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Invisalign or Traditional Braces

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choosing between braces and invisalign

Metal Braces or Invisalign: What’s the difference?

9 million patients have experienced the benefits of Invisalign.

Platinum Providers: The Gentle Dental has been almost awarded the highest accreditation that Invisalign certifies. This makes us part of a rare, select few orthodontists who have treated the most Invisalign cases in Europe.

Invisalign: The facts

If you already don’t know what Invisalign is, as the name suggests, it is invisible aligners that are shaped like mouthguards.

Made from a flexible and clear acrylic material that makes the straightening process discreet and almost unnoticeable, Invisalign offers patients faster treatment times at no huge extra cost.

They can correct the most minor to the most complex orthodontic issues for those who feel self-conscious about the look of their smile.

If you are considering Invisalign or other orthodontic treatment, call us today on 020 8224 7562.

How does Invisalign treatment work?

  • SmartTrack material aligners that apply the right amount of pressure on the tooth at the right time
  • Comfortable and removable
  • Gradually but powerfully moves teeth in 12 months or less

Your oral specialist will provide you with your own set of aligners, which are to be worn in their numbered stages as your teeth gradually realign and shift.

The stages and shape of your aligner will be custom-made to match your current mouth shape and moving the teeth into their correct, more appealing positions.

You will wear each set of aligners for around 22 hours a day, for 2 weeks, before moving on to the next stage.

There are many types of Invisalign treatment, which is targeted to individuals of different ages, these include Invisalign First (for children aged 6-10), Invisalign Teen (for ages 11-17), and Invisalign Full or Go for those who are 18+.

View more types of Invisalign here.

Patients who qualify

invisalign first malocclussion casesAn Invisalign aligner can help correct the following:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Overcrowding
  • Gappy smiles

See more treatable cases.

If your teeth are significantly misaligned, then it might be true that traditional braces with brackets, wires, and bands might be a more effective option for long-lasting straighter teeth.

However, this will be all explained and advised to you during your consultation and assessment.

Invisalign has advanced massively since its launch in 1998 and is able to correct a wide variety of oral health concerns and class II classifications.

Book a consultation.

Traditional braces: What are they and how do they work?

  • Can take up to 24 months
  • Requires a retainer to be worn after treatment
  • Available on the NHS, but costs are similar to Invisalign privately

platinum providersTraditional metal braces are fixed metal straightening appliances that are attached to the teeth to realign their position.

Brackets are fixed onto each tooth, and a wire passes through these brackets and is attached using rubber ties.

The wire applies force to the teeth and forces them to move, and then it is tightened incrementally over some time as the teeth become straighter.

Once the teeth are in their final desired position, the braces are removed, and your orthodontist will provide you with retainers to be worn at night to ensure the teeth remain in their new position for the long term.

Should I choose traditional braces or Invisalign?

invisalign vs bracesWhether you choose fixed braces or Invisalign will depend on a number of factors, however, the main thing to consider is how serious your alignment problems are.

While Invisalign is perfect for both minor and complex alignment issues, if you have major overcrowding or a significant malocclusion, then metal braces may be a more effective option to ensure long-lasting results, or perhaps even surgery.

Here at Gentle Dental, Dr. Rifai and Dr. Marshall will guide you through your orthodontic treatment and will be able to advise you on the best option for your teeth and mouth.

When considering braces or Invisalign, there are also a number of other considerations to think about:

Advantages of Invisalign

  • Almost invisible for discreet wearing and straightening
  • They can be removed to eat, drink and brush
  • There are no forbidden foods with Invisalign
  • They are completely comfortable to wear
  • They are removable which makes oral hygiene easier
  • Removing them also allows you to clean the retainers effectively
  • They are suitable for sport
  • No risk of injury


  • Invisalign cannot move upwards or downwards
  • Cannot close gaps larger than 6mm
  • When it comes to Invisalign, the biggest risk is losing the aligners or forgetting to put them on

Advantages of conventional braces

  • Useful for complex orthodontic cases
  • Less dependent on patient compliance

The disadvantages:

  • Obvious metal appearance
  • The brackets and wires can irritate gums and soft mouth tissues
  • Difficulty when eating and speaking
  • Restricted to certain foods
  • Painful when tightened
  • Higher risk of injury
  • They are not removable which makes cleaning teeth complex

What’s the difference?

