5 Reasons to Choose Invisalign Over Traditional Metal Braces

The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) estimates that four million people in the United States have some form of corrective orthodontia, with adults making up a quarter of that number. If you’re debating your options — especially between traditional braces and a newer solution like Invisalign — you’re clearly not alone. A consultation with a San Francisco area dentist like Dr. Robert Walley can help you make an educated choice.

How Braces Work

The basic technique for aligning teeth was first developed 200 years ago. While the techniques have evolved somewhat over time — they don’t use a soldering iron anymore, thankfully — the basic idea and much of the application has remained consistent. It’s still the same combination of brackets, adhesive, rubber, and wire, adjusted over a period of time that typically lasts an average of two years, to straighten a patient’s teeth.

How Invisalign Works

Rather than using the same complex system as braces, Invisalign uses custom-fitted clear plastic trays. These are worn for most of the day, taken out only if you’re eating or drinking. Because they’re clear, they’re not as easy to see. They also work quickly, with patients seeing results in an average of eighteen months (but much less in some cases).

Metal Braces Vs Invisalign

Let’s look at how both methods compare.

Invisalign Pros

There are many “don’ts” with braces. The dietary restrictions alone can be frustrating, with a list of forbidden foods a mile long. If you want a bagel, apples, popcorn, hard candy, or corn on the cob, Invisalign lets you enjoy all of them — just take the trays out first.

Appearance is also an issue. We want a youthful smile, after all, but nobody who’s 43 wants to look thirteen. Unlike braces, Invisalign is hard to see. What’s more, the absence of metal brackets means less discomfort since it won’t feel like you have a mouthful of barbed wire.

Invisalign Cons

The fact that you can remove your aligners means you’re going to need some discipline. After all, they won’t work if they’re not in your mouth! For all their shortcomings, braces aren’t something you have to worry about forgetting to put back in. Your aligners also involve some extra cleaning beyond the usual round of brushing and flossing that goes with braces.


There are a few areas in which both methods are evenly-matched. Patients will experience some oral discomfort in both cases; after all, your mouth is slowly being rearranged. Both also require a retainer on an ongoing basis after treatment — which may come as a surprise to those of you who’ve had braces in the past and stopped wearing a retainer after a year or two.

Is Invisalign Right For Me?

Dr. Walley believes in Invisalign, and practices what he preaches. After all, he’s a Premier and Elite Invisalign provider who’s helped hundreds during the twelve years he’s provided Invisalign to his patients.

However, as good as it is, Invisalign isn’t right for everyone. If you wear bridgework, if you have certain bite issues, or there are complex dental issues in play (such as teeth that need to be rotated or moved vertically), you won’t be an ideal candidate. The best way to know for sure is to schedule a dental examinationand consultation. With that in mind, call us at 415-944-1072 today!