Is Invisalign better than Traditional Braces?

Dr Aleem answers the most common questions patients ask

Invisalign Aligners TKC Dental

Thousands of Invisalign cases and Fixed Braces completed

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Smile Transformation by the highly experienced celebrity Cosmetic Dentist Dr Sheraz Aleem

Is Invisalign better than Traditional Braces?

This is a very subjective question, whether one is better than the other. It depends on the individual case, teeth movements etc. The process of moving teeth with Invisalign is different than traditional braces. The majority of cases that don’t need extraction, I would normally propose Invisalign. Extraction cases are better served with braces. Yet, Invisalign can sometimes be used with extraction cases. Like I mentioned, I personally prefer to use Invisalign without extraction cases.

Is Invisalign Painful?

The short answer is no, it is not. When you first have the Invisalign Aligners, it feels a little uncomfortable. Rarely anyone complaints with pain compared to braces where it can be quite tender, especially in the first week or so. The pain also varies depending on the patient personal pain tolerance. However, one thing should be noted, the initial discomfort is caused by the pressure added to the teeth, pressure that the teeth are not accustomed to. The pressure though shows that the treatment is working. Whether you have Invisalign or Braces, you may experience discomfort, pain in particular is more common with fixed braces. Besides with braces, unlike Invisalign, the patient cannot remove the appliance and thus so provide some level of relief. I have been placing Invisalign and Braces for kids and adults for so many years now and I can confidently say that I have not had a case that did not continue due to the initial discomfort that anyone may experience.

Can both adults and children have Invisalign?

Yes, absolutely. I probably do more adults’ cases, compliance with kids becomes an issue when Invisalign is concerned. Invisalign can be taken off and therefore, at times kids may not wear the appliance long enough, which in turn extends the treatment length. With Fixed braces, there is no option to remove the appliance, meaning for most kids braces might be more suitable from compliance perspective. Yet, it is entirely case dependant. I see more teenagers as of post Covid and with many studying at boarding schools-which means longer gaps between appointments, I have genuinely seen that the compliance has increased. I suppose it is how you approach your patient, and when you carefully explain them that when they follow the instructions given, you will see the results sooner. I also have to mention that in such circumstances my team of highly trained treatment coordinators play an essential role, specifically checking with patients and providing them with support.

How long does Invisalign treatment take?

It strictly depends on the case, malocclusion, results desired, etc. On  average 4-6 months, generally speaking no more than one year for more complex cases. Nonetheless, most cases don’t really take long. Again compliance is a huge factor and it is entirely in the hands of the patient to keep up with the instructions.

Thousands of completed cases. Diamond Invisalign Provider.


Is it possible to switch from Braces to Invisalign?

Yes, indeed. This is a very good question. I certainly do that with some cases. For instance, I would start with braces when say a tooth is severely mispositioned,merely because I will provide faster movement. Once this is done, then if appropriate and patient would like that too, we switch to clear Invisalign aligners. This combination in certain cases works so very well. It is well received by patients who truly prefer invisible aligners than braces or for those who prefer a faster result.  See, here I would like to mention something that a lot of people don’t realise. Quite often traditional braces can work a lot faster than Invisalign, as I have mentioned before if the case is complex it is likely that traditional braces are more suitable and therefore would work faster than clear aligners.

How do I clean my Invisalign aligners?

The cleaning is really quite easy with Invisalign. You will receive a thorough advice and instructions by your treatment coordinator. Additionally, the Invisalign package comes with cleaning crystals which are simply dissolved into water. For example, you grab a clean cup, put the tablet in along with your aligners and leave them to soak in the mixture. In matter of minutes, the aligners are clean. Of course, it depends how dirty they were to start with. Simply using lukewarm water to gently rinse the aligners with soft toothbrush is also ideal for cleaning your aligners. Besides, keeping up a good oral hygiene and not consuming anything but only water with your aligners will definitely leave you with cleaner aligners. Cleaning of the aligners has never been an issue for my patients, in fact the aligners are changed every 7-10 days which means a brand new clean set almost each week. See with fixed braces, the cleaning is more tedious because the appliance is attached to the patient teeth. Nothing complicated, yet it definitely requires more time and attention. It is very quick to get used to it. One thing I always do is to get my patients to have a thorough dental hygiene clean before placing any appliances, some even have it during the treatment.

Traditional Braces

Why people come to us?

For various reasons, I suppose it is a combination of the level of expertise here and also the one-to-one patient care. For sure, the fact that we are a Diamond provider helps people decide, because being a Diamond provider means that you do a very high number of cases or in other words we are highly experienced. I would like to believe that people choose us because of the results and patient journey that we provide. Last but not least because we offer the full range of dentistry under one roof. It is so much better to be seen in a practice that is fully equipped and offers it all. No hassle, no miscommunication, a complete comprehensive treatment.

Yet, I do have to say that 60%-70% of the cases that I see, invisalign or braces is the start of the journey. We get the teeth aligned before carrying out restorative and cosmetic work. My clinic is best known for the high quality cosmetic dentistry we do here, specifically porcelain veneers. I am a firm believer that teeth must not be cut for veneer preparation. The way I do that is by aligning the teeth with either Invisalign or Fixed braces before any veneers are placed.

A lot of people ask which one is more suitable

The only way to know that is via a consultation. We provide very comprehensive consultations and the assessment of the teeth and gums is quite thorough. For me personally, as a treating dentist, it is important that I spend sufficient time with my patient to understand their concerns, goals and have a really good discussion whereby I can really inform my patient and provide them with the best options possible.

I would like to add something that people are not so aware of. Invisalign is definitely useful and more appropriate if you already have veneers or crowns. This is simply because fixed braces are attached to the teeth, adding a bracket to the tooth is difficult and can ruin the surface of the ceramic.

How does Invisalign vary to the online providers?

The simple difference is that Invisalign is being carried out by a dental professional and each step of the way you have advice, correct options and diagnostics tools. I have done a review on what the difference is, which you can find in the news section.

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