  • Aesthetics: Invisalign is invisible compared to metal braces. So, if you are conscious about how you will look during your treatment, and worry that you may feel embarrassed about the unsightliness of brackets and wires? Invisalign is the aligner for you. Invisalign are popular among adults and teenagers who want to straighten their smile subtly and discreetly.
  • Cost: The costs of braces and Invisalign are often similar, but the price will depend on the length of treatment you require and how significant your straightening treatment is. As metal braces involve a slightly longer process, they can sometimes be more expensive. It is important to talk through your options with one of our expert team members before seeking treatment. Invisalign prices begin from £2,500.

Our prices are listed here.

Maintenance, oral health and aftercare

why invisalign is betterWhen it comes to metal braces, maintaining your oral hygiene is not always straightforward, as small food particles and plaque can build up around the brackets and wires.

Because the brackets are stuck to the teeth, cleaning these away can be tricky, and if not maintained properly during brace treatment, your teeth are at risk of developing cavities and even gum disease.

On the other hand, Invisalign retainers are removable, so can be taken out while you clean and floss your teeth, and you can clean them daily too to avoid bacteria build-up.

Comfort, ease, and predictability

Patients with metal braces often experience dull pain or discomfort, especially when wires are tightened.

This can make the process tedious and painful.

They might also experience soreness and irritation on the insides of their cheeks and gums as the wires rub against them.

Invisalign aligners cause very minimal discomfort at all, if any, as they are smooth and essentially feel like your normal teeth when worn.

On top of this, Invisalign aligners are specifically designed for your mouth using advanced 3D imaging technology. And, it is this technology that allows patients to see what the end result will look like, providing better predictability and taking the guesswork out of your orthodontic treatment.

Duration of treatment

invisalign patient reviewMost mild cases of misalignment can be treated from three months, with more complex cases taking up to 12 months.

When it comes to traditional braces, the more severe cases can take up to two years from start to finish.

Invisalign treatment is shorter, lasting typically between 6 and 18 months.

Contact us today.

If you are concerned about crooked or misaligned teeth and want to straighten them to smile with confidence, then get in touch to book a consultation with Dr. Rifai or Dr. Marshall.

Call us today on 020 8224 7562.

What are the alternative options available?

Although at The Gentle Dental we are highly invested in the success rate and effectiveness of the Invisalign system, there are (like every teeth straightening system) some downsides to consider.

Some issues people have reported with the Invisalign system are the hassle of having to clean the aligners after drinking things like coffee, but again, this just promotes better oral hygiene for the sake of a few minutes.

Some slight discomfort can also be experienced when changing to new aligners (which happens around every 2 weeks).

Although these are minor inconveniences for the results of a new and improved, straight smile, if Invisalign doesn’t appeal to you then there are some alternative options available:

  • Ceramic bracesCeramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces. What makes them a more popular option is that they have tooth-coloured or clear brackets that make them less visible against teeth.
  • Incognito bracesLingual braces involve attaching the orthodontic brackets on the inner sides of the teeth.
  • Inman alignerThe aligner provides a solution for patients with minor alignment and crowding issues, allowing them to realign their smiles in as little as 6 to 16 weeks.
  • Six month smiles: Works for all teeth and is a system of white wires and brackets, so again it is more discreet than traditional stainless steel and suitable for patients who desire a less obvious brace

Get in touch

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Mrs Charlton


Fantastic Dentist, I haven't stopped recommending their care, skill and professionalism. The opening times and appointment availability is…

Georgie Sherrard

Dr Ali and his team created a Hollywood smile for me. I am absolutely thrilled. I had horrid…

Caroline Mitchell

I have been a patient of Dr Ali Rifai at The Gentle Dental Practice for a while now…

Jason Hamilton

I am completely delighted with the results of my Invisalign treatment. Thank you so much Ali for all…

Judith Pain

Dr Rifai and his staff have been looking after my mother for several years, she's in her 90s…

Paul Bennett

I had a tooth filling with Ali at The Gentle Dental Practice recently. The finished filling is amazing…

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I have recently been coming here to have work on my teeth and I’ve enjoyed every moment of…

Kane Sharman

What an amazing dental practice. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. Dr Ali is great and understanding. I…

Ria Winstanley

Ali is an excellent dentist. He also cares very much for patient well being. Ali also went beyond…

lisa clark

Did a great job of straightening my teeth with invisalign treatment!

James Crisp

Amazing service! You can have a crown made whilst you wait, and no more horrible moulds!! Highly recommend…

Domenica Dilieto

I visited The practice for the first time yesterday and had emergency dental treatment. Ali was absolutely brilliant…

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