Invisalign and braces in Bryn MawrInvisalign and braces in Bryn Mawr

Dr. Connversations blog

Invisalign or braces: Which is right for me?

Invisalign or Braces: Which Is Right For Me? 

Dr. Karen Conn of Bryn Mawr Orthodontics highlights some of the differences between Invisalign and braces to help patients choose the best option for their orthodontic treatment

by Dr. Karen Conn, DMD, MS

As an orthodontist, I help patients answer this question all the time.  And the truth is, there's no one-size-fits-all answer.  Both Invisalign and braces are effective at straightening teeth and improving a smile, but they have different pros and cons.  So, how do you know which one is right for you?

Let's take a closer look at each option:


  • Clear aligners: Invisalign uses a series of clear, plastic aligners that fit snugly over your teeth.  They're virtually invisible, so you can smile confidently throughout your treatment.
  • Removable: You can remove your aligners for eating, drinking, and brushing your teeth.  This makes it much easier to maintain good oral hygiene.  There are also no food restrictions since the aligners are removed to eat.
  • Comfortable: Many patients find that Invisalign is more comfortable than braces, as there are no metal brackets or wires that may irritate your gums and cheeks.
  • Good for all types of cases: Invisalign is effective at treating mild cases to the most complex cases.  If you have a complex case, look for a top 1% Invisalign provider who will have more experience treating difficult orthodontic cases with Invisalign.
  • Appointments: While being treated with Invisalign, the interval between visits to the orthodontist are further apart, which can be helpful for a busy schedule.


  • Metal brackets and wires: Braces use metal brackets that are bonded to your teeth and connected by wires.  They apply constant pressure to your teeth, gradually moving the teeth into their correct positions.
  • Fixed: Braces involve less responsibility for patients.  The brackets and wires are not removable by patients so there is less worrying about wearing the appliances for the proper amount of time.
  • Not as discreet: Braces are more noticeable than Invisalign, which can be a concern for some people.  However, some patients are excited to show off that they are on the path to a straighter smile and many patients have fun with the color options to choose from with braces.
  • Good for all types of cases: Braces are effective for treating mild cases to the most complex cases.
  • More difficult to clean: It can be more difficult to brush and floss around braces, which increases the risk of cavities and gum disease.  It is recommended to use an electric toothbrush with a soft bristle brush head and a water pik to properly maintain oral hygiene.

So, which one is right for you?

The best way to decide is to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist.  An orthodontist will be able to assess your individual needs and recommend the best treatment option for you.  An orthodontist can also assess which option may be faster to improve your individual bite - braces may be a quicker option for some cases, while other times Invisalign may correct your bite and smile in less treatment time.

Here are some additional factors to consider:

  • Your lifestyle: If you have a busy lifestyle, you may prefer Invisalign because it's more convenient, less appointments, and less emergency appointments.
  • Your commitment: You need to be committed to wearing your Invisalign aligners for 22 hours a day for the treatment to be successful.

No matter which option you choose, I can assure you that you'll be on your way to a beautiful, healthy smile.

Karen Conn, DMD, MS is a Board-certified orthodontist and co-owner of Bryn Mawr Orthodontics (Bryn Mawr, PA), where she specializes in Invisalign and braces for children, teens and adults.  She has been recognized as a Philadelphia Magazine Top Dentist, Main Line Today Top Dentist, Suburban Family Top Orthodontist, and is among the nation’s top 1% of Invisalign providers.  Dr. Conn received her undergraduate and doctorate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.  She completed her residency in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics at Temple University, where she also earned a master's degree in Oral Biology.

Bryn Mawr Orthodontics serves its neighbors in Bryn Mawr, Gladwyne, Villanova, Ardmore, Haverford, Wynnewood, Narberth, Radnor, Penn Valley, Bala Cynwyd, Merion, Wayne, and the entire Main Line.

To learn more about Bryn Mawr Orthodontics contact the office today (484-383-0055) or schedule a free consultation online.

Learn More About Bryn Mawr Orthodontics


confident, healthy smiles

Call Now