Comparing Braces and Invisalign Effectiveness

invisalign vs braces - Oklahoma City areas

When it comes to straightening teeth and achieving a perfect smile, two of the most popular options are traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners. But which is more effective? Many patients and dental professionals alike ponder the question: are braces better than Invisalign? This article will compare the effectiveness of these dental appliances, providing insight into the pros and cons of braces vs Invisalign.

Understanding the Basics

Before we dive into comparing braces and Invisalign, let’s first understand what each appliance entails.

Traditional Braces: The Old Faithful

Traditional braces consist of metal brackets that are glued to your teeth and connected by wires. They require regular adjustments to slowly move the teeth into the desired position. Braces have been used for decades and have a proven track record of effectively treating a wide range of dental issues, from simple to complex.

Invisalign: The Clear Alternative

Invisalign, on the other hand, uses a series of clear, removable aligners that are custom-made to fit snugly over your teeth. The aligners are replaced every one to two weeks to gradually shift your teeth into place. Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible and can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing.

Effectiveness for Different Dental Issues

Each dental appliance has its strengths and weaknesses, depending on the specific dental issues they are tasked to correct.

Treating Simple Cases

For minor corrections, both braces and Invisalign are generally effective. Simple issues such as slightly crowded teeth or minor spacing problems can be addressed by either method. However, Invisalign offers the added benefit of aesthetics and convenience since the aligners are almost invisible and can be removed for special occasions.

Handling Complex Dental Problems

When it comes to more complex dental issues, such as severe overcrowding, malocclusions, or teeth that require vertical movement, traditional braces often have the advantage. Their fixed nature allows for more forceful and precise movements. Invisalign, while continually improving in its capabilities, may not always be the best option for complex cases.

Lifestyle Considerations

Choosing between braces and Invisalign often comes down to lifestyle and the patient’s willingness to comply with treatment.

The Visibility Factor

For adults and teens who are self-conscious about their appearance, Invisalign’s clear aligners are less noticeable than traditional metal braces. This is a significant consideration for many who wish to maintain a natural-looking smile during treatment.

Dietary Restrictions

Braces come with dietary restrictions; hard, crunchy, or sticky foods can damage the brackets and wires. Invisalign aligners are removed before eating, so there are no such restrictions, which many patients find more convenient.

Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is easier with Invisalign since the aligners are removable, allowing for regular brushing and flossing. With braces, extra care is required to clean around the brackets and wires, which can be challenging for some patients.

Treatment Duration

The length of treatment is another factor to consider when comparing braces and Invisalign.

Average Treatment Time with Braces

The average treatment time for braces is typically around 18 to 24 months, but it can vary widely depending on the patient’s individual needs. Some may need them for a shorter period, while others might require longer treatment.

Average Treatment Time with Invisalign

Invisalign treatment usually takes between 12 to 18 months, although, like braces, this can vary. However, the effectiveness of Invisalign is highly dependent on the patient wearing the aligners for the recommended 20 to 22 hours per day. Failure to do so can prolong treatment time.

Cost Comparison

The cost of treatment is a practical consideration for many patients.

Investing in Braces

The cost of traditional braces can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the length of treatment. Understanding the patient needs is the first step to understanding treatment costs. Consult your local orthodontist to learn more, most offer free consultations.

Investing in Invisalign

Invisalign can be more expensive than braces. The final price will depend on the number of aligners needed and the specifics of the patient’s treatment plan.

Pros and Cons at a Glance

Let’s summarize the pros and cons of each treatment method.



  • Effective for treating a wide range of dental issues, including complex cases
  • Fixed appliance, which means there’s no need to remember to put them back on
  • Potentially more affordable than Invisalign


  • Visible metal components can be aesthetically unappealing
  • Dietary restrictions are required
  • More challenging oral hygiene routine



  • Nearly invisible aligners for a more natural look
  • Removable for eating and oral hygiene
  • No food restrictions


  • Generally more expensive than braces
  • Requires discipline to wear aligners for the recommended hours
  • May not be suitable for the most complex dental cases


It All Depends

When it comes to deciding whether braces or Invisalign is more effective, it ultimately depends on the individual’s specific dental needs and lifestyle preferences. Both have their advantages and can be incredibly effective when used in the right circumstances.

Traditional braces are often the go-to for complex dental issues and are a time-tested solution, while Invisalign offers a discrete and convenient option for those who prioritize aesthetics and ease of maintenance.

Consulting with an orthodontist is the best way to determine which option is more suitable for achieving your perfect smile. Remember, the effectiveness of any dental treatment is also dependent on the patient’s commitment to following their orthodontist’s instructions and caring for their dental health throughout the treatment process.