Invisalign vs. Braces: Timeline Differences and the BHO Method

If you have been researching orthodontic treatment for yourself or for your children, there’s a good chance that you’ve already started to debate between Invisalign and braces. 

As today’s two most popular treatment methods, Invisalign and braces can treat all mild-to-severe malocclusions (i.e. “bad bites”) like overbites, underbites, crossbites, and underbites. They both correct these misalignments by exerting pressure on teeth, although they use very different methods to do so. 

Inivisalign utilizes custom-made tooth aligner sets to move teeth into the proper positions. Patients wear each aligner for about a week—sometimes only for a few days—before progressing to the next set. Each aligner is designed to move teeth in specific ways, allowing orthodontists to create customized plans for individual patients.

Braces exert tooth pressure via metal brackets and wires. At the beginning of treatment, metal or ceramic brackets are bonded to each of your teeth. An archwire is then threaded through each bracket. By adjusting the wire’s tightness, your orthodontist is able to move teeth in deliberate directions until they are in perfect alignment.

When deciding between Invisalign and braces, there are a lot of factors to consider, including:

In addition to the day-to-day elements, patients at Beverly Hills Orthodontics (BHO) often ask how long each treatment will take to complete. In this post, we’ll give you a timeline breakdown for Invisalign vs. braces. Along the way, we’ll examine what might influence the duration of your treatment and discuss how recent technological advancements are improving treatment times.

Evolving Orthodontic Technology: Changing Treatment Length

When taking a broad look at Invisalign vs. braces timeline differences, the average Invisalign case is shorter compared to the average braces case. Generally speaking, most Invisalign treatments take around 12 months to complete while braces require 18-24 months to deliver equivalent results. However, these general descriptions alone do not mean that Invisalign is quicker for everyone.

Invisalign aligners

Orthodontic issues are diverse, and individual cases vary in complexity. In the past, orthodontists only used Invisalign to treat mild problems, using braces to correct more severe issues. 

Mild issues take less time to correct than severe issues, so Invisalign cases on average took less time than braces treatments. With recent changes in technology, however, the estimated timeframe for treatment is also different. 

Invisalign technology has improved so much in recent years that today, orthodontists can use Invisalign to correct even the most severe cases. Moreover, Invisalign software and hardware enable orthodontists to design intricate treatment plans that move teeth with surprisingly high precision. 

Thanks to these advancements, we have personally seen Invisalign patients complete their treatments more quickly than those with braces. In our next section, we’ll take a closer look at why this occurs.

Invisalign vs. Braces: Timeline Differences + the BHO Method = Faster Results With Invisalign

At Beverly Hills Orthodontics, our Invisalign patients tend to finish their treatments more rapidly than braces patients with equivalent results. Why? The answer lies in taking full advantage of Invisalign technology using the BHO Method.

The BHO Method was created by Beverly Hills Orthodontics’ founder, Dr. Monica Madan. It is focused on creating the most efficient care plan possible while simultaneously honoring the preferences of each patient. Following the BHO Method, we:

  1. Calculate the positions of a patient’s teeth by measuring three planes of space: the anterior-posterior plane (front and back), vertical plane (up and down), and transverse plane (side-to-side).
  2. Examine how the teeth relate to one another by measuring the size of each tooth.
  3. Use these calculations to design treatments that maximize efficient realignment.

Our team uses the BHO Method to create all of our care plans, including those that use braces. However, we have discovered that our Invisalign plans and Invisalign hybrid treatment plans lead to the shortest treatment times because there are no compliance issues or side effects like those associated with braces. 

Although braces are highly effective at treating all sorts of alignment problems, they are susceptible to certain vulnerabilities that could extend treatment times, including:

In addition, braces do not move teeth with the same level of precision as Invisalign aligners. Tightening the archwire on a set of braces causes all the neighboring teeth to move; we cannot isolate movement to one tooth. To move teeth into the proper positions, we need to account for individual movements and correct them until your smile is perfectly straight.

Comparatively, Invisalign aligners can target specific teeth and move them with great accuracy. As a result, many Invisalign cases produce faster results than initially projected. While each case differs on an individual basis, many BHO patients complete their Invisalign treatments months before the projected end dates. In some cases, we have seen patients achieve a perfect smile in half the time it would have taken to produce the same result with braces.

Of course, there are additional factors to consider beyond speed when creating a treatment plan. If you’re ready to start planning your orthodontic treatment, call Beverly Hills Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation. 

Ready for the Perfect Smile? Schedule an Appointment at Beverly Hills Orthodontics Today

If you are looking for the most efficient orthodontic treatment possible, Beverly Hills Orthodontics is here to help. As a Diamond Plus Invisalign provider, BHO is officially recognized as one of the top Invisalign practices in the country. Led by Dr. Monica Madan, BHO specializes in creating customized treatment plans that meet the unique needs and lifestyle preferences of each patient. 

