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The Smile Space
The Smile Space

Difference Between Invisalign and Metal Braces

When considering orthodontic treatment, the choice between Invisalign and metal braces is a significant decision impacting not just your dental health, but also your lifestyle, appearance, and comfort. While both aim to achieve a similar goal – a straighter, healthier smile – the journey they take to get there is quite different. Invisalign, with its clear, removable aligners, offers a modern, almost invisible approach to teeth straightening. 

On the other hand, traditional metal braces, with their strong and efficient mechanism, have been the cornerstone of orthodontics for decades. Understanding the key differences between these two options is making an informed decision.


The aesthetic difference between Invisalign and metal braces is significant. Invisalign offers a virtually invisible solution, using clear aligners that seamlessly blend with the teeth, making them an ideal choice for those conscious about their appearance during treatment. Metal braces, while more noticeable with their wires and brackets, offer a traditional approach and opportunities for personalisation through coloured bands. 

The choice often depends on personal preference, age, and lifestyle, with adults and teenagers typically favouring the discreet nature of Invisalign, while younger patients might find the customisable aspect of metal braces more appealing.


Invisalign aligners are made of clear plastic, rendering them virtually invisible when worn. This feature is particularly appealing to adults and teens who are self-conscious about the appearance of traditional braces. In contrast, metal braces, with their noticeable brackets and wires, are far more visible.

Customisation Options

Metal braces offer customisation options like coloured bands, allowing for a personalised look. Invisalign, being clear and discreet, doesn’t offer such personalisation. This makes metal braces a fun option for younger patients who enjoy customising their orthodontic experience.

Impact on Smile During Treatment

Invisalign’s clear design minimises impact on the wearer’s smile, maintaining a natural appearance. Metal braces, however, are noticeable and can affect the aesthetics of the wearer’s smile during treatment, often a consideration for those who are particularly image-conscious.

Comfort and Convenience

In terms of comfort and convenience, Invisalign and metal braces present distinct experiences. Invisalign aligners are known for their comfort due to the smooth, plastic material that reduces irritation to the gums and cheeks. They are also removable, offering the flexibility to eat without restrictions and maintain oral hygiene easily. 

Metal braces, although improved in comfort over the years, can still cause initial discomfort and require dietary changes to protect the hardware. The convenience of Invisalign extends to fewer orthodontist visits for adjustments, while metal braces demand regular tightening.

Physical Comfort

Invisalign aligners are smooth and less likely to irritate the cheeks and gums compared to metal braces, which have brackets and wires that can sometimes cause discomfort or minor injuries to the mouth’s soft tissues, especially in the initial phases of treatment.

Eating Habits

Invisalign allows for the removal of aligners during meals, offering no dietary restrictions and ease of eating. Metal braces require dietary adjustments to avoid damaging the brackets and wires, often necessitating the avoidance of hard, sticky, or chewy foods.

Oral Hygiene

With Invisalign, maintaining oral hygiene is straightforward as aligners can be removed for brushing and flossing. Metal braces can complicate oral hygiene practices, requiring more time and effort to clean around brackets and wires, increasing the risk of plaque buildup and dental issues.

Treatment Duration and Effectiveness

The treatment duration and effectiveness of Invisalign versus metal braces vary based on the complexity of the dental issues. Invisalign, ideal for mild to moderate alignment issues, often boasts shorter treatment times for less complex cases. However, its effectiveness can be limited for more severe orthodontic problems. 

Metal braces are highly effective for a wide range of orthodontic needs, including complex alignments and bite issues, but typically involve a longer treatment period. The predictability and versatility of metal braces make them a reliable choice for comprehensive orthodontic treatment.

Average Treatment Time

The treatment duration with Invisalign can vary, often shorter for less complex cases but can extend for more complicated dental issues. Metal braces generally have a predictable treatment duration, but it can be lengthy, especially for complex orthodontic problems.

The complexity of Dental Issues Addressed

Metal braces are effective for a wide range of orthodontic issues, including complex cases. Invisalign, while continually improving, is more suited for mild to moderate dental problems and may not be the best choice for more complex orthodontic needs.

Regular Adjustments and Appointments

Invisalign requires regular changing of aligners and fewer orthodontic appointments. Metal braces necessitate frequent visits for tightening and adjustments, which can be more time-consuming and less convenient for some patients.

Maintenance and Care

Maintenance and care differ significantly between Invisalign and metal braces. Invisalign requires diligent daily cleaning of the aligners to prevent staining and maintain oral health. This routine, while straightforward, is crucial for the effectiveness and hygiene of the treatment. 

