What are the Differences Between Invisalign® and Braces?

A beautifully aligned smile is something many of us dream about – and thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology, this goal is now more achievable than ever.

But with a range of different options available – from traditional metal braces to the clear aligner technology of Invisalign® – it can be tricky to decide which teeth straightening treatment is best for you.

In this article, we’ll compare different types of braces and aligners, so you can make an informed decision before you embark on your journey to a straighter smile.

What are the different types of braces available?

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. Invisalign is one of the most popular systems in the fields of orthodontic and cosmetic dentistry today. It utilises the very latest and most advanced technologies to provide highly efficient tooth movements, giving you the straighter smile you desire.

You may also hear Invisalign being described as an ‘invisible braces’ as it is extremely discreet and is ideal for anyone who may feel a little self-conscious about having conventional orthodontics in Wagga Wagga.

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.

The Pros and Cons of Braces vs. Invisalign®

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

Pros of Metal Braces

  • 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

Cons of Metal Braces

  • 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

Metal braces are best suited for people with severe misalignments or complex orthodontic problems, as well as those who may have trouble remembering to wear their aligners

Pros of Ceramic Braces (Clear Braces)

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

Cons of Ceramic Braces

  • 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

Ceramic braces are a great option for those who want a more discreet appearance than metal braces and for those who require traditional braces but prefer a less noticeable look due to dental issues.

Pros of Lingual 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.

Cons of Lingual Braces

  • 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

Lingual braces are best suited to people wanting a completely hidden orthodontic treatment, as well as those who seek the effectiveness of traditional braces with a more discreet appearance.

Pros of Invisalign®

  • 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.

Cons of Invisalign®

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

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.

What’s the difference between aligners and retainers?

While aligners and retainers are both orthodontic devices, they serve different purposes in achieving and maintaining a straighter smile.

The primary purpose of aligners is to correct teeth misalignment and achieve a straighter smile by gradually guiding teeth into their desired positions through pressure.

Retainers, on the other hand, are used after orthodontic treatment, such as braces or aligners. Their goal is to maintain the new alignment of the teeth by preventing them from moving out of position.

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 at Kooringal Dental.


  • Treatment duration: Braces are typically worn for an extended period, often ranging from several months to a few years. The duration of your treatment at Kooringal dentist in Wagga Wagga will vary based on the complexity of your dental issues.
  • 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 can vary widely based on factors like the type of braces used (metal, ceramic, etc.) and the duration of treatment, ranging 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 than braces, usually ranging from a few months to over a year, depending on individual circumstances.
  • Regular check-ups: Invisalign® requires fewer in-person appointments at Kooringal 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 Kooringal 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 Wagga Wagga dentist today.


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