Invisalign vs Clear Braces: Making the Right Choice for Your Perfect Smile

Congratulations on your decision to utilize orthodontic treatment and straighten your teeth! Your self-confidence and positive attitude about your appearance will improve, benefits that will last a lifetime.

You and your orthodontist have discussed which kind of braces are best for your situation, and the decision now is either Invisalign clear aligners or clear ceramic braces. It’s an important choice and both have pros and cons, so which is best?

This article will compare Invisalign vs clear braces so you can make the best choice for your needs. We want you to be as comfortable as possible with your braces throughout your treatment plan and on your way to that beautiful smile you have always wanted!


The History of Braces

It may surprise you to know that people have been straightening their teeth as far back as 5000 years ago! It’s evident that the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians appreciated straight teeth because mummies have been discovered wearing braces. This “technology” isn’t new, by any means! 

Let’s jump forward in history. It was in France in the early 1800s that the first metal braces were invented. They were made of a woven wire that fit over the teeth and that type of braces was the norm for over a hundred years. Then, in 1987, ceramic braces were developed. They are far less visible on the teeth and more comfortable to wear than metal braces. 

Finally, in 1997, the Invisalign clear aligners were invented. The wires and brackets were eliminated and the aligners are nearly invisible on the teeth. Invisalign has been one of the most successful developments in braces and they have proven to be very popular with both adults and teens.

Looking at the pros and cons of Invisalign or clear braces will help you make an informed decision between the two.


Clear Ceramic Braces: Pros and Cons

Clear braces use wires and brackets that are much less visible than traditional metal braces. They use smaller components and polycrystalline (tooth-colored) material, features that help them visually blend into your teeth more. Although the braces are not as visible as metal braces, they can still be seen. 

Aside from being less visible, they work just like traditional metal braces. The brackets are cemented to your teeth and the orthodontist tightens them every few weeks. 

Let’s dig deeper into the pros and cons of clear ceramic braces:


Pros of Ceramic Braces:

  • They are more affordable than clear aligners.
  • These braces generally work faster than aligners.
  • The brackets don’t discolor your teeth.
  • They are a better option for complex orthodontic problems.
  • They are more subtle on your teeth than aligners.
  • They are more often covered by insurance compared to aligners.


Cons of Ceramic Braces:

  • They are less comfortable than aligners.
  • Your food choices will be limited: No hard, sticky, or crunchy foods or the braces can be damaged.
  • Brushing and flossing are more difficult and can damage the braces.
  • Ceramic braces can still be seen on your teeth.
  • These braces can sometimes cause irritation or sores on the mouth’s soft tissues.
  • The braces can become stained by certain foods and drinks.

Keep in mind that each patient’s experience will be different. 

Now that you have the specifics about ceramic braces, both pros and cons, let’s compare them with Invisalign clear aligners.


Invisalign Clear Aligners: Pros and Cons

The Invisalign system consists of a series of clear aligners (also called trays) that are made specifically for each patient’s orthodontic needs. The aligners slip over the teeth like a mouthguard and are changed once every two weeks or so, depending on your treatment plan. You will use the aligners for  9 – 15 months and wear 18 – 30 different aligners, although each patient’s treatment can differ.

Here are the pros and cons of aligners:


Pros of Invisalign Aligners:

  • Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible on your teeth.
  • These aligners are best for mild to moderate orthodontic problems, like crowding, bite issues, and spacing issues.
  • There are no food restrictions. The aligners are removed to eat.
  • Brushing and flossing are easier and more effective because you take the aligners out to clean your teeth.
  • There are fewer visits to the orthodontist since the aligners don’t have wires to tighten.


Cons of Invisalign Aligners:

  • Invisalign clear aligners are often more expensive than ceramic braces.
  • The treatment plan for aligners is sometimes longer than ceramic braces.
  • Unless stored properly, the aligners are sometimes easily lost because they must be removed whenever you want to eat.
  • It is easier to disrupt the progress of your treatment plan since the aligners are sometimes not put back into the mouth when they should be. 
  • If not removed when eating, the aligners can be damaged.
  • They are not suitable for more difficult orthodontic problems.
  • They are often not covered by insurance.
  • They can become discolored or stained if not taken at when eating or drinking dark liquids.


Ceramic Braces or Invisalign: Which Is the Right Choice for You?

Your decision whether to use Invisalign or clear braces is an important one. You must be comfortable with your choice throughout your treatment plan, so you need all the facts about both devices before you make a decision. Both have pros and cons and your decision will be based on your personal preferences, your budget, and your treatment goals. 

Discuss your options with our orthodontic team here at Swiatek Orthodontics and ask all the questions you have. Our team has the experience and knowledge to advise you on the best choice so that you can get the best results possible.

We are the trusted local provider of both Invisalign and ceramic braces in the Glen Mills and Chester Springs area. Our cutting-edge solutions utilize the latest technology resulting in a customized digital treatment plan, giving you a tailor-made experience and an incredible smile. 

Contact us to set an appointment for a free consultation and get started on your path to straighter teeth today!