Is Invisalign as Effective as Traditional Braces?

If you are considering straightening your teeth, you may be wondering if Invisalign works as well as traditional braces. The short answer is that it depends on the severity of your crooked, gapped or misaligned teeth. Our orthodontist in Melbourne, FL offers both Invisalign and traditional braces to teenagers as well as adults and can help you determine the right product to help you achieve a beautiful, straight smile.


Invisalign works well for teenagers and adults who want to straighten their teeth without the hassle of having to adjust their diets and brush and floss around brackets and wires. Invisalign aligners are constructed of a clear, durable plastic, which means they are nearly invisible when worn.

Good Candidates for Invisalign

Good candidates for Invisalign include older children and teenagers who have most of their adult teeth and adults of all ages. Invisalign may be used to correct relapse after previous treatment or for first-time treatment. Invisalign aligners help correct crooked and crowded teeth and teeth with gaps. The aligners can also help with certain types of bite problems, but usually the less severe problems.

The Invisalign Process

The process of getting Invisalign starts with an initial appointment with our orthodontist in our Melbourne or Indian Harbour Beach location. During that appointment, your teeth and jaws will be examined to determine whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign.  If you are, records can be gathered including photos, x-rays, and a three dimensional scan that will be used to plan the movement and fabricate the aligners. Once your aligners arrive, we schedule a starting appointment to deliver your aligners and bond any necessary attachments to your teeth.  Attachments are small dots of tooth colored bonding material that act as a handle on the tooth to make the aligners move the teeth more effectively. You will need to wear each aligner for approximately 22 hours a day in order to achieve optimal results. Ideally, you’ll only remove them to eat, drink, brush, and floss.

Each specific aligner will be worn between one and two weeks before you change to the next aligner. Dental appointments are typically scheduled every 6 to 8 weeks in order to check your progress and make sure the aligners are moving your teeth into their ideal positions. Total treatment times usually range between 6 and 18 months.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are available in metal and clear ceramic with metal wires to help shift the teeth into their proper positions. The brackets are affixed to all the teeth and require avoiding certain foods and drinks. You’ll have to be sure to brush thoroughly to get around the brackets and wires.

Good Candidates for Traditional Braces

Almost anyone with alignment or bite problems is a good candidate for traditional braces. Common problems corrected with traditional metal and clear braces include severely crooked, twisted, crowded and gapped teeth as well as severe under, over and crossbites. Braces can also be used to correct the bites of children as young as eight.

The Process for Getting Braces

The process for getting braces can start as soon as the adult teeth start erupting from the gums. This is why we recommend scheduling a dental appointment to check the development of the jaw and teeth around the age of seven. By getting regular dental checkups, our orthodontist can determine if braces will be needed as the child gets older. If braces are needed, an early treatment plan can be developed.

Prior to getting braces, digital images will be taken of your jaws and teeth. Impressions of your teeth may also be made in order to for our orthodontist to determine the correct treatment plan. After a treatment plan has been presented, the next step is to place the braces and any other appliances if necessary. This appointment usually takes about an hour and a half. Once all the braces have been attached to your teeth, you will receive a small dental kit that includes dental wax and a few other items along with instructions on how to care for your braces and a list of foods that can and cannot be eaten while you have your braces.

Follow-up appointments are typically scheduled every six to eight weeks. During these appointments, our orthodontist will check your braces and teeth and make adjustments to the wires as needed. Treatment with braces usually takes between 12 and 18 months.

To schedule an appointment to see is Invisalign or traditional braces would be right for you, call our Melbourne office at 321-254-5232.