Ceramic Braces VS Invisalign

Ceramic braces vs Invisalign – what are the similarities, what are the differences, and which type of teeth straightening treatment delivers the best results?

In this article, we are going to get brutally honest about why you should choose one orthodontic treatment over the other, depending on what your teeth require. No two people’s dental problems are the same, so we are not going to be doling out blanket advice either. Instead, we recommend that you read this article all the way to the end to learn more about why ceramic braces or Invisalign clear aligners might be the best option for you.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces are a relatively fresh take on the traditional metal braces that have been used for over a hundred years. First introduced in 1986, ceramic braces are a more discreet and attractive alternative to metal braces, often favoured by adults looking for an effective yet discreet way of correcting their teeth. 

Ceramic braces work much in the same manner as traditional metal braces, only they are made using ceramic brackets (Really, these are made from the most common natural form of corundum, which ranks almost as highly on the Mohs scale as diamonds). This durable ceramic material has the added benefit of being the same colour as teeth, which makes it difficult to see with the naked eye from a distance.

When ceramic braces are installed, the dentist or orthodontist glues the ceramic brackets to the front of each of the patient’s teeth. The brackets and bonds are then threaded through with an arch-wire. This metal wire is what is used to carefully control the movements of the teeth until they have come into the desired alignment – a process that can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years. Just like metal braces, ceramic braces are sturdy enough to correct moderately to severely misaligned teeth, which is very good news if you have already applied but been turned down for Invisalign treatment. 

The treatment timeframe can and does vary depending on how much correction your teeth specifically require, but patients should expect the treatment to take between 12 and 36 months, on average. Your dentist or orthodontist will be reviewing your progress along the way, and will be making adjustments to the braces as your teeth slowly begin to move into their desired positions.

If there is a downside to ceramic braces, it might be the price tag, as well as the fact that not all dentists and orthodontists are offering them as an alternative to the standard fare of metal brackets.


Now, let us list the pros against the cons, so that you have all of the facts in front of you.

  • Truly effective, even in severe cases. One of the powerful arguments for choosing ceramic braces vs Invisalgn is that ceramic braces are able to safely and effectively correct even the most severe cases of dental misalignment. In other words, even if you are turned down as a candidate for Invisalign treatment, you will still be able to get ceramic braces.
  • Discreet. One thing ceramic braces vs Invisalign have in common is that they are discreet. From a distance, it is all but impossible to spot a pair of ceramic braces in someone’s mouth. Even up close, ceramic braces are very unobtrusive as the brackets are the same color as the teeth underneath, and so the only thing visible is the wire.
  • Hypoallergenic. Did you know that some patients are allergic to the metal alloys that most traditional metal brackets are made of? Stainless steel metal alloys can easily contain up to 8% nickel, which in turn can lead to a contact dermatitis, an allergic skin reaction triggered by nickel. With ceramic braces, you avoid having this potential allergic reaction to your braces.
  • MRI safe. If you have traditional metal braces and need an MRI scan, you have no other option but to head into your dentist’s office first to get your braces removed. Needless to say, this is not only disruptive to your teeth straightening process, but also inconvenient and costly. Ceramic braces, on the other hand, can stay in while you go for an MRI scan.


We have given you an overview over the benefits of opting for ceramic braces – now let us look at the cons.

  • More fragile. While corundum is a sturdy material, it is not as durable as metal alloys, which means that ceramic braces are more fragile than metal braces, and rougly on par with Invisalign trays. It is not at all unlikely or unexpected if your ceramic braces break a couple of times during your teeth straightening treatment, which of course means extra visits to your dentist or orthodontists’ office. Because ceramic braces cannot flex in the same way that metal braces can, they are significantly more prone to breaking and chipping – if this happens, try not to swallow any ceramic fragments before your dentist has been able to fix the issue.
  • More bulk. Ceramic brackets are inevitably more bulky than their metal counterparts, which can take most people a bit of getting used to in the beginning.
  • Higher cost. You may be fortunate enough to have ensurance that covers the cost of a variety of teeth starightening options, but if not you should be prepared for the fact that the cost of ceramic braces can be anywhere between $3,000 to $7,500. 
  • Harder to remove. Most people don’t even consider the fact that their braces will have to be removed once their treatment is over, but it is something worth taking into consideration when deliberating between ceramic braces and Invisalign aligners. Because ceramic is so inflexible, it is also harder to remove, which means that your dentist or orthodontist is going to have to use more force.
  • Harder to keep clean. Brushing and flossing is much harder with fixed braces, whether the brackets are made of metal or ceramic. However, staying on top of your oral hygiene and health is no less important while you are wearing braces, particularly since plaque and food debris can easily build up/get stuck between the tooth and the metal wire throughout the day.