Metal braces, on the other hand, demand more intensive oral hygiene practices. Cleaning around wires and brackets is challenging and essential to prevent plaque buildup and dental issues. Regular orthodontic visits are necessary for both, but Invisalign typically requires fewer appointments, focusing mainly on progress checks and new aligner fittings.

Cleaning Requirements

Invisalign aligners require daily cleaning to prevent staining and maintain oral hygiene. This process is relatively simple but essential. Metal braces, being fixed, demand meticulous cleaning around the brackets and wires, a process that is more challenging and time-intensive.

Durability and Repairs

Metal braces are robust and rarely require repairs. Invisalign aligners, while durable, can be damaged or lost and may need replacement, potentially adding to the overall cost and treatment time.

Compliance with Treatment

Success with Invisalign heavily relies on patient compliance, as aligners must be worn for the recommended 22 hours a day. Non-compliance can extend treatment duration. Metal braces, being fixed, eliminate compliance issues, as they are constantly in place and working.

Cost and Insurance Coverage

Success with Invisalign heavily relies on patient compliance, as aligners must be worn for the recommended 22 hours a day. Non-compliance can extend treatment duration. Metal braces, being fixed, eliminate compliance issues, as they are constantly in place and working.

The cost and insurance coverage for Invisalign and metal braces are important considerations. Generally, Invisalign tends to be more expensive than traditional dental braces, reflecting the advanced technology and customised manufacturing of the aligners. However, the total cost can vary depending on the complexity of the case and geographic location. 

Many dental insurance plans offer coverage for both types of treatments, but the extent varies. It’s crucial to explore insurance options and potential out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, many orthodontists provide flexible payment plans, making both treatments accessible to a broader range of patients.

Initial Cost Comparison

The cost of Invisalign is generally higher than traditional metal braces, influenced by the technology and customisation involved. However, prices can vary widely depending on the specific case and geographical location.

Insurance and Financing Options

Many dental insurance plans cover a portion of the cost for both Invisalign and metal braces. Additionally, orthodontists often offer financing plans to make both options more accessible, but it’s important to explore and compare these financial aspects before making a decision.

Long-term Financial Considerations

Considering long-term costs, such as maintenance, repairs, and potential extended treatment times, is crucial. While Invisalign might have a higher initial cost, fewer dental visits and repairs can offset this over time. Conversely, metal braces, with their lower initial cost but potential for additional maintenance, present their financial implications.

Empowering Your Smile with Expert Orthodontic Care at The Smile Space

When searching for exceptional dental services, We at Smile Space stand out as a premier destination for personalised oral care. Understanding that each smile is unique, Our team of skilled professionals is committed to helping you make the right decision for your dental health and aesthetics. 

Whether you’re considering Invisalign or metal braces, The Smile Space offers comprehensive consultations, employing the latest technology and techniques to assess your needs. Our patient-centred approach ensures you receive tailored advice and treatment options, empowering you to make informed decisions. Visit The Smile Space to embark on a journey towards the perfect smile, where expert care meets individualised attention.

Get Outstanding Dental Care with Us Today

At The Smile Space, we believe that comprehensive dental care should be accessible to everyone. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing the highest standard of care, using the latest technology and techniques. If you're looking for a dentist in Sutherland, book an appointment at The Smile Space today!

The Smile Space

Your Journey to a Perfect Smile

We understand that the decision to get braces is significant. At The Smile Space, our focus is on making this journey as seamless and rewarding as possible:

Comfortable Braces Experience

We fully grasp the significance of the decision to get braces in Sutherland Shire. At The Smile Space, our commitment extends beyond mere results; we prioritize your comfort throughout the entire treatment journey. 

Our aim is to make this experience as smooth and comfortable as possible, from the very beginning to the final reveal of your beautifully transformed smile.

Sutherland Shire Community

In the heart of the Sutherland Shire, we take pride in being an active and integral part of this vibrant community. By offering top-notch orthodontic services, we not only serve our neighbours but also contribute to the community’s overall well-being. 

Your choice of The Smile Space for braces in Sutherland Shire is a choice for community support and excellence.

Dr. Joseph Coorey


Dr. Joseph Coorey

Dr. Joseph Coorey, or just Joey as many of his patients call him, graduated from the University of Sydney in 2010. Joey is passionate about dentistry, particularly Dentofacial Orthopaedics and Orthodontics, with a goal for appropriate airway development, healthy jaw joints, and proper function in adults and children.

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