Traditional Braces and Invisalign Clear Aligners Frequently Asked Questions

- Dr. Rafiq Hirji

In this interview, Dr. Hirji answers frequently asked questions on braces and Invisalign clear aligners. He also discusses his passion for dentistry as well as his practice being a one stop office for the entire family.

Dr. Hirji studied at the University of British Columbia before pursuing his Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. He has been practicing dentistry for nine years and is certified in a variety of advanced services, including level 2 sedation, straightwire orthodontics, Invisalign, PALs, cosmetic dentistry and pediatric dentistry.

He loves interacting with people through his work and helping them discover that the dentist’s office isn’t so bad!


Tye: Can you tell us a little about your practice and your journey in Dentistry?

Dr. Hirji: I am originally from Vancouver, Canada. Becoming a dentist was something I knew I wanted to do as a teenager.  Growing up, my parents were immigrants from East Africa with Indian origins, but I was born in Canada. Hearing their stories and struggles of their lives made me appreciate the sacrifice they made, I did not want to waste it.  Schooling was very important in our household, although we were given the freedom to decide what we wanted to study, education was a must. I always loved science, medicine, and art so the best way to incorporate them was dentistry.

I studied Biology at the University of British Columbia and was accepted into one of the toughest dental schools in the country, University of Southern California School of Dentistry. It is known around the world for its high clinical practicum and standards.  Hard work with a little bit of luck got me into that school. 

Upon completing dental school I worked for different dentists, learning, growing, finding what my passion would be within dentistry.  I realized, what I loved, was old school family dentistry, where the whole family from babies to teenagers, adults, and grandparents can be seen and treated under one roof. 

I successfully built a practice where our goal is to help you get the treatment you need and deserve while also being affordable. Quality dental care is not a luxury but a necessity. Because of this mantra, I decided to extend my education in Orthodontics to be able to offer my patients these options at a very reasonable price.

Here at Daily Smiles Macarthur, we offer all ranges of procedures, from cleanings, crowns, veneers, extractions, dentures, bridges, traditional braces and Invisalign/clear aligners. We also offer different sedation options for children and adults who are fearful, have anxiety or just wanted to be super relaxed.

Tye: Traditional Braces Vs Invisalign. Can you define them both and give us the differences between them?

Dr. Hirji: Traditional braces are an excellent choice to align your teeth.  It involves “gluing” metal or ceramic brackets on to your teeth and then using a series of wires to align them until they are straight.  Invisalign or clear aligners act and do the same thing, however, the difference is that instead of a series of wires we use a series of aligners.

Tye: Are there certain instances when traditional braces are a better choice compared to Invisalign?

Dr. Hirji: Invisalign or clear retainers are not magic but do a lot of amazing things for teeth. Their capabilities are limited and therefore, you would need to consult with your dentist to find out which is the better choice for you.  However, from a practical standpoint, because traditional braces are glued on the teeth, they are harder to lose. If you are a person who tends to misplace things, Invisalign may not be the best choice for you.

Tye: Is treatment time shorter with one VS the other?

Dr. Hirji: Usually, Invisalign is a shorter treatment time but it depends on the extent of your case and the patient’s compliance on how fast either traditional braces or Invisalign treatment is completed.

Tye: How often would I need to visit for checkups with braces compared to Invisalign?

Dr. Hirji: In our office, traditional braces have monthly check-ups, whereas Invisalign has either every 2 weeks or monthly, depending on the case.

Tye: What about comfort?

Dr. Hirji: I find that most adults prefer the comfort of Invisalign over traditional braces. However, teenagers adapt and do well with both.  Overall, we prepare you for this and therefore when you get either braces or invisalign you are ready and able to adapt to it.

Tye: Is Invisalign better than traditional braces in terms of different food I can eat during treatment?

Dr. Hirji: The beauty of Invisalign is that when eating you need to remove the aligner from your mouth, therefore your restrictions on food are minimal to none.  Whereas, with traditional braces, you are restricted from very hard, crunchy, sticky food, and gums/candies. Therefore there are many advantages food-wise for Invisalign.

Tye: What about cost comparison?

Dr. Hirji: Costs for traditional braces and Invisalign depends on the extent and length of treatment. If you have insurance we are guided by their fees.  If you are a cash patient, again it depends on the extent and the length of treatment. Usually, though Invisalign is a bit more but worth it!

Tye: Are they both covered by most of the Insurance providers you typically work with?

Dr. Hirji: If you have insurance coverage for orthodontics, both traditional and Invisalign are covered.

Tye: What other payment options are offered other than insurance?

Dr. Hirji: We are a family dental practice and want to bring back that feeling and tradition. We do offer different payment plans for our patients.  We try to work with them to give them solutions and get them the treatment they need.

Tye: What makes your practice different? 

Dr. Hirji: Honestly, our practice is centered around the patient but I personally believe what makes us different is respect. What I mean by that is, we respect that you are trusting us to take care of you, give an honest, straight forward diagnosis and treatment. I respect that you work hard and want to be treated fairly. I know what it feels like to be a patient. 

We respect and value our patients and their trust in us. I am also proud of having a very diverse, happy and thoughtful staff. The feedback we receive the most is how much our patients love our staff. We treat each and every patient with thought and care.

Tye: Do you offer a free consultation and what's the best way to schedule?

Dr. Hirji: We do offer free orthodontic consultations.  The best way to contact us is by calling us at 972-402-6882 or look us up at

Practice Details & Contact Information