Do clear braces like Invisalign® work as well as metal braces?

Metal braces and Invisalign® clear aligners or both effective orthodontic treatment options. In this post, our orthodontic team explains how each of these treatments works, and the differences between them, to help you choose the best possible option for you.

Metal Braces

In most cases, metal braces are recommended for patients that are more worried about function than aesthetics or style.

Metal braces can be efficient at helping correct complex misalignment issues and are great for closing gaps and aligning teeth.

Metal braces treatment could take anywhere from 18 months to 3 years to complete, but, patients usually start to notice tooth movement within a fairly short period of time. 


The two main benefits of Invisalign® clear aligners are that they can be removed, and are nearly impossible to see when being worn.

Lots of patients also find that Invisalign®’s smooth plastic aligners are more comfortable than traditional metal braces because they don’t irritate the gums or cheeks the same way metal brackets and wires can.

The duration of Invisalign® treatment is somewhere between 6 and 18 months, however, this can differ between cases.

This shorter treatment duration range, as compared to metal braces, is mainly a result of the fact that Invisalign® is typically used to treat less complex or severe misalignment issues, as it’s considered a more gentle, less invasive option.

And of course, it's also based on the assumption that the patient will stick to the recommended guidelines for aligner wear, and keep their aligners on for at least 20-22 hours a day.

If a patient wears the aligners less often than prescribed, or for shorter durations every day, treatment time could end up taking much longer.

Both braces and Invisalign® are effective options for straightening teeth, and the treatment you end up choosing will depend on your personal preferences balanced with the severity and complexity of your misalignment.

To learn more about traditional metal braces or Invisalign® contact our Vancouver orthodontist office today to arrange an appointment.

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