Who ceramic braces are perfect for

Ceramic braces are a great option for people who have been turned down as Invisalign patients due to the severity of their misaligned teeth. 

Being turned down for Invisalign treatment is never personal, but merely an indication that you would not benefit from the treatment. It can seem like you are out of good options, but ceramic braces may be the best alternative to Invisalign if you want an orthodontic treatment that is both effective and discreet.

Sure, the treatment time is longer with ceramic braces, but the most important thing is that, within a year or two (Or three, for some patients), you will have a new smile that you are truly happy with.

Invisalign clear braces 

By now you should have a good idea of both the benefits and the drawbacks to choosing ceramic braces. Now, let us talk about Invisalign.

Invisalign is the industry-leading clear aligner company providing tooth straightening options to patients across the world. The people behind Invisalign are clearly on a mission to make acquiring a beautiful smile accessible to anyone. This is why Invisalign offers custom clear aligner trays that are made using the most innovative technology and materials.

Clear aligners are an affordable, practical and effective orthodontic treatment option, unless your teeth are so severely misaligned that your Invisalign orthodontist has to turn you down as a suitable patient for Invisalign treatment. 

While many clear aligner companies take a more hands-off approach, Invisalign offer in-person assessments and checkups with one of their many Invisalign-trained orthodontists.

Getting your teeth straightened with Invisalign clear aligners is a simple step-by-step process. The first step is to set up your initial assessment, where a specially trained dentist or orthodontist is going to make scans and take moulds of your teeth. The next step is for you to approve both the 3D projection of how your teeth are going to look, as well as the treatment plan put forth by your dentist and the team at Invisalign. At this stage, the payment plan is also agreed on before the treatment itself begins.

The Invisalign treatment involves wearing a series of custom-made clear aligners for two weeks at a time. Each set of aligner trays will have to be worn 22 hours a day and the total treatment time can take anywhere between 6 months to a year, sometimes slightly longer.


  • Super discreet. Clear aligners are, hands down, the most discreet way of straightening teeth. Not only are clear aligners just about as invisible as any physical object can get, they are also removable which means you are able to remove them for important events, like for example your wedding.
  • Easy to keep clean. It is so much easier to stay on top of your oral hygiene when you are able to remove your aligners when it is time to eat or to brush and floss your teeth.
  • Fewer dental visits. Opting for Invisalign vs ceramic braces means fewer dental visits (and no painful removal of the braces at the end of treatment).

Needless to say, Invisalign aligners are also completely hypoallergenic and MRI safe, just like ceramic braces.


While Invisalign aligners are fantastic at what they do, there is one significant con to consider.

  • Not able to handle severe misalignment. We have already mentioned this a few times, but it is bears highlighting here: Invisalign is only a suitable option for those with minor to moderate teeth misalignment.

Who Invisalign clear braces are perfect for

Invisalign invisible aligners are the perfect treatment option for anyone with mild to moderate dental misalignment issues wanting a straighter smile.

Ceramic braces vs Invisalign FAQ

Which is better ceramic braces or Invisalign?

Whether ceramic braces or Invisalign is better depends on your teeth and how much correction they need.

Ceramic braces are usually a better option if your teeth are extremely crooked, gapped or impacted, as they are somewhat more forceful than clear braces, including Invisalign. If, on the other hand, your teeth only need minor corrections, Invisalign aligners is the best option because it is so convenient and discreet.

