Braces vs Invisalign – Which One?

Technology for correcting crooked teeth has been around in one form or another for a very long time. Metal braces have a proven track record. Invisalign, a clear, nearly invisible plastic alternative to braces, has been available since the turn of the millennium. Which is best?


Let’s compare metal braces and Invisalign:

  • Function. The Invisalign system works best for relatively simple dental corrections. If you have issues with back teeth, need to rotate teeth or move them vertically, or have bridgework, Invisalign might not even be an option.
  • Cost. The cost for Invisalign versus metal braces is often less, or about the same. Most cases are treated with Invisalign in 6 to 18 months and with the shorter treatment time than metal braces, the cost is less.
  • Duration of treatment. Braces are worn 24/7 for an average of two years. The Invisalign system is worn 22 - 24 hours/day for 6 to 18 months.
  • Maintenance. Braces are brushed regularly at the same time as teeth. As for Invisalign, cleaning can be done with the Invisalign Cleaning System or gently cleaning and rinsing the aligner trays in lukewarm water.
  • Dental visits. Braces usually require monthly visits, while Invisalign trays are changed every two weeks and dental visits are required every four to six weeks.
  • Visibility. Braces are typically shiny metal, but other colors are available. Invisalign trays are clear plastic and nearly invisible.


Pros and cons of each system:

  • Appearance vs cost. If looks are important to you—and let’s face it, feeling uncomfortable when you smile can be a real chore—the extra cost of the nearly invisible Invisalign system might be worth it. Then again, not everybody minds the look of conventional braces, especially with the custom colors available. It’s a question of taste.
  • Do you have the discipline? Braces don’t come out and cleaning them is as simple as regular brushing and flossing. Invisalign trays have to be removed before eating or drinking anything except water. You also have to brush after every meal or snack to avoid staining the trays. It’s not boot camp, but it certainly requires attentiveness and discipline.
  • Comfort. Remembering to keep your Invisalign trays in place at least 22 hours a day can be daunting, but it also means they are more comfortable to wear. Because you have to remove them to eat, you can eat what you want—when you want. With braces you may feel discomfort from wires and brackets and you may have difficulty eating hard or sticky foods.


Braces and Invisalign both help guide teeth to their ideal position, re-establish proper function and restore the confidence that comes with a beautiful smile.


At the Southgate Dental Centre, we can answer all your questions regarding braces and Invisalign in Edmonton. Our dental clinic in South Edmonton has been serving Albertans since 1985.


Contact us. Our friendly staff will help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing braces or Invisalign in Edmonton. Our dental clinic in South Edmonton welcomes new patients.


Southgate Dental Centre—give us a call!


All dental services are provided by general dentists.

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