Differences Between Invisalign Treatment and Traditional Braces

Invisalign and Dental Braces

Invisalign is a better alternative to the less appealing and highly uncomfortable dental braces. Both Invisalign and traditional braces address similar dental problems, for instance, overcrowding of teeth, bite irregularities, overbites, and dental gaps. However, there are also major differences between the two, in terms of function and applications. At Spillman Family Dental in Rockwall, Texas, renowned cosmetic dentist, Travis Spillman DDS, will expound on these differences and recommend which dental treatment is suitable for your specific problem.

Traditional Braces

Dental braces are used to correct more serious dental issues such as protrusions, irregular spacing, crowded or crooked teeth, jaw problems, and alignment issues, among others. They work to eliminate biting problems and enhance teeth placement, thereby creating an attractive smile. Dental braces consist of metal brackets connected by a wire and placed on the teeth with an elastic tie and an adhesive. They straighten the teeth by applying steady pressure and must, therefore, be periodically tightened to be effective.

There are different types of braces, all made from different types of material, for example, metal, composite, ceramic, or a combination of several materials. Many varieties of color are also available in order to make them more attractive and less noticeable. In some cases, the braces can even be attached to the back of the teeth. The initial procedure takes about 20 minutes but regular appointments are necessary every three to ten weeks, for the adjustments to be made and the elastic bands to be replaced. Depending on the kind of teeth corrections needed, braces can be worn for less than seven months to more than two years.

Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign uses a series of customized, removable appliances, known as aligners to straighten your teeth without using brackets and wires. The aligners are made of flexible plastic and are a great solution for both teens and adults to improve their dental health. Invisalign is used to treat issues such widely spaced teeth, overbites, crossbites, bite irregularities and to re-align teeth following a relapse from the traditional braces treatment. The treatment is very popular because the aligners are nearly invisible, removable and they comfortably hold themselves in place, fitting snugly into the teeth.

During the initial consultation, photos and impressions of your teeth are taken to help with the design and creation of aligners. You will be provided with several sets of aligners to be changed according to a schedule that will be provided by the dentist. Aligners can be removed during mealtimes and when brushing and flossing teeth. Other than that, they must always be worn in order to be effective. The treatment can take less than a year for adults, and about eighteen months for teenagers.


Invisalign provides the same results as traditional braces do but without the visibility. They don’t affect the appearance of your smile and do not require periodic adjustments at the dentist. They are removable for meals and oral hygiene, which means you will have fewer hygiene challenges because food that gets caught up between the aligners is washed away. You will also avoid laceration on your inner cheeks caused by the metal brackets.

However, you have to be extra diligent with Invisalign treatment as it is dependent on self-management. With traditional braces, you have to depend on the dentist for adjustments, and the brace is not affected by your habits. However, with Invisalign, if you fail to remove them at the right time, or put them back on after meals, it may not work.