Using the BHO method, Dr. Madan and the Beverly Hills Orthodontics team can craft your ideal treatment during a consultation. Contact one of our offices in Beverly Hills/Century City, Toluca Lake, Alhambra, and Downtown LA today to schedule an appointment.

Are Braces or Invisalign More Effective at Straightening Teeth?

Thinking about improving your smile? Every year, millions of patients seek out orthodontic care to boost oral health and enhance their appearance. From children to adults to senior citizens, orthodontic care helps people of all ages improve their quality of life.

Today, most patients have a choice between two popular treatments: braces and Invisalign. Both options are capable of correcting the same bite problems and alignment issues, but they do so in very different ways:

Because braces and Invisalign are so different, patients inevitably ask us which is better. That’s a hard question to answer because every patient has unique treatment requirements. While Invisalign may be a better fit for one patient’s lifestyle, braces may be better suited for another. 

In this blog post, we answer one of the most common questions we hear during consultations, “Are braces or Invisalign more effective?” Along the way, we will take a closer look at how these treatment methods work and why they excel at treating specific issues.

Q: Are Braces or Invisalign More Effective?
A: It Depends. How Are You at Following Instructions? 

It’s impossible to give a definitive answer about whether one orthodontic treatment is better than another. After all, every smile is unique, and the physical properties of teeth, gums, and jaws, vary from one person to the next. Moreover, malocclusions (i.e., “bad bites,” aka tooth misalignment) come in many forms and disrupt tooth alignment in various ways.

Malocclusions (e.g., crowding, crossbite, open bite, underbite, etc.) also vary in severity, ranging from a simple tooth overlap to complex jaw problems. The seriousness of each condition can be further affected by a number of factors, including:

Given the diverse number of malocclusion cases and the potentially amplifying factors, it’s hard to answer—categorically—whether braces or Invisalign are more effective at straightening teeth. However, we can answer the question according to which kinds of malocclusions braces or Invisalign are more effective at treating.

Braces vs. Invisalign for Specific Malocclusions

Although malocclusion cases vary enormously from person to person, some methods are better suited to treat certain bite problems more efficiently than others. The reasons are related to the different ways braces and Invisalign work.

clear aligners icon

Invisalign aligners offer a higher level of precision when compared to braces. When creating aligners, Invisalign software allows orthodontists to target specific teeth. Consequently, one pair of aligners can move just a few particular teeth while leaving the rest in place. Such precision makes Invisalign more efficient at treating:

In addition to these malocclusions, Invisalign is also more effective at general bite correction than braces. That said, Invisalign alone cannot treat severe malocclusion cases. 

braces icon

Braces move teeth with a system of brackets and wires so the orthodontist can change their positions by adjusting the archwire to exert or release pressure. Because the wire is connected to multiple teeth, it’s difficult to move a single tooth at a time. Attempts inevitably cause the wire to move all other teeth as well. 

In comparison, aligners exert only a limited amount of pressure. For significantly misaligned or impacted teeth, braces can apply enough pressure to move teeth in greater intervals. If you have severe malocclusion, braces offer a simple path toward a perfect smile. 

However, sometimes the most efficient solution to these cases is hybrid treatment—a combination of braces and Invisalign. With a hybrid treatment plan, your orthodontist uses braces to move teeth into a more manageable position before removing the brackets and finishing treatment with a series of Invisalign aligners.

In other words, if Invisalign alone can’t correct your malocclusion, hybrid treatment is the most effective treatment available. That’s why you need an experienced professional like Dr. Monica Madan to design a personalized, yet efficient treatment plan to perfect your smile.

Have More Questions about Braces and Invisalign? Beverly Hills Orthodontics Has Answers

It’s hard to state definitively which treatment option is more effective at straightening teeth. Although Invisalign can treat issues like open bites and crowding more rapidly, there are cases where Invisalign requires additional measures to correct a smile. Braces may be a bit slower than Invisalign, but they can correct severe problems without requiring a hybrid approach. 

Of course, there are many factors to consider beyond speed when choosing an orthodontic treatment. The only way to be certain about the option that’s right for you is by scheduling a professional consultation at a practice like Beverly Hills Orthodontics

No matter your age or what issues you’re facing, Beverly Hills Orthodontics can craft a treatment plan that improves your smile in a quick, comfortable manner. Contact one of our four locations to schedule your consultation today, in  Beverly Hills/Century City, Toluca Lake, Alhambra, or Downtown Los Angeles.

BHO has been improving smiles since 2008 and is recognized as one of the top 1% of Diamond Plus Invisalign providers in the country — as featured on The Doctors and in Allure. Call or text us at 310-785-0770 to learn more, or visit our contact page to book an appointment.

Can Dentists Do Invisalign?

