Braces vs Invisalign: The Difference in Materials Used

Braces vs Invisalign: The Difference in Materials Used

As you can see, there are so many reasons you should consider straightening your teeth. But before choosing Invisalign vs braces (or the other way around) it’s best to first learn how they differ.

A big difference when it comes to traditional braces vs Invisalign is the material used.

You may have heard traditional braces referred to as “train-track” braces. That term stems from their appearance; the metal wires that connect the brackets together resemble train rails.

Despite this, they’re still the most popular orthodontic appliance in the United Kingdom.

What about the Invisalign system?

Invisalign makes use of its very own patented material called SmartTrack®. It’s a type of thermoplastic that makes the aligners flexible and near-invisible.

That’s right. Invisalign is almost invisible, which means others may not even notice you have them on. With these clear aligners, you don’t have to worry about the glint of metal whenever you smile.

How They Work

Both traditional braces and Invisalign use continuous pressure to correct teeth placement. The pressure that moves the teeth also changes the shape of the bone.

When choosing metal braces vs Invisalign, it pays to know exactly how they move your teeth. First, because the teeth-straightening method impacts treatment time and results. It also dictates how often you’ll have to pay your dentist a visit.

The Traditional Way

With traditional metal braces, treatment time averages one to three years. That still depends on how severe the problem is and how far the braces need to move the teeth. The general oral health of the patient can also affect total treatment time.

The materials used with traditional braces also contribute to this long treatment time. They have many components, including metal brackets, arch wires, and ligatures. Some may even need spacers and elastics.

Because of their many different parts, traditional braces need adjusting every month. This ensures the braces are putting constant pressure on the teeth. Since the teeth have moved slightly in the past month, dentists need to tighten the wires and springs.

Also, it’s vital to keep the brackets and wires of traditional braces attached to the teeth. When any of these become loose or detached, the braces will be unable to put pressure on the teeth. That lack of pressure means the teeth won’t move to their correct places.

This is why metal braces are often referred to as fixed braces, since you can’t remove them. Whenever a bracket becomes unglued, you need to have the dentist reattach it as soon as possible. Otherwise, this will only extend treatment time.

The Invisalign Way

On average, Invisalign treatment lasts from 12 to 18 months. But like metal braces, this still depends on the severity of the case. How often you put the aligners on also impacts the length of treatment.

The main advantage of Invisalign, however, is that you may see results within only a few weeks! So long as you follow your dentist’s instructions, you’ll see improvements much sooner.

This shorter treatment time is because the Invisalign aligners are custom-made. Your doctor will base your treatment plan on the exact movements your teeth make. Your Invisalign specialist will also create aligners based on these measurements.

Your aligners will apply only the proper amount of pressure to move your teeth. You do need to wear these appliances for at least 20 to 22 hours a day though. Also, your doctor may need you to swap to new aligners every one to two weeks.

With Invisalign, you don’t have to worry about a bracket becoming loose. If you want to eat, you need to only remove the aligners and put them back after every meal. But make sure you brush and floss your teeth and clean the aligners before wearing them again.

Also, because you can remove your custom trays, you get to eat your favourite foods. If you wear traditional braces, you’d have to avoid certain foods or eat in a certain way. These restrictions can make eating less fun and more complicated.


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