Invisible Braces — Pros, Cons, and a Braces Survey


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Written by: Madison Smith | Best Company Editorial Team

Last Updated: July 31st, 2020

Are you in the midst of a search to discover which braces are right for you?

Dentists and orthodontists weigh in on everything you are wanting to know about invisible braces. Here we compare the costs, benefits, FAQs, pros, and cons associated with invisible braces. 

Bonus: Take our braces survey to find out if invisible braces are right for you, or if you're better off going with traditional metal, ceramic, or lingual braces.


Invisible braces pros


Many invisible braces companies offer at-home treatment, meaning you never actually step foot into the orthodontist's office.


“Because the aligners can be removed, a good candidate will need to be serious about their orthodontic treatment and committed to wearing their trays as directed (typically teens and adults). If you are an athlete who plays contact sports, the ability to remove invisible braces during a game is beneficial. Not to mention no more paying to replace broken brackets caused by hard candy." — Dr. Emilia Taneva  


Treatment time varies from as little as three months and stretches up to 18. The average time is typically less than a year of treatment.


Invisible braces are discreet and clear. Some people may not even notice that you are wearing them. Adults love this feature!

Lower cost

You can typically get invisible braces for much cheaper compared to other kinds of braces, because an orthodontist is not needed for at-home invisible braces treatment. Treatment could be as low as around $2,000 or could reach up to $8,000, depending on the company and treatment type. In addition, monthly financing plans are commonly available.

Invisible braces cons

Mild pain

Depending on the state of your teeth, pain levels can vary. Most customers say that there is only a dull achy pain at the start of each new aligner set. This can be expected; your teeth are moving after all. However, you don’t have the added irritation of brackets, wires, or rubber bands.


Invisible aligners can get yellow if you do not keep up with cleaning. Most invisible braces companies recommend that you brush your teeth after every meal before you put your aligners back in. This can get tedious for some, as well as increase the chance that you’ll accidentally misplace your aligners. For these reasons, “Invisible braces work best for self-disciplined individuals who can commit to upkeep and wearing the aligners 22 hours a day.” — Dr. Ziad Jalbout 

Only treats minor misalignments

“Invisible braces are a best fit for adults/teens with minor misalignment issues who are dedicated to the upkeep involved with clear aligners. An ideal candidate for invisible braces is an adult who has had an orthodontic “relapse,” meaning, they had braces in the past but their teeth have since shifted and just need a quick “fix” to get them back into proper alignment.”  — Dr. Ana Ortiz 

Invisible braces FAQs answered by doctors

 1. How do invisible braces work?

Invisible braces slowly move teeth through the slight, constant pressure of a clear retainer.

“Invisible braces are custom-built for a tight fit. They can be used to treat overbites, crooked, crowded, and widely spaced teeth. However, they will not work for people with severe overbites, crowding, or spacing problems.” — Dr. Steffany Mohan 

 2. How long do I need to wear my invisible braces?

The average treatment time will vary depending on which invisible aligner company you choose and the severity of your case. However, most companies tell consumers that their smile will be improved anywhere between 3 and 18 months, with a 6 month long treatment being the most common time frame,

 3. Am I a good candidate for invisible braces?

"Invisible braces or clear aligners are ideal for patients (adults and teenagers) who only require minor tooth movements. In addition, they must be fully committed to wearing their aligners in order to complete the treatment in a timely manner." — Dr. Larry Evola 

 4. How much do invisible braces cost in comparison?

"The cost of braces does depends a lot on the region, specific case, and the dentist. Ceramic braces are typically $5,000 to $7,500.  Lingual braces are $7,500 to $10K and up, as they typically require lab work and custom fabrication. Metal braces are typically $4,000 to $7,500.  

Invisalign and other clear tray solutions that are contracted through your doctor are running from $3,000 to $7,500. In all of these cases we hear about charges that are higher, and occasionally lower, especially on special discount type packages." — Ted Chan, CEO of CareDash, a doctor and dental search engine

"If you choose to purchase invisible aligners online, you could be paying a lot less — especially if you pay the entire amount upfront. For those who need an affordable and convenient solution, DTC teledentistry companies are charging right around $2,000 for treatment. Companies like SmileDirectClub eliminate the need for frequent in-person office visits, and cost 60% less than traditional methods at $1895 for full treatment which typically lasts only 6 months." — Dr. Jeffrey Sulitzer, DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) & SmileDirectClub’s Chief Clinical Officer.

Customers should also be aware that they can use their dental insurance, as well as their HSA or FSA debit card, to pay for the treatment. Many dental plans will cover your treatments the same way they would cover braces. It’s important to talk to your insurance provider before signing up for an invisible braces treatment plan to see if they can help reduce the overall cost.

Remember to take the braces survey to find out if invisible braces are right for you!

The Top Invisible Braces Companies

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#1 byte chevron_right
9.7 Overall Score
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#2 SmileDirectClub chevron_right
9.5 Overall Score
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#3 Candid chevron_right
7.6 Overall Score

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