In the early 2000s, Invisalign revolutionized orthodontic care. As the first clear aligner treatment to break into the mainstream market, Invisalign has always offered patients a comfortable and convenient way to eliminate alignment issues and achieve a great smile. 

Prior to Invisalign, orthodontists almost exclusively used conventional braces to treat alignment issues. Although braces are an excellent treatment solution for mild-to-severe alignment problems, Invisalign offers a few benefits that braces can’t. 

One major advantage is that, unlike braces, Invisalign does not alter the patient’s appearance. Invisalign treatments use clear removable aligners that are custom-made to fit each patient’s unique dentition. While the brackets and wires of traditional braces can significantly alter one’s appearance, Invisalign aligners are barely noticeable to others.

In addition, Invisalign aligners can be removed at any time, day or night. It is important that Invisalign patients wear their aligners for at least 20-22 hours a day, but the aligners can be removed for brushing, flossing, eating, drinking, and physical activity. Because the aligners are so easy to take out and replace, Invisalign patients benefit from:

Ever since Invisalign hit the market, millions of patients have experienced these benefits firsthand after starting treatment. Today, Invisalign is still the largest producer of clear aligners in the world, beating out competitors like SmileDirectClub or Byte.

Invisalign is so popular that even some dentists are excited to offer it, which raises the question: “Can dentists do Invisalign?”

If you’re asking yourself the same question, keep reading to learn the answer.

So, Can Dentists Do Invisalign? 

The quick answer to the question, “can dentists do Invisalign?” is yes. General dentists can become Invisalign providers as long as they take a basic course from Invisalign. However, compared to an orthodontist’s specialized training—over seven years in total—dentists are significantly limited in what they can accomplish with Invisalign.

General dentistry provides patients with essential oral care. For example, a general dentist can clean your teeth and gums, diagnose health problems, and treat basic tooth and gum issues. However, Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment.

As a field, orthodontics is focused on eliminating tooth alignment problems to give their patients perfectly straight smiles. Straight smiles are not only conventionally attractive, but they also function better than misaligned smiles and offer a number of health benefits

Of course, like any other specialty, orthodontics is an extremely complicated field. Professional orthodontists like BHO’s own Dr. Monica Madan undergo years of extra study. General dentistry does not have the same kind of extensive education requirements. Only the top one or two graduating dental students are offered spots in orthodontic residencies each year. A residency adds three years of training after the standard four years of undergraduate dental school.

Although Invisalign does offer dentists a basic overview of how to use their system, the training revolves around how to use Invisalign: NOT how to straighten teeth. In other words, a dentist can perform basic Invisalign duties, including:

Because they have not received the training necessary to align teeth, however, a dentist’s abilities do not go beyond the basics with Invisalign.

Advantages of Visiting an Orthodontist for Invisalign Treatment

As we have already mentioned, orthodontists undergo years of extra study to learn how to treat misaligned teeth. Today, Invisalign is just another one of the many tools orthodontists use to treat alignment problems. 

Years of experience and on-the-job training gives orthodontists the specialized expertise that allows them to use Invisalign—one tool among many—to treat complicated issues. Here at Beverly Hills Orthodontics, founder Dr. Monica Madan and the BHO team use Invisalign to correct problems like:

Unlike general dentists, orthodontists like Dr. Madan have the specialized education and training necessary to use Invisalign in advanced capacities. Not only do orthodontists treat more complicated cases than dentists, but they also have been trained to craft sophisticated treatment plans to match a patient’s needs and preferences. Invisalign treatments from BHO can include:

If you want the best results from Invisalign, an orthodontist is the right provider for you. 

You Should Visit an Orthodontist for Invisalign Treatment if You…
  • Want straight teeth
  • Want an expert to monitor your treatment progress and ensure your teeth are moving properly
  • Want to work with a specialist that can create a proper, customized plan designed to meet your specific needs

Interested in Invisalign Treatment? Schedule an Appointment at Beverly Hills Orthodontics Today!

For top-of-the-line Invisalign treatment, you should visit a professional orthodontist. While dentists can do Invisalign, their services are very limited compared to an orthodontist’s. Dentists are simply Invisalign providers, meaning that they can perform scans, order trays, and perform periodic check-ups. However, they do not have the expertise required to identify moderate-to-severe alignment problems or to strategize treatment for them. 

As a top 1% Diamond Plus Provider with a premier orthodontic practice on the West Coast, Dr. Madan and the Beverly Hills Orthodontics team have been creating Invisalign plans for over 10 years. Choosing BHO instead of a general dentist for Invisalign treatment allows you to benefit from years of specialized education and experience that only an orthodontist can provide. You’ll also receive higher quality care, broader treatment possibilities, and a keen eye for any changes in your treatment progress. Contact one of BHO’s locations in Beverly Hills/Century City, Toluca Lake, Alhambra, or Downtown Los Angeles to learn if Invisalign is right for you!