Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

Invisalign is a corrective system of dental devices that represents an innovative improvement on the traditional concept of braces. You no longer need to agonize through tightening sessions and difficult cleaning protocols because Invisalign straightens teeth from behind the transparent sheen of reparative trays.

Old Town Smiles is your premier destination for dental enhancement without the downtime and distress associated with overzealous orthodontic techniques. Conveniently located in Alexandria, Virginia, Old Town Smiles proudly serves the greater Washington, D.C. area, including Arlington, VA. Contact us online or call (703) 836-7000 to make an appointment. 

About Teeth Straightening

Teeth are like children; they are beautiful and yet they sometimes have a mind all their own. There are many ways in which your bite can shift, sending your teeth out of alignment. For instance, your lower jaw may protrude beyond the plane of the upper teeth, causing an underbite. Conversely, the upper row of teeth may dominate the lower row, resulting in an overbite.

When your upper and lower teeth do not meet in the middle to form a definitive closure, that is called an open bite. There may be gaps in your teeth or an asymmetry in the way your two rows line up. 

Teeth Straightening Alexandria

One of the most common issues with developing smiles is overcrowding. When there are too many teeth vying for real estate in one small stretch of your mouth, each tooth clamors for space. Invisalign can address all of the above instances of dental malocclusion.[1] The aesthetically pleasing trays of an Invisalign system fit effortlessly onto your teeth because Old Town Smiles uses computer technology to customize each device. We map your existing teeth and create comfortable accessories that will gently encourage your maladjusted dentistry to fall in line.

The aim of Invisalign is similar to traditional braces, but the approach is far different. Instead of wiring your mouth with an aggressive system of metallic barbs, Invisalign works with the declination of your teeth to help them develop in a healthy manner.

After your smile has evolved due to the assistance of the first set of trays, we will replace them with a slightly more regulated grid structure. Each tray upgrade arranges your teeth to a greater degree, but they are imperceptible to the eye. The thermoplastic design of Invisalign shapes your smile more efficiently than braces and without the pain or unsightly appearance of those outdated metallic devices. 

To learn more about the advantages of Invisalign when compared to traditional braces, contact Old Town Smiles.

Before and After Photos

Benefits of Invisalign

When comparing the benefits of Invisalign to the challenges of traditional braces, there are three major categories of rewards: function, form, and feel. Invisalign is much more manageable than metal braces because they are designed to be removed at will. You can take out your trays to eat a meal without worrying about food getting stuck in the cogs and gears of a cumbersome network of wire braces.

The aesthetics of Invisalign are incredibly pleasing. They are imperceptible, as the name implies. Onlookers will barely notice you are wearing Invisalign, but your teeth will thank you as they adhere to their ideal configuration

The feel of Invisalign trays are also a vast improvement upon traditional braces. You can run your tongue over the smooth plastic façade without scraping yourself. Traditional braces are severe in form, function, and tactility. In almost every way, the benefits of Invisalign outweigh the archaic structure of metal braces.

Eligible Candidates

If you have mild to moderate malocclusion that you wish to correct, then Invisalign may be ideal for you. However, if you need to address more serious structural concerns before benefitting from teeth straightening, the knowledgeable team at Old Town Smiles will recommend a schedule to move your dental goals forward steadily. Dr. Seema Ahmed can assess your eligibility for Invisalign treatment during your comprehensive consultation

Private Consultation in Alexandria, VA.

Your smile demands some face time. It’s just that wonderful! We are eager to see your teeth in person to evaluate your dental needs and listen to your cosmetic goals. Old Town Smiles is founded on the principles of openness and care. We want to hear from you because you are the captain of your dental destiny.

In the spirit of providing excellent communication to our Virginia and Washington, D.C. communities, we regularly update our blog. Read through our posts and bring any questions that may arise with you to the consultation. 

Preparation and Procedure

Invisalign begins and ends with a bracing dose of technology. We begin by studying your dental landscape and entering all of your data into our system. Their 3D mapping technology allows Invisalign to create custom trays that will usher your teeth from their current state to a more even, balanced array.

