Dental Tips |4 min read

Are Clear Aligners (like Invisalign) or Braces Faster?

Person smiling in the background while holding Invisalign and braces

People often ask:

Which is faster: Clear aligners (like Invisalign) or braces?

Here’s what you need to know:

Both methods usually run the same on treatment time.


Because each patient’s circumstance is different, and both methods perform the same functions to get your smile healthy and straight.

It’s more important to focus on choosing the right orthodontic treatment for your goals and lifestyle.

You should know:

  • What clear aligners and braces do.
  • How they are alike and different.
  • The pros and cons of each treatment.
  • Which method is right for you.

Once you know more, you’ll be better equipped to decide if clear aligners or braces are right for you.

What do clear aligners and braces fix?

Orthodontists use braces and clear aligners to straighten teeth and fix bites.

These two orthodontic treatments fix common problems, including:

  • Crooked teeth.
  • Crowded teeth.
  • Misaligned teeth.
  • Gapped teeth.
  • Overbites.
  • Underbites.
  • Crossbites.

Knowing how these procedures are alike and different is very important when choosing your treatment.

The similarities between clear aligners and braces

  • Both clear aligners and braces provide permanent results.
  • The complexity of your case determines the treatment time.
  • The costs of braces and clear aligners are often the same.
  • Each process slowly and gently moves your teeth.
  • You may feel slight discomfort when you get your braces adjusted or switch to a new aligner. This is because your teeth are adapting to the new pressure.
  • You’ll have regularly scheduled in-office visits monitoring your progress.
  • Proper oral care is vital to keeping your teeth healthy during treatment.

The three biggest differences between braces and clear aligners

  1. Clear aligners are made of translucent plastic, while braces are made of metal or ceramic.
  2. Clear aligners are a singular tray, while braces have multiple components.
  3. Braces are attached to your teeth, while clear aligners are removable.

These differences seem significant, but you need to hear the pros and cons before deciding to prefer one over the other.

Pros of braces

  • Braces allow for greater control of tooth movements and finer adjustments.
  • You’ll see your orthodontist for every adjustment. This keeps your smile on track no matter how your teeth respond to the treatment. And your orthodontist can see signs of any potential problems and adapt your treatment immediately.
  • Braces are the best option for severe orthodontic problems.

Cons of braces

  • Braces require extra steps in your oral care.
  • You’ll have dietary restrictions to protect against broken wires.
  • They are noticeable.

Pros of clear aligners

  • Clear aligners are hardly noticeable.
  • You can remove them.
  • Easier oral care routine.
  • You don’t have to worry about broken parts.

Cons of clear aligners

  • Not all complex cases qualify for Invisalign.
  • You have to be compliant with wearing them for them to work.
  • You have to remove them when eating or drinking.

Notice we didn’t say fewer in-office visits? Here’s the deal:

Clear aligner treatment still requires you to come in for regularly scheduled exams to monitor your progress. The frequency is usually less because we provide the next 4 or 5 sets of aligners at each visit and they’re typically for worn 2 weeks each.

Just remember: The treatment durations for braces and clear aligners are usually the same length.

The pros and cons between braces and clear aligners are more about convenience, looks, and lifestyle. This is why many people have a hard time knowing which option to choose.

Which is better: Clear aligners or braces?

The quick answer:

Both clear aligners and braces are excellent options to fix tooth and bite problems.

In our practice, Hillcrest Orthodontics PC,  we view aligners and braces as equal rather than contenders because of their similarities.

It really comes down to what each patient needs, their way of living, and which treatment will provide the best and fastest results for them.


Combining the two treatments may be possible – or necessary – to get the results you want.


The end goal is always the same: a permanently healthy and straight smile.

Braces vs. clear aligners: How to choose

Whether you get braces or clear aligners, all our new patients start with consulting our experienced orthodontist.

Orthodontists like, Dr. Rosalyn J. Salter, spend years training and learning how to fix your teeth and bite problems. Their extensive knowledge will help you decide which treatment is best for your smile.

If you’re looking for an orthodontist in Mobile, Brewton, or surrounding communities, book a consultation with Dr. Salter.

She is a board-certified orthodontist… This text opens a new tab to the American Board of Orthodontics website… specializing in clear aligners and braces so you have a healthy, confident smile.

Schedule a complimentary consultation for you or your child today at Hillcrest Orthodontics.

You’ll be treated like family while receiving the most advanced solutions for clear aligners and braces.


Hillcrest Orthodontics has locations in Mobile and Brewton, AL, and welcomes patients from neighboring communities.

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