Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces: Pros and Cons

By Mina Levi, DDS 11/26/2013

Alignment of the teeth is one of the most important aspects of having the optimal, beautiful smile. The treatment to align the teeth known as Orthodontics can be a bit of a hassle, especially when thinking about having a mouth full of metal for a long time. However, there are options available for patients who are longing for straight teeth that don't involve all of the wire work. The most popular of alternatives is called Invisalign, which is clear alignment. Visiting the Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS can be helpful in making the decision between traditional metal braces and Invisalign clear aligners. Below we discuss some of the differences between the two, and the pros and cons of both.  



Invisalign aligners are exactly as they sound, invisible. They are manufactured with a plastic material and are clear. Traditional braces are made of metal and are absolutely visible.



Invisalign aligners are completely removable and can be taken out of the mouth when needed. There are disadvantages to this, however, if the patient is not compliant with the amount of time prescribed to wear the aligners the straightening process will not move along on track. Traditional braces are not removable, which is inconvenient and they get in the way of many activities. The patient compliance is a non-issue with the traditional braces since it is not an option to remove them.


Oral Hygiene.

Since Invisalign aligners are removable and do not block any part of he teeth, oral hygiene is much better than with traditional braces in which it is difficult to remove the plaque from in between and around the brackets. Also, with traditional braces, if the plaque remains on and around the brackets it can cause de-calcification of the teeth and gum inflammation. This changes the color of the teeth permanently in those areas because calcium has been leeched out of the tooth structure by the plaque build-up.



Traditional braces are very bulky and can have sharp edges and ends. Because of this, they commonly cause irritation of the lips and cheeks. Also, it allows for spaces for plaque to accumulate, which causes gum irritation and gum disease. Invisalign clear aligners are customized to fit tightly to the teeth and so they do not irritate the gums or surrounding tissues.



Traditional braces come with dietary restrictions due to their physical nature; certain foods are difficult to eat and can cause the brackets to come loose. Also, when braces are tightened it makes the teeth very sore and hard foods are almost impossible to consume. Invisalign allows the freedom to choose one's personal diet due to the fact that they are removable.



Teeth whitening is not an option with traditional braces since parts of the tooth surfaces are covered in metal, and whitening the other surfaces would leave discolored squares on the teeth when the braces are removed. Invisalign aligners can double as whitening trays during the alignment process. You receive whitening gel through the Dentist San Francisco and place it into your trays, then rinse out after 15-20 minutes.


Straightening Issues.

There are certain teeth conditions that are better treated with Invisalign aligners, such as a deep bite condition. However, there are certain teeth conditions that are better treated with traditional braces, such as an open bite condition or rotation of cylindrical teeth.



The price of Invisalign is very comparable to traditional braces, about $4000-$6500.

After reviewing the positive and negative aspects of both Invisalign clear aligners and traditional braces, you can make the next step in finding an Invisalign Preferred Provider dentist for treatment. Dr. Mina Levi, DDS has been a Preferred Provider for Invisalign since 2009. If you have any other questions or would like to schedule a complementary Invisalign consultation, visit the Dentist San Francisco on the web at or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.


InvisalignTeeth WhiteningTraditional BracesOrthodonticsDentist San FranciscoGum DiseaseDental Plaque