I just got my braces taken OFF a few months ago. I can weigh in on both traditional and invisalign. (here goes (sorry for the long answer):
I had ceramic (clear) on top, and metal on bottom. I was told that the WAY they needed to move my teeth made me NOT a candidate for Invisalign. The ceramic cost slightly more, but made me less self-conscious. The ceramic were more painful to take off, but I have sensitive teeth, and that was done with in a few minutes, really. I had ceramic only on top, b/c the ceramic is apparently harder than your teeth, so if your bite is such that your top teeth would strike a bottom (ceramic) bracket, you could chip a tooth. You don’t really see the bottom brackets, anyway, depending on your smile.
Took my braces off for the wedding, then was lucky enough not to have them back on. My ortho had to correct just 2 teeth, slighly, and said he coudl do it with Invisalign. Now, it worked well, but I gotta say I was suprised at how much of a pain in the butt they were—I’m a grazer, and I drink herbal tea all day. You can’t do that with Invisalign, and you have to be really really good about wearing them for the prescribed amount of time.
Now, the piece of info I have that might be REALLY useful: my ortho used a process called indirect bonding, and he said this is one of the MAIN reasons my treatment time was actually 9 months, instead of 18. (I’m sure my case is unusual, but still…) Anyway, in this process, they take a mold of your teeth, create a model, then the dr. decides EXACTLY where to put the brackets. They arrange the brackets in a retainer-like tray, put adhesive on your teeth, put the tray in your mouth, shine a light to set the glue, and presto they’re all on. My dr. explained that doing it this way (so you don’t have to figure out where to put the bracket, and fight your lips, and keep your teeth dry all at the same time) gives him much more precise placement of brackets, resulting in much more precise movement and treatment. I don’t think this process is exclusive to my ortho (he does invent some stuff), but send me a message if you want his name for more info–maybe he can help you find an ortho in your area who does it.
Last tip–once you select an ortho, ask if they have Gishy Goo, for when your brackets give you ulcers. It’s a silcon stuff in a tube, that’s WAY more effective than the traditional wax in providing relief.