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December 5, 2023

Teeth Straightening Options – Invisalign vs Braces

Many of us aspire to have a flawlessly aligned smile, and thanks to orthodontic technology, we are able to choose between various teeth straightening options, such as traditional metal braces or Invisalign® clear aligner technology, which can be daunting.

In this article, Commercial Road Dental will compare different types of braces and aligners, enabling you to make an informed decision as you begin your quest for a straighter smile.

Materials of braces

Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are a type of dental treatment that uses metal brackets and wires. They are highly effective in treating a wide range of dental issues, such as severe misalignments, overcrowding, and bite problems. The braces work by constantly applying pressure to the teeth, gradually shifting them into the correct position over time. This method is proven to be very effective and can lead to significant improvements in dental health.

Ceramic Braces (Clear Braces)

Clear or tooth-coloured brackets are used in ceramic braces, which are similar to metal braces. Clear braces provide an aesthetically pleasing alternative to metal braces for individuals who want to straighten their teeth without the visibility of metal braces. Ceramic braces, like metal braces, are effective in resolving a variety of dental issues.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal braces but are attached to the back of the teeth, making them invisible from the front. Lingual braces serve the same purpose as traditional braces but are virtually invisible from the outside. They are used to correct various dental issues while offering a discreet orthodontic treatment option.

Clear Aligners (Invisalign®)

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, are custom-made trays made of clear plastic. Invisalign® and other types of clear aligners offer the benefits of having a virtually invisible appearance, as well as being removable. Clear aligners are suitable for individuals with mild to moderate misalignments. They gradually shift teeth into the desired position by providing consistent pressure.

Different types of braces and aligners have their own advantages and may be more suitable for certain dental issues or personal preferences. The goal of all orthodontic treatments is to align teeth and improve dental position. This is achieved through the application of controlled pressure on teeth over time, which guides them into the desired position.

Braces vs. Invisalign®

Each of the teeth straightening treatments described above offers unique advantages, as well as things you need to be aware of.


Metal Braces

Metal braces are typically recommended for individuals with severe misalignments or complex orthodontic issues, as well as those who may struggle with adhering to aligner use.


  • Highly effective for severe misalignments and complex dental issues.
  • Cost-effective compared to some alternatives.
  • No risk of aligners being lost or misplaced.
  • Sturdy and durable, less prone to damage. No concerns with compliance


  • Highly noticeable appearance.
  • Regular adjustments can be uncomfortable.
  • Maintenance can be challenging with brackets and wires.
  • Dietary restrictions to prevent damage to the braces.
  • More regular appointments necessary, and also usually more unscheduled appointments for repairs and maintenance

Ceramic Braces (Clear Braces)

Ceramic braces provide a less noticeable alternative to traditional braces for those seeking a discreet appearance or have dental issues.


  • Effective for various dental issues.
  • More realistic looking due to clear or tooth-coloured brackets.
  • No risk of aligners being lost or misplaced.


  • Still noticeable compared to Invisalign®.
  • Regular adjustments are required.
  • Maintenance can be challenging with brackets and wires.
  • Dietary restrictions similar to metal braces.
  • Usually more costly than regular braces
  • Not all Dentists provide this option

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are ideal for those who want discreet orthodontic treatment while still benefiting from the effectiveness of traditional braces.


  • Hidden from view as they are attached to the back of the teeth.
  • Effective for various dental issues, similar to traditional braces. Suitable for individuals seeking a discreet appearance.


  • Initially, they may cause discomfort and/or speech adjustments.
  • Regular adjustments are necessary.
  • Cleaning can be challenging due to their location.
  • Limited number of Dentists who provide this option
  • Not suitable for all treatment


Invisalign® is best suited to people with mild to moderate alignment issues. This option is a popular choice for those wanting an aesthetically pleasing, convenient and flexible teeth-straightening treatment.


  • Virtually invisible when worn.
  • Easily removable for eating and oral hygiene, allowing for flexibility.
  • No dietary restrictions.
  • Comfortable to wear with no sharp components.
  • Suitable for mild to moderate misalignments.
  • Less impact on speech compared to braces.


  • May not be suitable for severe orthodontic issues.
  • Requires discipline to wear consistently.
  • Sometimes higher cost than metal braces for some patients.

What’s the difference between aligners and retainers?

Both aligners and retainers are orthodontic devices, but they have different purposes in achieving and maintaining a straighter smile.

The main aim of aligners is to correct teeth misalignment by exerting pressure on the teeth, gradually guiding them into their desired positions.

On the other hand, retainers are used after orthodontic treatments such as braces or aligners to maintain the new alignment of the teeth and prevent them from moving out of position. Book an appointment with your Adelaide Dentist to find the solution that is right for you.

Invisalign® vs. Braces: What’s Involved in Each Treatment?

To understand the difference between braces and Invisalign®, let’s take a look at what’s involved both during and after your treatment.


  • Treatment duration: Braces are typically worn for an extended period, often ranging from several months to a few years. The amount of time will depend on the complexity of the dental issues being addressed.
  • Regular appointments: Patients with braces need to visit their orthodontist regularly, usually every 4-6 weeks. These appointments are essential for adjustments, during which the orthodontist tightens the wires to ensure proper tooth movement.
  • Cost: The cost of braces varies widely depending on factors such as the type of braces (metal, ceramic etc.) and the duration of treatment. It can range from a few thousand to several thousand dollars.
  • Oral hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene with braces is crucial. Special brushes and flossing tools may be needed to clean around brackets and wires effectively.


  • Treatment duration: Invisalign® treatment typically lasts for a shorter duration compared to braces, generally ranging from several months to a year or more, depending on your individual circumstances.
  • Regular check-ups: Invisalign® requires fewer in-person appointments compared to braces. Patients visit their orthodontist periodically for progress checks and to receive new sets of aligners.
  • Cost: The cost of Invisalign® can vary based on the length of treatment and the complexity of your condition.
  • Oral hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene with Invisalign® is more straightforward because aligners can be removed for brushing and flossing, reducing the risk of plaque buildup.

Both braces and Invisalign® are two effective teeth straightening treatments that can help people with different types of dental issues. While braces may be more suitable for people with complex conditions, Invisalign® can be a great option for patients looking for a more discreet treatment.

To achieve a straighter smile in the best way for you, it is essential to speak with Commercial Road Dental about the available options. They can assess your unique circumstances, budget, underlying health issues, and lifestyle to suggest the most appropriate solution.

If you’d like to get started on your journey to a beautifully straight smile, book an appointment at your local practice today.

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