determine which treatment is best for your case. An initial consult for orthodontic treatment is all you need to find out what that is and get started on your way to a beautiful straight smile.

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