Invisalign or Metal Braces: Which Should You Choose?


So you’ve decided it’s time to straighten your teeth. Whether for social, professional or personal reasons, improving the appearance of your smile is virtually guaranteed to be a confidence booster. But before you consult your cosmetic dentist, consider taking a few minutes to evaluate the different types of teeth straightening systems available.

The main types are metal braces and Invisalign. Since both types will get you to your end goal of having a more beautiful smile, you’ll need to compare the various benefits and drawbacks of each to make an informed decision about your oral health.

Correcting different types of malocclusion

When selecting the best tooth straightening system, the primary priority ought to be choosing one that will effectively correct your particular type and degree of malocclusion. Your dentist can help you understand what your type of malocclusion means and which braces are best for you.

Some examples of malocclusion types include the following:

  • Underbite: The lower front teeth are positioned in front of the upper front teeth
  • Overjet: The upper front teeth are pushed outward, also known as buck teeth
  • Open bite: The molars come together, but the upper and lower front teeth don’t
  • Overbite: The upper front teeth are positioned too far forward of the lower teeth
  • Spacing: The teeth may have too much or too little space between them

In all of these cases, both metal braces and Invisalign can effectively correct the problem and restore a beautiful, healthy smile.

Going through the treatment process

Since there’s a good chance that both Invisalign and metal braces can correct your type of malocclusion, your next step is to consider the treatment process. If you choose metal braces, it will generally take your cosmetic dentist one to two hours to apply them. After thoroughly cleaning and drying your teeth, the dentist applies bonding glue to the teeth and attaches the brackets. Patients typically describe the taste of the bonding glue as unpleasant, although it’s harmless. Then, the dentist places the archwire in the brackets and uses elastic bands to secure the structures.

Patients who receive metal braces typically experience uncomfortable mouth soreness for about a week and they are generally advised to consume only soft foods during this time. They may need to apply orthodontic wax to prevent mouth sores and use an over-the-counter oral anesthetic to manage the pain. It can take a while for a patient to adjust to the feel of metal braces and to the changes in eating habits. About every four to six weeks, patients must return for an adjustment, which can be uncomfortable.

If you choose Invisalign, you’ll have a consultation with your provider. The dentist will use x-rays and impressions so that your clear plastic aligners can be custom-made for you. When you receive the aligners, all you’ll need to do is pop them into place. Since the aligners are made of smooth, BPA-free plastic, there’s no mouth irritation or soreness. Instead of having an adjustment, all you’ll have to do is switch to the next aligners in the series every two weeks.

Many patients prefer Invisalign because of the simplicity of the treatment process and because it’s entirely pain-free. It’s also easy to maintain good oral hygiene throughout the treatment process, since the aligners are easy to remove for brushing and flossing. Since you’ll also remove the aligners for meals, there are no restrictions on what you can eat.

Invisalign provider in Long Island

Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry are pleased to offer Invisalign consultations and treatments at their premier Suffolk County dental practice.

When you’re ready to show off your beautiful smile, call our Long Island cosmetic dentists at 631-319-9509.


  1. Invisalign, 10 Things Parents Need to Know About Invisalign,….pdf
  2. Invisalign, Why Invisalign,

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Jacky Gale

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