Invisalign tray on table

Invisalign or Braces: Which is Better?

At Lighthouse Dental Centre, we know that orthodontics plays an important role in restoring your beautiful smile. Whether you suffer from crooked teeth, overcrowding or bite issues like an overbite or underbite. Options such as braces or Invisalign can help realign your teeth and alleviate discomfort.

When choosing between Invisalign or braces, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle and the issues you want to correct.

Many of our Langley, BC patients prefer Invisalign because aligners are virtually invisible and offer more flexibility in your lifestyle. If you’re considering braces or Invisalign, here’s what you need to know.

Asian girl holding an invisalign tray and a model of braces

Is Invisalign as Effective as Braces?

It can be. Invisalign can correct many issues, including crowding and crooked teeth. Unfortunately, many patients assume that Invisalign can only correct minor issues, but this isn’t the case.

When you come in for your appointment, we will develop a comprehensive treatment plan to address your needs and goals. If you follow the plan and attend all of your scheduled appointments, you will find that Invisalign can be just as effective as braces.

How Does Invisalign Treat Bite Issues?

Braces and aligners do more than straighten your teeth – they also help align your bite. If we don’t correct both issues (straightening and bite alignment), your discomfort and dental problems will only continue.

With traditional braces, rubber bands are used to hold your jaw in the appropriate position. These bands run from a bracket at the top of the palate to a bracket in the lower jaw.

Invisalign takes a different approach. Aligners use pressure to move your teeth into the right positions. The pressure also helps correct underbites or overbites.

One thing that aligners cannot correct is physical jaw issues. In this case, you may need to have surgery in addition to wearing your aligners.

We will discuss your options with you and determine whether your bite problems can be solved with aligners. In many cases, Invisalign can correct issues with bite alignment.

Can Invisalign Correct Overcrowding Issues?

Overcrowding is a common problem today, and we can help you find the best solution to correct this issue. In most cases, we recommend wearing an expander.

An expander moves the arch outward, providing more room for your teeth. Expanders are the least invasive option for correcting crowding issues. Not surprisingly, it’s the treatment of choice for our patients.

Expanders can be used with braces or Invisalign.

Another more invasive option is to remove one or more teeth before using Invisalign or braces. We can also shave down portions of the enamel to make room for your teeth.

We’ll be happy to discuss and explain all of your options when you come in for your appointment.

Invisalign Attachments: What are They and How Do They Work?

Attachments are small bumps on Invisalign aligners. These attachments are made of composite fillings or resin and are designed to match the natural colour of your teeth.

The purpose of attachments is to apply more pressure to the teeth. That extra pressure improves the aligner’s grip and makes it easier for your teeth to move into the correct positions. Attachments are removed at the end of treatment.

Attachments aren’t always necessary. However, we may strongly recommend using attachments if it will make the treatment process easier.

Buttons may also be used with or instead of attachments. Buttons are bonded to your teeth and typically secured by elastics.

Does Invisalign Work for Adult Teeth?

Yes. Invisalign was designed for adult teeth. Before we begin treatment,we will take impressions of your teeth as well as pictures and measurements. This information will be used to create 3D images and predict what your smile will look like after treatment. Then, the Invisalign lab will create your aligners,and treatment can begin.

Because impressions are taken at the start of treatment, aligners work best with fully mature teeth that aren’t growing and changing.

With that said, teens and young adults can also benefit from Invisalign. We can help determine whether Invisalign is right for your teen

What are the Benefits of Invisalign?

Many of our patients prefer Invisalign because this treatment offers so many advantages.

It’s Easier to Clean Your Teeth

Invisalign makes it easier to keep your teeth healthy and clean. Aligners are removable, so you can brush and floss your teeth as usual, and we can perform teeth cleanings as normal. Aligners can also be removed while eating, so food particles don’t get trapped in your aligner.

