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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.

Invisalign, as the name suggests, are invisible aligners that are shaped like mouthguards.

They are made from a flexible and clear acrylic material which makes the straightening process discreet and almost invisible!

They can correct most minor 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?

Your oral specialist will give you a set of aligners, which are to be worn in their numbered stages as your teeth gradually straighten.

The stages and shape of your aligner will be custom-made to match your current mouth shape and the teeth you want to achieve.

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

More about Invisalign.

An Invisalign retainer can help correct the following:

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

If your teeth are significantly misaligned, then traditional braces might be a more effective option for long-lasting straighter teeth.

We are Platinum Providers of Invisalign – this means we are recognised as one of the best, so your smile is safe with us and we can ensure the best results.

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

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

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.

What is orthodontic treatment?

Should I choose traditional braces or Invisalign?

Whether 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 minor 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.

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

When it comes to Invisalign, the only risk is losing the aligners or forgetting to put them on.

Advantages of Braces

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

What are the disadvantages of metal braces?

  • 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.

Our prices are listed here.


When 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.

Comfortable and easy

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

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.

Duration of treatment

Most mild cases of misalignment can be treated within a year with traditional braces, more severe cases can take up to two years from start to finish.

Invisalign treatment is slightly shorter, lasting 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.

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…

Joshua Beth

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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I am delighted to be able to offer my thoughts regarding the dental work offered by Dr Rifai.…

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