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Invisalign® vs. Braces in Atlanta, GA

If you are trying to figure out whether Invisalign® clear aligners or braces are better, you are not alone. Choosing between the two options can be challenging. At the end of the day, selecting the right treatment will come down to a few considerations: the complexity of the case, your orthodontist’s recommendations and the treatment that best fits your lifestyle. If you live in Atlanta, Dr. Ruchir Patel and Dr. Kal Thakkar, leaders of iClear Orthodontics, are available to meet with you in one of their offices located in Alpharetta, Roswell, and Kennesaw to help you make the best possible decision. In the meanwhile, reading about your treatment options and understanding the differences will help you get started.

Getting Straight to the Basics: Braces and Invisalign®

Braces and Invisalign® ultimately accomplish the same goal; they straighten teeth by gradually pushing misplaced teeth into the right position. So which treatment is best?  That depends on your orthodontic needs and lifestyle.

Braces are a time-tested way to straighten teeth. Braces use metal brackets affixed to your teeth that are tied to each other with wires and small bands. In the past, all brackets were metal, however, today bracket options now range from inconspicuous tooth color to bright multi-color. Patients have the option to have their brackets blend in or make a loud statement.

Invisalign® clear aligners were developed in the 1990s and have been on the market since 2000. Invisalign® uses clear, smooth plastic aligners that are designed from state-of-the-art 3D impressions. Invisalign® technology became extremely popular in a very short period of time. Patients like the fact that the clear aligners are not noticeable. They also like being able to remove the aligners to eat, brush and floss their teeth.

Differences Between Braces and Invisalign®

When comparing braces to Invisalign® clear aligners, the length of treatment, cost, and end results tend to be similar. Both straightening techniques also require that retainers be worn as maintenance following treatment.

Here are some differences between the two orthodontic treatments:

  • Permanence – Braces are glued onto your teeth and remain on until the end of your treatment. Your orthodontist must remove your braces. Although Invisalign® clear aligners are worn for 22 hours per day, you can remove your aligners each day for eating and cleaning.
  • Appearance – Many types of braces exist, however, all braces are noticeable, even clear ceramic braces. Invisalign® aligners look like whitening trays. The clear aligners have a smooth surface so the aligners are often inconspicuous.
  • Maintenance – Brushing and flossing with braces can be a bit tricky. The bumpy brackets can make it difficult to clean around and between teeth. Because Invisalign® clear aligners are removable, patients continue to brush and floss as they did before they started their treatment. Invisalign® aligners are easy to clean, but require an extra step in the morning and at night. The aligners are brushed with toothpaste or soaked in a denture or special Invisalign® cleaner.
  • Scheduling – Because multiple sets of Invisalign® aligners are given to patients at once, fewer office visits are required with Invisalign® than for braces.
  • Effectiveness – Even though both braces and Invisalign® clear aligners produce straighter teeth, your orthodontist needs to help you determine if Invisalign® is the most effective treatment option in your situation. Invisalign® is ideal for patients who require slight to moderate improvements. Braces correct teeth in almost all cases.

Invisalign® vs. Braces:  Pros of Each Option


  • Permanent – Treatment outcome is not contingent upon patient compliance since only an orthodontist can remove the braces.
  • Effective – Recommended for complex orthodontic cases.

Invisalign® Clear Aligners

  • Inconspicuous – Patient appearance is relatively unchanged during the treatment process.
  • Comfortable – Invisalign® has a smooth surface that prevents irritation.
  • Convenient – Invisalign® can be removed, which is a plus for many patients. No dietary restrictions are imposed, and brushing and flossing are the same as before your treatment began.
  • Safe – Can be worn during contact sports and when playing wind instruments.

Invisalign® vs. Braces:  Cons of Each Treatment


  • Appearance – Braces brackets and wires are visible.
  • Comfort – Irritation can be caused by friction from brackets and wires.
  • Convenience – More visits for check-ups and potential emergency orthodontist visits to fix broken wires or loose brackets.
  • Diet – People with braces must abstain from particularly hard or chewy foods, such as apples, carrots, popcorn and caramel during treatment.
  • Maintenance – Requires thorough brushing and flossing to avoid tooth discoloration.

Invisalign® Clear Aligners

  • Patient cooperation –Treatment success is contingent upon patient compliance.
  • Staining – Invisalign® clear aligners can be stained if not removed for eating or drinking anything besides cold water.

Invisalign® vs. Braces Cost Considerations

Invisalign® and braces cost about the same. Regardless of which treatment is recommended and selected, costs will vary by patient depending upon factors such as the complexity of the treatment, exact orthodontia selected and length of treatment. During your consultation at iClear Orthodontics, Dr. Patel and Dr. Thakkar will determine the cost of your treatment.

Dental insurance sometimes covers a portion or the full cost of orthodontia, so it is important to check your policy’s coverage. If you have Flexible Spending Account dollars available through your employer, your pre-tax dollars can be applied to the cost of orthodontic treatment.

To give all patients access to quality orthodontic treatment, iClear Orthodontics offers many payment plans to help make orthodontic treatment more affordable for all families. iClear Orthodontics offers interest-free in-house financing which divides the total cost of treatment into reasonable monthly payments for the duration of your treatment.

Options also exist to extend payments beyond your treatment period. In addition to traditional credit cards, iClear Orthodontics accepts CareCredit® cards that extend financing up to 60 months with a reduced APR and fixed monthly payments. Customizable OrthoFi is available to design a flexible payment plan. With OrthoFi, you are able to select the down payment and ongoing monthly payment amounts.

If you would like a professional opinion about which treatment is best for you or a family member, schedule a free consultation with board-certified orthodontists Dr. Ruchir Patel and Dr. Kal Thakkar at iClear Orthodontics. Simply contact one of our Alpharetta, Roswell or Kennesaw locations in the Greater Atlanta area, Monday through Saturday, to schedule an appointment.    

"I am another happy patient at iClear Orthodontics! I am in invisalign treatment and can already see changes in 4 months! I have been to both Roswell and Alpharetta locations and they are very contemporary and up to date! 5 stars all the way!" - Emily Thomas
"Dr. Patel and his staff are incredible! We (I and my 12 year old daughter) recommend his orthodontic services to everyone we know when they say they need orthodontics done right. The staff at his office is friendly, and they know how to answer questions, which goes a long way toward feeling comfortable with an orthodontist. Our 12 year old child now has a beautiful smile, and it’s all thanks to his excellent care. He never recommends orthodontic treatment unless it's needed, and that really makes a difference. Our 2nd…" - Kimberly T
"Dr. Thakkar and the staff at iClear Orthodontics are completely professional, from start to finish. They explain the process, the treatments, and even go over our insurance with us so that we know how our claims will be handled. There were no questions that didn’t have an answer, and by the time we left his office, I was sure that I wouldn’t want to send my kids to anyone else for the services he offers" - Justin D. Thomson
"We love visiting their Kennesaw location... Great staff, very pleasant and honest orthodontist and our 10 year old loves Dr Patel! Only issue we have sometimes is traffic at 5pm... We try to schedule our appointments around 3:30 to beat the Chastain Rd traffic." - Karen Houstin