Ceramic braces are essentially traditional braces, just using ceramic brackets instead of metal ones. They are still attached to your teeth for the duration of your teeth straightening treatment, which means you are unable to remove them to eat or brush and floss your teeth like you can with removable clear aligners.

Do ceramic braces take longer?

Yes, in most cases ceramic braces are going to take longer than Invisalign or other removable clear aligners, which is one of multiple reasons to choose Invisalign over ceramic braces, provided that you are a suitable candidate for treatment (Meaning that your teeth are not too severely misaligned, in which case only traditional braces will do).

Is Invisalign as effective as braces?

Invisalign is just as effective as traditional braces when it comes to straightening teeth, provided that your teeth are not severely misaligned to begin with.

If your teeth pose more of a challenge, however, you should opt for traditional braces instead. Traditional braces, including ceramic ones, are able to assert a more intense pressure on your teeth, which can make them shift more than Invisalign or other clear removable braces can. In other words, if your teeth need shifting a lot, opt for metal or ceramic braces instead of Invisalign. 

Do ceramic braces break easily?

Alas, one of the downsides to ceramic braces is that they are less sturdy than their metal counterparts and therefore break more easily. 

Because of the relative fragility of ceramic braces, getting your teeth straightened with ceramic braces can take longer than it would if you had opted for traditional metal braces instead. However, you might still consider it worth it!

Are ceramic braces quicker than Invisalign?

No, in most cases the reverse is actually true. Invisalign Clear aligners are designed and intended to correct minor to moderate teeth misalignment problems including crowding, spacing and impacted teeth. 

Meanwhile ceramic braces and other forms of traditional braces are able to handle much more severe dental issues, which means the starting point is unlikely to be the same when comparing ceramic and removable clear braces. The fact that Invisalign and other clear aligners are never used to correct cases of severe dental misalignment means that the Invisalign treatment never takes more than 24 months – and usually, it takes much less time than that, with average treatment times varying between 12 and 18 months.

By comparison, ceramic braces tend to take anywhere from 18 to 36 months (i.e. up to three years).

Do braces work better than Invisalign?

If your teeth are extremely crooked, impacted or gapped, traditional metal or ceramic braces work better than Invisalign, as the constant pressure they exert on the teeth is simply more powerful.

However, in milder cases, Invisalign can provide results that are every bit as straight and perfect.

Do ceramic braces turn yellow?

No, the material that the ceramic brackets are made of is actually stain resistant – thankfully, since they are bonded to your teeth and you are unable to remove them at mealtimes.

Do ceramic braces hurt more?

Quite the reverse. 

The consensus between people who have tried wearing both metal braces and ceramic braces is that ceramic ones are noticeably less painful than metal braces. The reason for this is that the high-quality ceramic material that the brackets are made of is less abrasive than metal, and much less likely to irritate your gums, lips and tongue during the teeth straightening process.


If you have read this article from start to finish, you have probably made up your own mind along the way as to whether you should opt for ceramic braces or Invisalign clear aligners. 

Both orthodontic treatments are able to deliver astonishing results, but which one is objectively better?

There are several profound differences to consider, including the vastly different treatment timeframes (6-24 months with Invisalign vs 12-36 months with ceramic braces), convenience and ease of use, as well as various practical factors that may be playing into your specific situation and decision. 

As a rule of thumb, you should opt for ceramic braces if your teeth are one of the severe cases in need of a significant degree of realignment. If the corrections you need are mild to moderate, however, we recommend Invisalign clear aligners instead, for two main reasons: 

Clear braces are, well, clear. If you would rather not be seen to be wearing braces, clear aligners are an attractive alternative to traditional braces. Granted, ceramic braces are less obvious than metal ones, but they can still seem all too visible – particularly if you are going to be stuck with them for a couple of years. Another good reason to choose Invisalign over ceramic or metal braces is the fact that Invisalign clear aligners are removable so you can take them out to eat and clean your teeth. This makes maintaining your oral hygiene and health during the teeth straightening process significantly easier.

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