Which Works Faster, Braces or Invisalign?

July 1, 2024

When wanting to straighten their teeth and enhance their smile, many people confront the crucial choice of getting orthodontic treatment, whether it's conventional braces or Invisalign clear aligners. When making this choice, the length of therapy is an important factor to think about. In this blog post, we'll compare and contrast Invisalign clear aligners with conventional braces, looking at how each option differs in terms of treatment time, efficacy, and considerations for making your decision.

Understanding Braces

For many years, patients undergoing orthodontic treatment have relied on traditional metal braces. They are made up of brackets that are fastened to each tooth using elastic bands and linked by wires. In order to shift teeth into their proper places, braces provide constant pressure.

Exploring Invisalign

Invisalign clear aligners provide a more discreet alternative to traditional braces. These custom-made aligners are fabricated from transparent plastic material and are virtually invisible when worn. Invisalign treatment encompasses a series of aligners, each worn for about two weeks before being replaced with the next in the series.

Comparison of Treatment Duration

  • Braces typically require a longer treatment duration compared to Invisalign. Typically, traditional metal braces may require wearing for approximately 18 to 24 months, varying based on the complexity of orthodontic concerns and the individual's treatment response. This longer duration is due to the gradual movement of teeth using brackets and wires, which exert constant pressure to shift teeth into their desired positions.
  • In contrast, Invisalign clear aligners often offer a faster treatment timeline. Invisalign treatment usually takes between twelve and eighteen months to get the desired results, however this might change depending on the severity of the case. Invisalign involves custom-made, removable aligners that are replaced approximately every two weeks to gently shift teeth into proper alignment. This approach enables more precise and controlled tooth movements, potentially resulting in a shorter treatment time compared to traditional braces.

If you are considering any of these treatments, be sure to consult with a qualified dentist specializing in orthodontics in Vancouver to discuss your individual needs and goals. They can help you ascertain which treatment option is right for you.

Factors Affecting Treatment Time

When comparing the treatment duration of braces vs. Invisalign, it's crucial to consider the factors that can affect how quickly each option achieves results. Several factors influence the treatment time for both braces and Invisalign, ultimately impacting the overall duration of orthodontic treatment.

Severity of Orthodontic Issues:

  • The complexity and severity of orthodontic concerns are pivotal factors in determining the duration of treatment. Cases with more severe misalignment, overcrowding, or bite problems may require longer treatment regardless of the chosen method.
  • While conventional braces may handle a broader variety of issues, including severe misalignments, Invisalign is often more suited for mild to moderate orthodontic difficulties.

Compliance with Treatment:

  • Consistent compliance with treatment recommendations is essential for achieving optimal results within the expected timeframe. Patients must wear braces or Invisalign aligners as prescribed by their orthodontist to ensure effective tooth movement.
  • Wearing the aligners for the required 20–22 hours daily will get the optimum outcomes with Invisalign. Failure to comply with wearing aligners as directed can prolong the treatment duration.
  • With traditional braces, adherence to oral hygiene practices and dietary restrictions is necessary to prevent complications and maintain treatment progress.

Treatment Plan and Adjustments:

  • How long orthodontic treatment takes is heavily dependent on the orthodontist's written treatment plan. Orthodontists customize treatment plans based on individual needs, considering factors such as tooth position, jaw alignment, and treatment goals.
  • Regular adjustments and progress evaluations at the local dental clinic are necessary throughout the treatment process to monitor tooth movement and make any necessary modifications to the treatment plan. The frequency of adjustments may differ based on the selected orthodontic approach and the patient's treatment response.

Patient Age and Growth:

  • The age of the patient can influence the treatment duration, as orthodontic treatment may take longer in adults compared to adolescents or teenagers. Younger patients may experience faster tooth movement and more predictable outcomes due to ongoing growth and development.
  • In certain instances, orthodontic treatment may be combined with additional dental procedures, such as extractions or jaw surgery, potentially impacting the overall treatment duration.

Orthodontist Experience and Expertise:

  • The skill and expertise of the orthodontist performing the treatment can impact the efficiency and effectiveness of orthodontic care. Experienced orthodontists are proficient in diagnosing orthodontic issues, developing comprehensive treatment plans, and implementing appropriate techniques to optimize treatment outcomes.
  • Choosing a qualified and reputable orthodontist guarantees patients receive top-quality care and attain optimal outcomes within a realistic timeframe.

Patient Experience and Comfort

Patient experience and comfort play significant roles in determining the effectiveness and efficiency of orthodontic treatment, whether with braces or Invisalign. Here's how each option impacts the patient's journey:


  • Initial Discomfort: Patients may experience some discomfort or soreness after braces are initially placed or adjusted. This discomfort typically subsides within a few days as the mouth adjusts to the pressure.
  • Soft Tissue Irritation: The metal brackets and wires of traditional braces can sometimes cause irritation or sore spots on the lips, cheeks, or gums. Orthodontic wax can help alleviate discomfort by providing a protective barrier.
  • Dietary Restrictions: Patients with braces may be advised to avoid certain hard, sticky, or crunchy foods to safeguard the braces or wires from potential damage. Dietary modifications may also be necessary to accommodate treatment requirements.
  • Oral Hygiene Challenges: Preserving excellent oral hygiene can be challenging with braces due to the brackets and wires that can capture food particles and plaque. Patients must be careful about brushing and flossing to avert tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Adjustments and Tightening: Regular adjustments and tightening appointments are necessary with braces to ensure that the teeth are progressing as per the treatment plan.


  • Comfortable Fit: The smooth and pleasant surface of the Invisalign transparent aligners is designed to fit tightly over the teeth, minimizing discomfort to the soft tissues of the mouth.
  • Removability: One of the primary advantages of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable, enabling patients to eat, drink, brush, and floss without restrictions. This enhances patient comfort and convenience during treatment.
  • Easy Oral Hygiene: Patients may clean and floss their teeth regularly while using Invisalign aligners since they are removable. This minimizes the risk of tooth decay and gum disease associated with poor oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment.
  • Smooth Treatment Process: With Invisalign, patients typically experience fewer visits to Vancouver dentists for adjustments compared to traditional braces. This can result in a more streamlined and comfortable treatment process, with fewer disruptions to daily life.

Considerations for Choosing Between Braces and Invisalign

When deciding between teeth straightening options, patients should consider their lifestyle, preferences, and treatment goals, patients should consider their lifestyle, preferences, and treatment goals. Braces may be preferable for individuals who require more extensive orthodontic correction or who prefer a more cost-effective option.

On the other hand, Invisalign may be a better fit for those seeking a discreet treatment option that allows for easier maintenance and fewer dietary restrictions. Teens and adults who are self-conscious about the look of conventional braces may also choose Invisalign.


In conclusion, the decision between braces and Invisalign is a personal one that should be made in consultation with an orthodontist. While braces may offer a tried-and-true method of straightening teeth, Invisalign provides a more aesthetically pleasing and flexible alternative. By understanding the treatment duration and considering individual factors such as lifestyle, preferences, and treatment goals, patients can make well-informed choices that lead to a healthier and more confident smile. Schedule a consultation with My Dentist Vancouver today to explore your options for faster orthodontic treatment. Achieve your dream smile with braces or Invisalign!

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