Braces vs. Invisalign: cost, comfort and other considerations answered

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There are many options to achieve the smile of your dreams. From braces to Invisalign, we are here to educate you on the best choice for your individual needs. Here are answers to some of the most common concerns about braces vs. Invisalign:

What are the differences between braces and Invisalign?

Although Invisalign is only one brand of clear aligners, we will refer to clear aligners as Invisalign in this article. One main difference is that braces are bonded (“glued”) on the teeth whereas Invisalign is removable. Another difference is that the braces are adjusted (“tightened”) during in-office visits while Invisalign adjustments are built into the aligners. Dr. Bui does the work behind the scenes with the lab technicians at Invisalign to customize the tooth movements for your case. Even though Invisalign is removable, it still requires close to 22 hours/day wear to be most effective.

How much does it cost?

To answer “what is the cost of braces or what is cost of Invisalign,” the type of problem needs to be determined. There is a large range of treatment cost because it depends on the type of case. Whether the treatment is comprehensive (full), limited, multi-disciplinary (complex), surgical, etc. affects the financial investment. According to, the average cost for braces vs. the cost for Invisalign is $3000-7000.

How long does it take?

Like the question about cost, the duration of treatment also depends on several factors. Two of the most important factors are the severity of the problem and patient compliance. How long Invisalign takes in comparison to braces also depends on patient compliance. The treatment time in braces vs. Invisalign should be about the same for mild to moderate cases. Typically, an average time for comprehensive orthodontic treatment is 2 years. At the OrthoBee Orthodontics, Dr. Bui uses the latest techniques and can offer ways to reduce your treatment time, up to half the time. So if you have an important event, like a wedding, we can help you get your smile picture-perfect for your big day.

For more information on Invisalign myths, read our blog: You can also visit the Invisalign doctor site and learn about living with Invisalign.

Which is more comfortable?

Because wax was invented for braces, you would think this is an easy answer. Invisalign is comfortable in terms of not having wires or brackets that can irritate the soft tissues. However, some people find that having the aligners (Invisalign trays) uncomfortable because of the saliva build up. For most people, this is a temporary problem that can last a couple of days as the mouth is adjusting to something new.

Which is more effective?

Both braces and Invisalign can treat orthodontic problems such as crowding, spacing, overbites, underbites and crossbites. The difference is the effectives of braces vs. Invisalign is a combination of the doctor’s experience and the patient’s compliance. Traditional braces are taught in all orthodontic residencies but not all programs teach about the nuances of Invisalign therapy. Ask your orthodontist to show you cases similar to yours if you would like to see some before and after photos of his or her results. In addition, patients have a critical part in the success of the treatment. Whether it is wearing the aligners for 22 hours/day or avoiding broken brackets, your compliance also determines the success of your treatment in braces or Invisalign.

Which is better for you?

The question of braces vs. Invisalign is best answered once you and your orthodontist have discussed your treatment needs and your lifestyle. In general, braces are best for cases that involve impacted teeth, complex dental work (like crowns or bridges) during the orthodontic treatment or jaw surgery. However, since Dr. Bui has successfully treated patients with those issues using Invisalign, a consultation is the best way to determine if you are a candidate for it.

If you prefer to have less frequent office visits, Invisalign may be a better option. We use our digital technology to its fullest and offer ways to monitor your progress remotely. In fact, our patients that have moved out of state due to work or school have been able to continue their Invisalign treatment. Hence, we are able to serve patients all over Orange County and beyond. We look forward to helping you transform your smile.

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