Braces make it a little more challenging to keep your teeth clean. Food particles can quickly become trapped in the brackets or underneath the wires. If these particles aren’t removed, it can lead to bacteria build-up and decay.Special brushes need to be used to clean around the brackets and wires.

Gives You a Confidence Boost

Invisalign aligners are clear, so they’re almost invisible. Being able to correct your smile without affecting its appearance can give you a big confidence boost. We can also easily use retainer trays to provide teeth whitening following Invisalign treatment.

While you should be committed to the treatment plan, it’s much easier to stop treatment using Invisalign than braces. Braces require along-term commitment. Aligners can be removed easily and without the help of a dentist. In addition, because aligners are discreet and easy to use, there’s a much greater chance of following through with treatment and enjoying the results.

Invisalign or Braces: Which is the Better Option?

The answer depends on your individual needs and goals. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to remember that orthodontics takes time to work. Braces and Invisalign aligners need to be worn for at least a year to see results (18 months is the average). In addition, you must be committed and comfortable with your treatment plan.

We encourage you to ask questions and weigh the pros and cons of each option. We’ll be happy to explain all of your options and provide our recommendations.

Invisalign does have advantages. Aligners give you more freedom in the foods that you eat. Because they are removable, Invisalign also makes it easier to maintain your oral health. You can brush and floss like you typically would without having to use special tools.

Of course, one of the most significant advantages of aligners is that they’re virtually invisible. Clear aligners allow you to see the results as your teeth move and change. As a result, you can enjoy the benefits of a more beautiful smile without having to wait until the end of your treatment.

If you decide that Invisalign is the right choice for you, our team can create a treatment plan to help you reach your goals.

Understanding Invisalign Terminology

It’s important to understand the terminology used when discussing Invisalign. Common terms you may hear or come across include:

Aligner Trays

When you start your Invisalign treatment, you’ll receive aligner trays. Every few weeks, you will exchange your current aligner for the next one. Each new aligner helps gradually straighten your teeth and move them into their proper positions.

ClinCheck Software

ClinCheck is the software used to plan the straightening process in great detail.

Blue Compliance Indicator (for Invisalign Teen)

The blue compliance indicator makes it easy to know when to change aligners. The indicator is a small blue dot that fades from blue to clear overtime. Once the indicator turns clear, it’s time to switch to the next aligner.

Incisal Ridges

Incisal ridges are found at the crown of the tooth and can cause an overbite if it extends too far.

Gum Line

The gum line refers to the point at which your teeth meet your gums. Some patients experience gum recession, which occurs when the gum line slowly begins to wear away.

iTero Element Scanner

The iTero Element Scanner is a special device used to create 3D scans of your teeth. This scanner can produce images in minutes, and it’s what we use to project what your teeth will look like after treatment to plan your cosmetic dental treatment.


Malocclusion simply refers to bite issues, including overbites,underbites, crossbites and open bites. Invisalign can help treat these bite alignment problems.

SmartForce Attachments

As discussed previously, attachments are used to add more pressure when straightening teeth. SmartForce Attachments are placed before your aligners are placed, and they help make it easier for your teeth to move.


A Smile-Scan will analyze your smile by looking at the position of your mouth and your eyes.

Polyurethane Resin

Polyurethane resin is the material used to create Invisalign aligners.This material is USP Class VI medical grade.

Smart Track Material

Invisalign aligners contain Smart Track material, which helps make the aligners more comfortable, speeds up treatment, helps control the movement of the teeth and applies gentle pressure over time.

Vivera Retainers

A Vivera retainer is a special type of retainer made from clear plastic that helps maintain the results of your Invisalign treatment.

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Dr. Gurpreet Sidhu - Dentist at Lighthouse Dental Centre and Blue Water Dental
Dr. Gurpreet Sidhu

With nearly two decades of experience, Dr. Sidhu enjoys helping his patients learn about dentistry. Knowledge is meant to be improved, challenged and shared.

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