Invisalign vs Braces Which is Faster?

Invisalign vs braces which is faster? The answer to this question is important, as there is no reason to prolong your teeth straightening treatment if you don’t have to.

Crooked, overcrowded, and misaligned teeth aren’t only unsightly. They can cause a bunch of oral problems that oftentimes develop into health concerns. Not to mention the stress and anxiety that takes a toll on someone’s confidence and self-esteem. Fortunately, most malocclusions are easy to fix, any licensed orthodontic professional can fix any type of oral health problem, especially when it comes to straightening your teeth. And patients have tons of different options to choose from. So many that it can be confusing. One of the most common dilemmas for people is choosing between traditional braces or Invisalign treatment. If you are facing the same dilemma, then you might have asked, “Invisalign vs braces which is faster?

If you are still looking for answers to that question, then you have come to the right place. Here’s a thorough of the differences breakdown braces Invisalign and traditional metal braces.

Before going any further, you should know that both Invisalign and traditional metal braces are effective in their own rights. Both can straighten your teeth and fix malocclusions. Although there are now many different types of braces, such as lingual (fixed behind the teeth, which makes them virtually invisible), and ceramic (which mimics natural teeth), braces traditionally use metal brackets, wires, and elastics to apply pressure to the teeth and shift them to the right directions and desired positions.

Invisalig, on the other hand, is arguably the most brand of clear aligner right now. There are actually lots of clear aligners in the market today, but Invisalign was the first and widely regarded as the most efficient and effective brand.

Key advantages of Invisalign aligners

Aesthetically better

Unlike traditional braces that use metal brackets that are fixed on the outside of the teeth, Invisalign clear aligners are virtually invisible from a distance, hence the wordplay on its name “invisible aligners”. This makes them by far, the better choice when it comes to aesthetics. And this is why most adult patients prefer this kind of treatment plan over traditional braces – the discreet style doesn’t affect how they look. They don’t have to be worried about their smile in photos – all you will see is the progress of their improving teeth.


The ability to take off the aligners for eating, brushing teeth, or playing active and contact sports is another undeniable advantage of Invisalign over traditional braces.

While patients have to wear the aligners for at least 22 hours a day for it to be really effective, removability means an easier time for brushing, flossing, and keeping your teeth clean. It also makes eating more comfortable as compared to braces.

More comfortable, without any food restrictions

Clear aligners fit nicely (and snuggly) on the teeth. It doesn’t cause any discomfort on the gums and inner side of the lip or cuts on the gums. While there is some discomfort from the pressure to reposition the teeth, the inside of the mouth is largely spared from the discomfort.

And since they can be removed for eating, that means you can eat anything and everything you want without worrying about that thing that is straightening your teeth.

Fewer consultations needed

While you will be monitored by the orthodontist of your choice (someone who is certified by Invisalign), most of the work is already done even before you wear your aligners. Your teeth and mouth musculature is 3D-scanned to provide you with a series of aligner trays that fit your teeth, with tiny increments to move your teeth to their desired alignment and positions. This means fewer orthodontic visits for adjustments.

Invisalign vs braces FAQ

Invisalign vs braces which is faster?

Treatment time is the biggest deciding factor for most people. Interestingly, though a newer technology compared to its traditional counterpart, Invisalign tend to be faster than braces.

There are lots of factors that contribute to the time it takes to straighten your time. Obviously, the severity of the malocclusion is the biggest factor. Though invisible trays like Invisalign are specifically designed to fix mild and moderate malocclusions, the pressure the trays provide tends to be more consistent and stringent. Also, the one-piece aligner is able to provide significant force to the entire set of teeth, versus braces which simply move each tooth individually.

With the traditional braces, the speed of the whole process depends largely on the skills and expertise of the orthodontist. Also, many people miss their scheduled appointments for re-tightening and re-adjustments of their braces, which definitely affects the time it takes for the teeth to move.

Moreover, traditional braces are highly susceptible to damage. They could break easily if you brush too harshly, floss the wrong way, bite hard food, or chew chewy snacks. And when they break, that means you need to go straight to your orthodontist again for an emergency adjustment, which will not only affect the treatment but can also add up to the cost of the treatment plan.

How long does it take for Invisalign to fix your teeth?

Is invisalign faster than braces? Since every patient is different, there is no exact answer to this question, even with Invisalign treatment. You can, however, expect the whole treatment to last for as fast as 12 to 18 months.

Again, this depends on a lot of factors, such as the severity of the condition, your compliance with the instructions, and how well you take care of your teeth. Some milder malocclusions are fixed for as fast as 6 to 9 months. Some people with more complex conditions had their teeth straightened for only 20 to 24 months. This is significantly faster than traditional braces which usually last 2 to 3 years, or more, depending on the type and severity of the malocclusion.

How to speed up the treatment process?

Speaking of compliance, you will have to wear your clear aligners religiously. By religiously, that means as much as possible or a minimum of 22 hours a day. While the clear trays look like mouthguards that you can remove anytime, you have to wear them while you sleep for it to be effective. That means you can only take it off when eating or cleaning your teeth (brushing and flossing). Otherwise, you will end up extending your treatment time. You may remove it while playing contact sports too, so as not to damage and break the plastic aligners.

What to expect during the treatment?

Since the point of the treatment is for straightening teeth in the right direction and into their desired positions, clear trays of Invisalign will apply pressure to your teeth to force them to move, straightening it in the process. Thus, expect to feel some discomfort in your gums. The discomfort usually lasts a few days, after that, you won’t feel too bothered by it anymore.

Also, expect to switch aligner trays every two weeks. Taken from your teeth and mouth’s impression, each aligner in your set has different increments in anticipation of the movements of the teeth. Thus, each time you replace an aligner, you will some discomfort all over again. And the process goes on and on until your teeth are straightened and your bite is fixed.

Once the whole treatment is finished, expect to wear a retainer. Your orthodontist will prescribe you a retainer that can be worn nightly to straighten your teeth and to keep your teeth from moving back. Some are prescribed to wear nightly retainers for 6 months, some a year, or even longer.

The Bottom Line

Use the information above to help you determine if Invisalign is faster than braces that are traditionally made of metal and if it is the best option for you. If you are ready to go ahead or if you have more questions, you can schedule an appointment with an orthodontics expert so they can assess your dental issues, discuss your option for treatment, and recommend the best and fastest treatment for best results.

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