Home  ▸  Blog  ▸  Invisalign vs. Metal Braces: Choosing Your Path to a Radiant Smile

Invisalign vs. Metal Braces: Choosing Your Path to a Radiant Smile

by | Jul 15, 2023 | Unhappy with Smile

Invisalign vs. Metal Braces: Choosing Your Path to a Radiant Smile | Polished Dental Care

When it comes to achieving a straighter smile, two popular options stand out: Invisalign and metal braces. These orthodontic treatments have transformed the way people approach teeth alignment, offering effective solutions to correct dental issues and improve oral aesthetics. 

At Polished Dental Care, our Grand Rapids, MI dentists, Dr. White is committed to assessing your orthodontic needs and helping you determine the best option for your smile.

What Are Invisalign and Metal Braces?


Invisalign is a modern orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually shift teeth into their desired positions. These aligners are custom-made for each patient using advanced 3D computer imaging technology. One of the most popular features of Invisalign is its nearly invisible appearance, making it a popular choice for individuals who want a discreet teeth-straightening solution.

Metal Braces

Metal braces, also known as traditional braces, have been a staple in orthodontics for decades. This method involves bonding metal brackets to the teeth and connecting them with wires that are gradually tightened to guide the teeth into proper alignment. While they are more visible than Invisalign aligners, metal braces are effective for a wide range of dental issues and have a long track record of success.

Benefits of Invisalign and Metal Braces

Invisalign Benefits

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, allowing you to straighten your teeth discreetly.
  • Removability: The aligners can be easily removed for eating, brushing, and flossing, providing more flexibility in your daily routine.
  • Comfort: Invisalign aligners are made of smooth plastic, minimizing discomfort and irritation often associated with metal braces.
  • No Dietary Restrictions: Unlike braces, there are no restrictions on the types of foods you can eat.
  • Minimal Office Visits: Invisalign generally requires fewer in-person appointments compared to braces.

Metal Braces Benefits

  • Versatility: Metal braces can effectively address a wide range of orthodontic issues, including complex cases.
  • Predictable Results: Due to their continuous pressure, braces offer precise control over tooth movement, leading to predictable outcomes.
  • Cost-Effective: Metal braces are often more affordable than some alternative orthodontic treatments.
  • No Compliance Required: Unlike Invisalign, where patient compliance is necessary for success, braces are always working, even if the patient forgets to wear rubber bands or aligners.

Who is a Candidate for Each Treatment?


Invisalign is suitable for mild to moderate orthodontic issues, such as overcrowding, gaps, and minor bite problems. It may not be recommended for more complex cases or severe misalignments.

Metal Braces

Metal braces can effectively address a wide spectrum of orthodontic concerns, making them suitable for individuals with moderate to severe malocclusions, overcrowding, spacing issues, and more.

How the Procedure Works

Invisalign Procedure

  1. Consultation: Your Grand Rapids dentist will assess your dental condition and determine if Invisalign is suitable for you. Dr. White will then refer you to one of the best orthodontists in the Grand Rapids area. 
  2. Custom Treatment Plan: The orthodontist will use 3D imaging, a custom treatment plan to create a series of aligners to gradually shift your teeth.
  3. Wearing the Aligners: You’ll wear each set of aligners for about 1-2 weeks, removing them only for eating and oral hygiene.
  4. Regular Check-ups: Periodic check-ups with your orthodontist will ensure your treatment progresses as planned.
  5. Retention: After completing the treatment, a retainer may be recommended to maintain your newly aligned smile.

Metal Braces Procedure

  1. Consultation: During your first visit to Polished Dental Care, your Grand Rapids dentist will evaluate your dental needs and refer you to an experienced orthodontist to discuss the braces option.
  2. Bracket Placement: While visiting the orthodontist, the metal brackets are bonded to your teeth using dental adhesive.
  3. Wire and Adjustment: An archwire is threaded through the brackets and adjusted periodically to guide tooth movement.
  4. Regular Appointments: Regular visits to the orthodontist are needed to adjust the wires and monitor progress.
  5. Removal and Retention: Once your teeth are aligned, the braces are removed, and a retainer is often provided to prevent teeth from shifting.

Crafting Your Perfect Smile at Polished Dental Care

Ultimately, the decision between Invisalign and metal braces depends on your orthodontic needs, preferences, and lifestyle. Invisalign offers aesthetic advantages and flexibility, while metal braces provide versatility and effective results. Scheduling a consultation with your Grand Rapids dentists will help you determine which option aligns with your goals and circumstances. No matter your choice, both treatments can help you achieve a confident, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. 

Invisalign vs. Metal Braces: Choosing Your Path to a Radiant Smile | Polished Dental Care

About the Author

<a href="https://polisheddentalcaremi.com/author/liz-white/" target="_self">Liz White</a>

Liz White

Dr. Liz White received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Albion College before completing her Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine in 2012.

Further Reading