Are Traditional Braces Cheaper than Invisalign?



Choosing between traditional braces and Invisalign can be a tough decision for any parent. What are the pros and cons? How much does each cost? You probably have so many questions! This post will offer you answers to those questions and prepare you to select the best procedure for your child’s dental health future.

Dentist Versus Orthodontist

You may be wondering why your family dentist can’t just oversee his or her teeth straightening and bite correction? While your family dentist is a great person to ask for a referral, there are some significant differences between the two in terms of their credentials and the type of dental work they do.

A dentist is a dental professional. However, an orthodontist has gone back to school to receive special additional advanced training to correct mis-aligned bites, straighten teeth, alleviate crowded teeth and other related issues. So while you could definitely visit your dentist for help with wellness care, cavities and root canals, whitening and other cosmetic helps, you would want to visit a specialist for issues related to bite correction.

Braces: An Overview

If you had a misaligned bite or crooked teeth, you likely went to an orthodontist for traditional braces. Depending on how long ago that was, you may have gotten metal or ceramic brackets and wires, along with rubber bands and/or headgear as needed for detailed bite correction. Until Invisalign came along, this was the “gold standard” in orthodontic teeth straightening and bite correction for many decades.

As such, they are designed to be semi-permanent. “Brackets” are bonded to the face of your teeth using dental adhesive. An “arch wire” is then threaded through the brackets to connect your teeth together. Adjustments are then made to your arch wire to align and straighten your teeth. Often additional helps, such as headgear or rubber bands, are added as needed for additional pressure in certain areas. These helps, all working together, aid in straightening your teeth and correcting any bite misalignment.

With this type of treatment, the brackets and wires cannot be removed until they have done their job in full. Most patients will wear them for around 24 months – some may need a longer period and some may need less time. During the time they are worn, your orthodontist will make small, steady adjustments approximately every four weeks or as needed. Once they are removed, you will probably have a semi-permanent lower bite retainer bonded to the inside of your lower front teeth. Your provider may also want you to wear a temporary upper and/or lower bite guard at night or as needed while your teeth adjust to being free from correction.

Invisalign: An Overview

Invisalign is a newer orthodontic alternative that has become popular for several reasons. Perhaps the most popular aspect of Invisalign is that it is removable even during treatment. Instead of semi-permanent brackets and wires, Invisalign achieves a similar effect through a series of transparent mouth guards (they look at a lot like night guards or retainers) that change as your mouth changes. While your provider will typically ask you to wear the guards for at least 22 hours daily, and even though they are transparent, you can leave them at home for special events like prom, date night or picture day at school or work.

Invisalign also does not risk discoloring, marking or abrading the front of your teeth due to the bonding adhesive. This can save on costly cosmetic work later on. Also, while you will typically need a new guard every couple of weeks, the adjustment process tends to be gentler. And keeping the Invisalign guards clean is definitely easier since you do not have to thread the floss through the brackets to get food out from between teeth. Most patients will wear their Invisalign guards for anywhere from 6 to 18 months depending on your particular teeth and bite issues.

A Cost Comparison

Because the cost of either treatment can vary depending on the complexity of your orthodontia needs and the length of treatment, it is not possible to generalize about whether one option will be cheaper than the other in your particular situation. Here, the wisest course of action is to select a provider who offers both types of treatments so you can get a quote for each.


In addition to price, there are some other factors which can indicate one or the other may be a better choice for your needs.

What are simple versus complex bite issues.

In general, simpler teeth and bite issues respond very well to Invisalign – not so much for complex issues.

Does invisalign require discipline?

Traditional braces cannot be easily removed the way Invisalign guards can be removed. So for younger children, going the traditional route can ensure the treatment delivers the desired results in the allotted timeline. Teens and young adults, however, will really appreciate Invisalign’s invisibility and the option to remove the guards for special events.

Is invisalign comfortable?

Finally, the Invisalign system is often reported to be less uncomfortable, since the metal or ceramic brackets can wear at the soft tissue in the interior of the mouth and cause pain.

Contact Nalchajian Orthodontics Today

If you are fortunate enough to live in California, then call Nalchajian Orthodontics to schedule an appointment with either:

• Dr. Nicole Nalchajian
• Dr. Greg Nalchajian

We offer a free consultation at our facility to determine if a patient requires treatment to correct their misaligned teeth. At Nalchajian Orthodontics, patients can have these orthodontic devices applied to their teeth:

• Ceramic braces
• Invisalign aligners for teenagers or adults
• Retainers

Patients can schedule an appointment with us at our Clovis or Fresno offices by making a telephone call or using our website.

Nalchajian Orthodontics
7501 N Fresno St, Suite 105, Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: (559) 432 7100

Are Traditional Braces Cheaper than Invisalign?

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