Pediatric Dentistry of New York

Are Metal Braces Faster Than Invisalign? Top 10 Surprising Facts You Need to Know


When it comes to straightening teeth, the debate between metal braces and Invisalign is a heated one. Both options offer unique advantages, but the question often boils down to speed: Are metal braces faster at aligning teeth than Invisalign? This blog post delves into the top 10 surprising facts you need to know about the effectiveness and speed of these orthodontic treatments, helping you make an informed decision about your dental care.

What Are Metal Braces and Invisalign?

are metal braces faster than invisalign

Metal braces and Invisalign are two leading orthodontic treatments used to correct various dental issues such as misalignments, overcrowding, and malocclusions. Metal braces consist of brackets attached to each tooth, connected by a wire that orthodontists periodically adjust to move teeth into the desired position. They are highly visible but considered extremely effective for complex dental problems.

Invisalign, on the other hand, is a more modern solution that uses a series of custom-made, clear plastic aligners to gradually shift teeth. These aligners are virtually invisible and can be removed for eating, drinking, and dental hygiene. Each set is worn for about two weeks before moving to the next in the series, gradually achieving the desired alignment.

Fact #1: Understanding the Mechanics of Metal Braces

Metal braces work through a mechanism that applies continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bone changes shape due to the pressure applied. This process is not only effective for simple alignment but is also crucial for correcting complex bite issues.

  • Continuous Adjustment: The process involves regular visits to the orthodontist for tightening, which ensures consistent movement of the teeth.
  • Effectiveness in Complex Cases: Metal braces are particularly effective in severe cases that Invisalign may not adequately address.

Fact #2: How Invisalign Works

Invisalign uses a custom-made series of aligners created with 3D computer imaging technology. The aligners are designed to move teeth incrementally and are worn for at least 22 hours a day to achieve optimal results.

  • Step-by-step Alignment: Each aligner is slightly different, moving the teeth gradually towards their final position.
  • Planning Ahead: The treatment plan is mapped out from the beginning using advanced technology, allowing patients to see the potential end result before starting treatment.

Fact #3: Average Treatment Times for Metal Braces vs. Invisalign

The duration of treatment with metal braces or Invisalign can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the case. Generally, metal braces might be quicker at treating severe irregularities than Invisalign.

  • Metal Braces: Typically, treatment with metal braces can last from 18 months to 3 years, but adjustments can lead to quicker results depending on the case.
  • Invisalign: While Invisalign cases are often shorter, averaging 12 to 18 months, they can extend longer depending on patient compliance and the severity of the case.

Fact #4: Factors That Influence the Speed of Treatment

Several factors affect how quickly one’s teeth can be realigned, regardless of the orthodontic method chosen.

  • Age of the Patient: Younger patients tend to respond faster to orthodontic treatment due to more pliable bone density.
  • Severity of the Case: More severe cases require more time, irrespective of the treatment method.
  • Patient Compliance: With Invisalign, the effectiveness largely depends on the patient wearing the aligners as directed.

Fact #5: Cost Implications of Faster Treatments

The cost of orthodontic treatment can be influenced by the speed of the process. Faster treatments might reduce the overall number of visits and therefore the cost, but this is not always the case.

  • Regular Adjustments and Visits: With metal braces, frequent adjustments might lead to higher costs over time.
  • Invisalign Costs: Invisalign might be more costly upfront but can be economical if fewer adjustments are required.

Fact #6: Pros and Cons of Faster Treatment Options

Choosing faster treatment options comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

  • Pros: Quicker results can lead to improved dental health sooner and can be less disruptive over the long term.
  • Cons: Rapid movement of teeth might be more painful and could potentially lead to less precision in the final alignment.

Fact #7: Real Patient Stories and Outcomes

Hearing from real patients who have undergone these treatments can provide valuable insights into what can be expected from each option.

  • Success Stories: Patients often share their successful outcomes, which can inspire confidence in the treatments.
  • Challenges Faced: Discussing the challenges some patients face can prepare new patients for the journey ahead.

Fact #8: Expert Opinions on Treatment Efficiency

Orthodontists and dental professionals often have differing opinions based on their experiences with patients.

  • Expert Insights: Gleaning insights from seasoned professionals can help potential patients make informed decisions.
  • Debates in the Orthodontic Community: Highlighting differing expert opinions can illuminate the complexity of choosing the right treatment option.

Fact #9: How to Choose the Right Option for You

Choosing the right orthodontic treatment depends on a variety of factors specific to each individual.

  • Consider Lifestyle: Factors such as daily routine, work environment, and social engagements can influence the choice between metal braces and Invisalign.
  • Personal Preferences: Aesthetics and comfort play significant roles in deciding which treatment to pursue.

Fact #10: Future Innovations in Orthodontic Treatments

The field of orthodontics is continually evolving, with new technologies and methods emerging that could further impact treatment times and effectiveness.

  • Technological Advances: Staying updated on the latest developments can provide options that may not have been available previously.
  • Innovative Treatments: Exploring upcoming treatments that promise faster and more efficient results.


In the quest for a perfect smile, choosing between metal braces and Invisalign involves considering a variety of factors including treatment speed, cost, and personal comfort. This blog post has explored these aspects through real-life experiences, expert opinions, and detailed insights into each treatment option. Remember, the best way to decide is to consult with an orthodontist who can provide personalized advice based on your specific dental needs.

Frequently asked questions

Does Invisalign work faster than metal braces?

Invisalign treatment duration can vary based on individual cases, but in some cases, it may work faster than metal braces, especially for minor adjustments. However, the effectiveness of treatment depends on various factors such as patient compliance and the complexity of the case.

Do braces move teeth faster than Invisalign?

Traditional braces can sometimes move teeth faster than Invisalign, particularly in cases of severe misalignment or complex bite issues. The continuous pressure applied by braces allows for more precise and controlled movement, leading to potentially quicker results in certain scenarios.

Which type of braces are the fastest?

In terms of speed, self-ligating braces and lingual braces are often considered among the fastest options. Self-ligating braces use specialized brackets that reduce friction, allowing for smoother tooth movement. Lingual braces, which are placed on the back of the teeth, can also provide efficient results, though they may be less comfortable for some individuals.

Are fixed braces quicker than Invisalign?

Fixed braces, such as traditional metal braces, are generally considered to be faster than Invisalign for complex cases requiring significant tooth movement. The ability to apply constant pressure and make precise adjustments during in-office visits can lead to quicker progress with fixed braces compared to the removable aligners used in Invisalign treatment.

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