Potomac, Maryland
10122 River Rd. #210
Potomac, MD 20854
(301) 299-3993

Invisalign® Vs. Braces: Orthodontists Explain the Difference April 30, 2018

Potomac, Montgomery
Invisalign® Vs. Braces: Orthodontists Explain the Difference, Potomac, Maryland

When you decide to use orthodontics to achieve the perfect smile, there are several choices to be made.  The doctors and staff at Rad Orthodontics provide a custom treatment plan with several treatment options for each patient, and they can help you make the best choice for your oral health.  

These days, there are plenty of options for orthodontic treatment, with braces and Invisalign® being two of the most popular. Each of these has pros and cons, and the staff at Rad Orthodontics in Potomac, MD, are here to explain.  We aim to help you better understand the differences as you weigh your treatment options.  


IInvisalignnvisalign® aligners have become popular because they’re discreet, clear, and can be taken off for eating and brushing.  In addition, with proper patient compliance (wearing the aligners as directed), Invisalign® can actually be a faster treatment than traditional braces.  While there are many advantages to Invisalign® treatments, here are some things to keep in mind with removable clear aligners:

  1. Your treatment is only as fast and effective as your level of compliance.  If you don’t wear your aligners as directed, your treatment will be slower and less effective.  It can be easy to forget to put aligners back in after meals, so be sure to get into good habits for wearing your aligners all the time.
  2. If you lose an aligner, contact your orthodontist immediately to order and receive a replacement before your teeth move.  Sticking with the progression of aligners is key to successful treatment, and losing an aligner or going without one for any length of time will negatively impact your treatment.
  3. It is very important to clean and maintain your aligners regularly. You also need to continue to have your regular dental cleanings and practice good dental care for the duration of your treatment. 
  4. Not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign®, since it isn’t as effective as traditional braces for addressing jaw misalignment issues, such as crossbites (although Rad Orthodontics is known for excellent results in complex Invisalign® cases). In addition, younger patients are less likely to be compliant with clear aligners treatment plans, so they are often not recommended for children.
  5. Invisalign® is generally more expensive than braces and may not be fully covered by your insurance company.  

These tradeoffs can be easy to overlook if you need minor orthodontic adjustments and want something that’s versatile and less visible.  In many cases, Invisalign® or other clear aligners can be an excellent choice for straightening your teeth.  


InvisalignMetal braces are the go-to solution for advanced alignment issues. They can address most any orthodontic problem and have proven results.  Braces can also be used for younger patients as long as the orthodontist is trained in and using Dentofacial Orthopedics to guide jaw development.  Here are a few things to consider about braces:

  1. Traditional braces are often more cost-effective than clear aligners, and they’re usually covered by dental insurance providers.  However, advanced brackets, which are smaller, more effective and more efficient, are often more expensive and may not be covered fully by insurance providers. 
  2. It is more difficult to keep your teeth and gums clean when wearing braces.  The brackets and wires make brushing and flossing more difficult, and children often have a hard time keeping their teeth clean.  It is extremely important to continue, or even increase, regular visits to your dentist for cleanings to prevent tooth decay, staining, and gum disease.
  3. Most braces are metal and worn on the outside of the teeth, so they are visible and can make the patient feel like they have ‘metal-mouth’.  However, there are ceramic and clear brackets available, which are more discreet than metal brackets.  These may be more expensive than traditional brackets.
  4. There are also lingual bracket options, which place the brackets on the tongue side of teeth so they are not visible.  However, these options can be more uncomfortable and more expensive than other types of braces. 
  5. As with clear aligners, patient compliance is critical to effective and efficient treatments.   If patients do not wear their rubber bands, break brackets, or don’t come for regular appointments and adjustments, their treatments will be slower and less effective.

Your orthodontic treatment will be most effective if you’re comfortable with the method and follow your orthodontist’s guidance. If you aren’t sure whether you should use braces or Invisalign®, turn to the dental care professionals at Rad Orthodontics. They will work closely with you to choose the best option for your oral health and achieve lasting results.  Rad Orthodontics offers a variety of treatment options and even has payment plans to make all treatment options affordable. Call (301) 299-3993 to schedule a complimentary consultation, and visit their website and Facebook page to learn more about their practice.

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