Once your plastic trays are constructed, you will receive three of four full sets. You are encouraged to wear the first set for approximately two weeks before you upgrade to tray #2. After approximately six weeks, we will welcome you for your next appointment. When you return to Old Town Smiles, we will replace your trays with a series of slightly more structured ones. The new designs will challenge your teeth without punishing them. Compare this to the process of traditional braces, which entails severe tightening sessions every 6-8 weeks.

The beauty of Invisalign is how customized the process is. If you are experiencing slippage or a dissatisfactory fit, your doctor can modify your trays to better mesh with your natural smile. The bottom line of Invisalign is steady, noticeable progress. We want your teeth to shine, not your braces.

Continued Care

Maintenance is a favorite theme of ours here at Old Town Smiles. Just as we hope that you treat your teeth lovingly on a daily basis, we design our Invisalign trays to celebrate your smile. But care is a two-way street; respect your aligners and they will respect you.

Please remove your trays when you eat to avoid getting food lodged between the Invisalign device and your teeth. Coffee and tobacco products can stain the aligners, so remove them before drinking dark beverages (and try not to smoke in general). 

If you have questions regarding the proper maintenance of your Invisalign trays, please do not hesitate to call Old Town Smiles at (703) 836-7000

The maintenance protocols for Invisalign are nowhere near as restrictive as those associated with traditional braces. It is difficult to eat a wide array of foods when you have metal braces. Cleaning is a chore, especially when items get lodged amidst the wires. Hot and cold beverages can exacerbate the pain inflicted by traditional braces. By almost every measure, the Invisalign experience is less arduous than dealing with traditional braces.

Amazing Results

If you want to achieve straightening and symmetry without the torture of traditional braces, consider Invisalign. The gradual process of reshaping your smile is designed to minimize discomfort and keep you looking great all the while. 

After approximately one year, your dentistry will adhere to your ideal contours. Invisalign is a wonderful technique that accomplishes the same goals as metal braces, but in pliable plastic form. To get a preview of how inviting your smile will be, take a look at our shimmering reviews page. Old Town Smiles thrives on the kind words of our past patients, and we are committed to providing 5-star service to Alexandria and beyond.

Complementary Procedures 

Invisalign pairs perfectly with several dental procedures. In fact, Invisalign is often considered a “finishing” treatment to enhance the improvements brought on by other services offered here at Old Town Smiles.[2]

For example, you may have large gaps in your teeth that need to be addressed before you can put the finishing touches on your smile. Dr. Ahmed can recommend a dental bridge or crown to remedy missing teeth. After your teeth are all present and accounted for, we can move forward with the subtle yet striking enhancement of Invisalign.

Regardless of which procedures are best for your teeth, the team at Old Town Smiles can accommodate you. Please contact us at your earliest convenience and get ready to grin again!


How much does Invisalign cost in Alexandria, Virginia?

The exact price of your Invisalign treatment will depend on how many trays you need to achieve your desired results. The cost ranges from $3,000 to $6,000 for most of our patients. It is important to keep these numbers in perspective, however. The price of traditional braces can span from $5,000 to $8,000 or more. You must also factor in the ancillary fees associated with tightening and maintaining metal braces. You may need to keep your traditional braces for 2-4 years, as compared with only one year for Invisalign. That adds up to three extra years of dental visits, all of which increase the cost of overall treatment.
To “brush up” on our credit and insurance options, please visit our financing page. Call (703) 836-7000 with any remaining questions you may have.


  1. Vlaskalic, V., & Boyd, R. (2001). Orthodontic treatment of a mildly crowded malocclusion using the Invisalign System. Australian Orthodontic Journal. 17 (1) 41. PMID: 11506169
  2. Duong, T. & Kuo, E. (2006). Finishing with Invisalign. Progress in Orthodontics. 7 (1) 44-55. PMID: 16552455
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