Invisalign: Cost, Alternatives, and Comparison

If you are thinking about straightening your teeth, more than likely you will be considering whether to go with the traditional route of braces or the very popular Invisalign method.

Invisalign at Mint Leaf Dentistry near Raleigh

At Mint Leaf Dentistry in Morrisville, we have extensive experience with both types of straightening processes. We can help you de-mystify them and select which one is right for you. Understanding the differences between braces and Invisalign, including costs and benefits, gives you the knowledge you need to make the best decision for yourself.


Invisalign is a treatment that uses computer-generated molds to realign teeth that aren’t properly spaced. Using a series of clear aligners made from comfortable plastics, your teeth gradually move into position. You wear each aligner set 20 to 22 hours a day and change to another set every 1 to 2 weeks. They are mostly invisible so they are barely noticeable by others. This is a big advantage and a primary reason many older patients, teenagers to adults, choose this method over traditional braces. 

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces consist of brackets that are placed on your teeth with an adhesive and connected by wire. They put steady pressure on your teeth to gradually straighten them and require tightening every 4 to 6 weeks. Braces come in either metal or ceramic. Metal braces are made of stainless steel alloy while ceramic braces are made with combined components like plastic, porcelain, clay, and glass. Ceramic braces are more transparent in appearance than metal braces.

How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

The cost of Invisalign depends on the number of trays that are required during the treatment. And, the number of trays is dependent on the severity of the changes that are needed to your teeth. The typical cost for Invisalign is anywhere from $3,500 to $8,000 whereas traditional braces generally cost between $2,500 and $8,000.

Alternatives to Invisalign

The primary alternative to Invisalign is traditional braces. But, there are alternatives to Invisalign for teeth correction that are also clear and less visible than braces. Some are done in an orthodontist’s office and others are done at home. When you use an orthodontist, you get a higher standard of care than just doing it yourself at home. 


Invisalign’s main competitor using an orthodontist or dentist for treatment is ClearCorrect. As with Invisalign, ClearCorrect requires a professional to make impressions of your teeth and have x-rays taken before beginning the straightening process.


The companies that offer at-home teeth straightening, sell plastic aligners directly to consumers, but everything is monitored remotely with direction from orthodontists and dental professionals. Some of these brands are Candid, NewSmile, Byte, and SmileDirect Club. You take the initial impressions from a kit that the company mails to you. Then, a dentist or orthodontist creates a digital 3-D image of your teeth and sends you a treatment plan that includes the length of time and the number of aligners you will need. At-home aligners are less expensive than in-office procedures. 

6 Reasons Why You Should Choose Invisalign

As you are making a decision about the treatment that is right for you, here are some aspects of Invisalign that are beneficial when comparing it with different methods.

1. Appearance

There is no question that one of the primary reasons people choose Invisalign over traditional braces is the appearance factor. Invisalign is virtually undetectable, which is suitable for teenagers and adults, especially adults who are working professionally. If you would like your teeth alignment to be more discreet, select Invisalign.

2. Comfort

Any method of straightening your teeth will be uncomfortable as teeth are moving. However, Invisalign tends to be less painful than braces because it applies less pressure to the teeth overall and has smooth surfaces. Braces can have sharp edges that can cut the inner lip, inside of the mouth, and the tongue. 

3. Effectiveness

Both methods of teeth straightening are effective. Braces cannot be removed while the Invisalign trays can be. Many times, people with Invisalign will wear the trays less. When the trays aren’t worn for the recommended amount of time, it can lengthen the complete treatment. Additionally, Invisalign may not be able to move severely misaligned, rotated, or overlapping teeth. Our dentist at Mint Leaf Dentistry will be able to help you determine if you are a candidate for Invisalign.

4. Convenience

Both braces and Invisalign have pros and cons when it comes to convenience. Braces are convenient because you don’t have to take them out. But, braces can prevent you from eating certain foods, which can be annoying. The fact that you can remove the Invisalign trays to be able to eat whatever you want is a plus, but you may forget to put them back in. If you or your child is prone to misplacing things, Invisalign may not be the best option.

5. Care and Cleaning

Flossing and brushing your teeth are the same regardless of the option you choose. It may be a little more effort to get food out of braces when it is caught by using a smaller brush. With Invisalign, you will need to clean the trays in addition to your teeth. Using warm water or a cleaning solution is all that is needed to clean them. 

6. Follow-Up and Post-Treatment

Both Invisalign and braces require you to have regular appointments with your dentist or orthodontist. For braces, it’s usually about every month and for Invisalign about every 4 – 6 weeks. Both methods necessitate a retainer to be worn at night to ensure the teeth maintain their position.

Your Decision – Invisalign or Braces?

In the end, it can come down to personal choice. Review the information above and consult your orthodontist or dentist to help you determine if you are a candidate for Invisalign. Your individual situation may preclude you from the treatment.

Learn More About Invisalign in Morrisville, NC

If you are going to straighten your teeth and need to make a decision between Invisalign and other options, contact us at Mint Leaf Dentistry in Morrisville, NC to learn more. Call us at  919-330-1710 or complete the form below.

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