Traditional Braces vs Invisalign: Which Is Right for You?


Your El Segundo orthodontist confirms what your general dentist suspected – you need orthodontic treatment.

Now, it’s time for you and your orthodontic team to decide: Traditional braces vs Invisalign.

Your orthodontist will likely recommend one form of treatment over another (as opposed to simply letting you
decide which one you prefer).

Today, we’ll explain why they might consider you a better candidate for one treatment and not the other, in
addition to answering some common questions our patients have about ortho treatment.

Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign: What’s the Difference?

Traditional braces are also known as metal braces. They consist of a metal arch wire, metal or porcelain
brackets, and rubber bands.

The brackets are cemented (temporarily glued) to the front of each tooth. Each bracket has a space in which the
arch wire fits. Once the arch wire is set in place, rubber bands are placed around each bracket to hold the arch
wire in place.

The metal brackets are silver, while the porcelain brackets are clear or tooth colored. Porcelain brackets are
virtually invisible. We can even place white or clear rubber bands around them. The only thing that’s metal and
visible is the arch wire.

Every four to six weeks, you’ll visit your orthodontic team for an adjustment. They’ll remove the bands and wire
to evaluate your progress. Then, they’ll place the wire back in the brackets and hold it in place with fresh bands.

How do Invisalign braces differ?

Though it does the same job as traditional braces, the Invisalign system isn’t “braces.” Instead, it’s a system
of clear plastic aligners that you wear over your teeth, similar to tooth whitening trays.

Your El Segundo orthodontist will take impressions of your teeth. They’ll use the impressions to create plaster
models, which will be sent to the Invisalign company. They will make a set of custom aligners. You’ll be given
one set at your first visit. During each subsequent visit, you’ll be provided with another set.

Each set of aligners are slightly different and will slowly help your teeth progressively move into their new

Who Is a Good Candidate for Invisalign Clear Aligners?

Should you get braces in El Segundo or Invisalign?

While most people might favor the idea of wearing aligners that are comfortable and virtually invisible, not
everyone is a good candidate for this type of ortho treatment.

Good candidates for Invisalign include someone who has:

  • Mild bite issues (overbites, underbites)
  • Protruding teeth
  • Gaps in between their teeth
  • Crowding
  • Crooked front teeth
  • Mildly crooked posterior teeth

There are many patients who would benefit from Invisalign. However, people with more complex bite issues are typically not a good fit for this type of treatment.

Benefits of Invisalign in El Segundo

Has your orthodontist given you the choice between traditional braces vs Invisalign? If so, here are some of the
benefits of choosing Invisalign.

  • Easy to clean
  • Brushing and flossing are easier
  • Virtually invisible
  • You can take them out for pictures or special events (graduation, prom, job interview, wedding)
  • Treatment time is often less with Invisalign than traditional braces

Who Should Invest in Traditional Braces?

Metal braces can repair any number of malocclusion issues, no matter how minor or severe they are. Patients of
all ages can benefit from traditional braces as well.

Good candidates include patients who experience:

  • Mild to severe crowding
  • Spaces between their teeth
  • Mild to severe bite issues (overbite, underbite, crossbite)

While metal braces require more upkeep (you’ll have to be even more careful with brushing, and flossing requires special threading aides), compliance is 100% with traditional braces.

The reason for this is because of the convenience of Invisalign.

Traditional braces are cemented in place. They’re there until your orthodontist removes them. With Invisalign, patients can remove them and forget to put them back in. You’re required to wear them for at least 22 hours each day, but once you remove them it can be easy to forget about them.

If you suspect compliance is an issue for you or your child, you may want to consider going the traditional route.

Orthodontics in El Segundo: FAQs

Orthodontia is an investment of both your time and money. Deciding whether you should make the investment goes way beyond simply determining which is best: Traditional braces vs. Invisalign.

It’s best to ask your El Segundo orthodontist a number of other questions to determine whether you should get braces or not. Here are some common questions we get from our patients.

1. Why Do I Need Braces?

Braces can provide a cosmetic fix. However, they do much more than provide you with a beautiful smile.

Orthodontic treatment can repair misalignment issues that can contribute to the development of gum disease and dental decay. If you have TMJ disorder and the headaches that come with it, investing in braces can significantly reduce or even eliminate all your pain.

Ask your orthodontist about your specific needs and all the pros/cons of proceeding with treatment.

2. How Long Will I Need Orthodontic Treatment?

The duration of your treatment depends on three things:

  • Whether you go with metal braces or Invisalign
  • The severity of your malocclusion
  • Your level of compliance

Typically, patients with fixed braces will need to stay in them up to two years. Invisalign patients can complete their treatment within six to 18 months depending on their needs and compliance.

3. How Do I Take Care of My Teeth and Gums?

Brushing and flossing is a must, whether you’re wearing traditional braces or clear aligners.

Brush twice a day, with an electric toothbrush if possible.

Floss at least once a day. Talk to your orthodontist about tools that will make flossing easier if you have severe crowding (which can cause the floss to break) or must thread the floss between your brackets.

Regular dental cleanings and exams are imperative as well. Cleanings will help prevent gum disease by removing the plaque and tartar that you can’t reach. Exams help your dentist find and treat issues early, saving you a lot of time, money, and pain.

4. Does Insurance Cover Invisalign and Metal Braces?

Most plans don’t cover people over 18 years of age. They will, however, partially cover patients under 18 years. Talk to your El Segundo orthodontic team to get a cost estimate and learn more about insurance coverage and payment options.

Visit Your El Segundo Orthodontist for a Consultation

Are you ready for a beautiful, straight smile? We’re ready to see you.

You probably still have a lot of questions and we’re here to answer them for you. Our dental team will explain the pros and cons of all your treatment options. We’ll explain why you may or may not be a good candidate for ortho treatment or a specific type of treatment.

Dr. Hamid and his team will also explain the entire process to you. We know this is a big investment for you and we want you to feel fully committed and completely confident in our ability and the process itself.

If you’re ready to learn more about traditional braces vs Invisalign, we’re here to help!

Are you ready to see which ortho options are best for your needs? Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Contact Us

(424) 218-1156

310 E Grand Ave Suite 101
El Segundo, CA 90245

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