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What Are the Pros and Cons of Invisalign Braces?

considering braces or invisalign, but would like to know +/- of getting invisalign.  seems really expensive!

Doctor Answers 8

Benefits and Risks with Invisalign

Invisalign is nearly undetectable, so people don't have to know that your are going through orthodontic treatment, and you can remove them for social events. You have to remove the trays for eating and before replacing them you have to brush and floss. I have found that most of my patients oral hygiene has improved and they have found that they have lost weight because they snack less.

If you don't wear your aligners for the recommended hours per day you can affect the ability to finish on time and get your desired results, so compliance is necessary. Braces are fixed to your teeth and can only be removed by the doctor, so compliance is less of an issue. With both methods you will experience tenderness of teeth and gums. But Invisalign, unlike braces, will not scratch or tear the inside of your cheek or lips. Good luck!

New York Orthodontist
4.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

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Invisalign vs. Braces Pros and Cons

Invisalign is a great orthodontic solution for people who want a straight smile without wearing braces.  Pros are the general comfort and discreet appearance of the aligners, and the ability to take them out when eating and cleaning your teeth.  The cons include the ability to take them out when eating and cleaning your teeth (!), meaning that they only work when they're in your mouth at least 22 hours/day.  Also, there are some tooth movements that are less predictable and more difficult with Invisalign, like rotations and moving teeth "up or down".  The procedure usually takes longer than the same movements with braces, as the teeth aren't always "finished" at the end of the initial sequence of aligners.  (They have a "refinement" phase for that)

There's another orthodontic option that is really growing called Six Month Smiles.  It uses tooth colored cosmetic braces and tooth colored wires, and most treatment times are about 6 months.  The procedure is designed to straighten teeth in a more simple fashion without many time consuming, complicated movements.  Six Month Smiles is designed for people who want straight teeth but don't want to go through about 2 years of braces.  I'm now treating more and more patients with this solution, and the patient response has been fantastic.  Teeth move fairly quickly with light forces, and the 6 month average treatment time is popular.  Costs less than Invisalign too.  It's worth a look!

Chris Bowman, DDS
Charlotte Cosmetic Dentist

Pros and Cons of Invisalign braces

There are many pros and cons to Invisalign braces. Here are a few:


Removable- easier to maintain oral hygiene, can eat what you want, take out for sports and playing insturments

Virttually Invisible- more aesthetic than metal braces and clear braces

Comfortable- no wires or brackets against the inside of your mouth

3-D simulation- video gives patient an idea of the treatment goal prior to starting treatment and may be a motivating factor

Fewer Emergencies- no poking wires or broken brackets

FDA approved material- safe and no concern over metal allergies

Treatment of choice- for certain malocclusions, it may produce a better result in a shorter amount of time


Require excellent cooperation- if they aren't worn as directed, the teeth won't move

Require removal for eating- take aligners out for anything but water, followed by brushing or flossing, before replacing aligners

Cost- may be higher cost for Invisalign than braces (not the case in our office due to Invisalign volume but will differ by provider)

Transient lisp- whether with brackets or aligners, there is an adjustment period and a slight lisp should be expected at the beginning

Changing treatment- treatment set once the ClinCheck is accepted. Direction of treatment changed by new impression and starting again

New aligner every 2 weeks- while this doesn't mean you see the orthodontist/dentist every 2 weeks, you will have new pressure on your teeth that often. Most patients experience some tooth discomfort for a day or two with each new aligner

The final word: Depending on your malocclusion, Invisalign can be an excellent method of straightening your teeth and providing you with a perfect bite. Keep in mind that Invisalign is an ever-evolving technique and requires the orthodontist/dentist to have a firm grasp of tooth movement using a removable appliance. Currently, the majority of certified Invisalign providers do not have a firm understanding of moving teeth with Invisalign, as there is a big difference between how teeth should and can be moved in terms of order and direction. Invisalign isn't applicable for all tooth movements, but an experienced provider will be able to address a wider variety of situations.

Jason K. Tam, DDS
Toronto Orthodontist

Pros and Cons of Invisalign

The benefits of Invisalign are numerous. First, they are nearly invisible so most people will not be able to tell that you are undergoing treatment. Secondly, they are way more comfortable than braces as you don't have wires and brackets digging into your gums, lips and cheeks. Thirdly, they are removable so you can eat whatever you want and brush and floss your teeth normally. Some patients loose weight while in treatment because they tend to eat less and snack less. 

The Cons are that Invisalign is more expensive than regular braces (usually, there are exceptions) and the biggest disadvantage is that there are some tooth movements and bite corrections that cannot be achieved with Invisalign. 

Case selection and diagnosis are critical to ensuring you get a good result.

Braces versus Invisalign

In my experience of 9 years there has not been a patient that I could not treat with Invisalign except in the following cases:

Poor compliance

Rotating lower canine teeth

Correcting jaw size differences where ortho would not work on its own

Pulling up/down v small teeth

in those situations,metal braces are great, but otherwise if you meet a competent doctor with years of experience then Invisisble Invisalign is the way forward

Raj Kumar, BDS, LDSRCS
London Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Comparing Invisalign to Traditional Braces

The only "con" when being treated with Invisalign is making the commitment to wear something in your mouth full time.

The aligners are very thin and non obtrusive after they are worn for a day or two.  As long as the prescription that is written by the treating orthodontist is specific to the lab technicians working for Invisalign, the product works beautifully and the results are excellent. 

When compared to the price of traditional orthodontics, Invisalign is very competitive and fair.

Janet H. Stoess-Allen, DMD
New York Orthodontist

Pros and cons of invisalign

The pros of Invisalign are the esthetics, the ability to remove them and they are generally more comfortable. The cons are that they cost more, they rely on patient compliance ( meaning that they only work when they are worn), the treatment generally takes longer and some results are NOT as predictable as with traditional braces


Mojdah Akhavan, DDS
San Diego Orthodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Invisalign benefits and drawbacks

Generally speaking, yes, Invisalign is a good appliance. The stipulation is, however, the appliance works better if the treating doctor has a lot of interest in the working of the appliance and the familiarity to troubleshoot problems. This knowledge come from not only experience, but also an interest to read about and attend lectures regarding this fairly new appliance. The Invisalign system is constantly "improving", and it requires treating doctors to be diligent in their continuing education.

For mild to moderate crowding of the incisors, Invisalign in very predictable, and just as effective as traditional braces. Added benefits are better hygiene, better appliance esthetics, and potentially a decrease in treatment time (this, again, depends on the skill of the treating doctor).

For moderate to severe cases, Invisalign is less predictable, but can still be effective in the hands of a skilled practitioner. It is this doctors opinion, and many others, more involved cases should only be handled by orthodontists, as they have 2-3 years more education regarding the biology of tooth movement, and growth and development. This equips them with better knowledge of "trouble shooting" certain pitfalls of the appliance that may occur in the progression of treatment.

Mazyar Moshiri, DMD, MS
Saint Louis Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.