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Do clear braces like Invisalign® work as well as metal braces?

Clear Invisalign® aligners and metal braces are two effective orthodontic treatment options. In this blog, our Burnaby orthodontists share the differences between clear aligners and metal braces to help you determine which option is right for you.

Metal Braces

Typically, we recommend metal braces for patients that are more concerned about function over aesthetics or style.

Metal braces are efficient at helping to treat complex misalignment issues, aligning teeth, and closing gaps.

Treatments with metal braces can take anywhere between 18 months to 3 years, but, tooth movement is usually noticeable within a fairly short timeframe.


Invisalign® has two main benefits, the aligners can be removed and their appearance is transparent making them nearly impossible to see when being worn.

Many patients also find that Invisalign®’s smooth plastic aligners can be more comfortable than traditional metal braces as they don’t irritate the cheeks or gums the same way metal brackets and wires can.

On average Invisalign® treatment can take between 6 and 18 months, but, this often varies depending on your case.

This shorter treatment duration range, as compared to metal braces, is mainly a result of the fact that Invisalign® is typically used to treat less complex or severe misalignment issues, as it’s considered a more gentle, less invasive option.

And of course, it is also based on the assumption that the patient will stick to the recommended guidelines for aligner wear, and wear their aligners at least 20-22 hours every single day, throughout treatment.

If a patient doesn't wear their aligners as often as prescribed, or for less time every day, treatment can take a lot longer.

Both Invisalign® and braces are effective treatments for straightening teeth, and the treatment you end up using will depend on your personal preferences balanced with the severity and complexity of your orthodontic issue.

Wondering if you are a candidate for Invisalign® or metal braces? Contact our Burnaby orthodontists today to schedule an appointment.

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