Metal Braces vs. Invisalign Treatment: What's the difference?

Braces are braces, right? Yes, and no. Many different types of braces can be used to straighten teeth. All braces have the same end goal but use different methods of achieving that goal. Those who wear braces and have straight teeth lower their risk of cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. Braces not only help with straightening teeth, but they can also enhance your overall oral health.

There are many different types of braces, from the traditional metal to ceramic or lingual braces, and Invisalign or other clear aligners.

Compare the orthodontic treatment of metal braces vs. Invisalign:


The most significant difference between Invisalign and traditional braces is their appearance. Braces are more noticeable (whether you choose metal or ceramic braces) compared to Invisalign. Invisalign’s clear aligner trays are virtually invisible to the naked eye, unlike traditional braces where metal wires, metal brackets, and rubber bands will be seen. With metal braces, you have the option for colorful rubber bands, but for self-conscious teens or adult patients, Invisalign may be a better option.

Treatment Time

Treatment time is similar for both Invisalign and metal braces. Treatment can range from 12-24 months. However, Invisalign trays are removable, and sometimes the treatment process is longer if patients leave them out for too long during the day. Traditional metal braces cannot be removed, so you wear them 24 hours a day, every day.


The cost of wearing braces can range between $2,500-$8,000 depending on the type of braces you choose and the severity of your needs.

Metal braces are usually the most affordable option. The cost for Invisalign clear aligners depends on how many trays you need in your treatment plan. Your dental insurance may cover some of the cost of your treatment, so make sure to call your insurance company and talk with your orthodontist to find out which option is best for you. We can look up your insurance coverage during a free orthodontic consultation.

Care and Convenience

Good oral hygiene is important for any braces treatment option, of course. With metal braces, the brackets can make regular brushing of your teeth more difficult, but we can teach you the best tricks for brushing. Invisalign is completely removable, so cleaning teeth is easy and feels normal.

As far as convenience goes, there are also some differences between Invisalign compared to metal braces. For example, if you have metal braces, you have to be careful what you eat and stay away from sticky foods and chewing gum since these things can break the brackets.

With Invisalign, you don’t have to worry about what food you can or cannot eat, but you must make sure you clean the plastic aligners properly and do not lose them when you take them out. If you or your child misplaces things often, Invisalign may not be the best option. Invisalign also needs to be cleaned with lukewarm water or a special solution regularly to avoid the growth of bacteria, so you maintain good oral health.


The process of aligning teeth into the correct position can cause some soreness, but usually reduces a few days after each adjustment appointment. Invisalign tends to be more comfortable for patients since the aligners are made from special plastic and apply less pressure to the teeth. You will still have soreness when your teeth shift.

Metal braces are used for more complicated issues that Invisalign cannot fix, like back tooth bite issues or the need to rotate canines. At your consultation, we would be able to tell you the best solution for your mouth.

Invisalign vs. Braces: Which is the best option to straighten teeth?

The best option varies from patient to patient, and everyone’s needs are different. Some may have more advanced orthodontic issues, but no matter what your needs are, our orthodontist at Smile Houzz will help you make an informed decision about getting braces. Contact us today at 817-898-1400.



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