Do Dentists Recommend Invisalign?
Dentists absolutely recommend the benefits of Invisalign for appropriate patients. One of the most important factors is whether Invisalign is a better choice than traditional metal braces. Invisalign aligners are not recommended when the issue is too severe, as they are not as strong as braces. However, when patients are looking for more comfort, a shorter treatment time, and lasting results, they will advise that Invisalign is a great option.
What Are Some Quick Pros and Cons of Invisalign?
There are several reasons why you might want to get Invisalign instead of braces. When you choose Invisalign, you get better comfort, more convenience, and a more attractive mouth and smile during the process. On top of that, Invisalign aligners can be removed from your mouth when you need to brush, eat, or floss.
As for the cons, there are a few. It would be up to you to weigh them against the pros to decide whether you want to get Invisalign. Because they are so effective, they can be expensive, and may be out of your price range. They also have to be worn for an extended period of time each day, which can be hard for some people. Invisalign aligners can also create discomfort for some patients, which can be increased by attachments to the aligners that have sharp edges.
What Are the Advantages of Invisalign?
Here is some more detail as to the advantages of Invisalign.
Comfort: When compared to metal braces, Invisalign is a lot more comfortable. Braces have metal wires and brackets that can cut your cheeks and cause irritation. Since Invisalign aligners are plastic and smooth, they are much less likely to nick and cut you.
Looks: Braces can leave you looking like your mouth is full of metal. Invisalign is clear and much less noticeable. That means that they are more attractive since they retain your natural look. Most likely, very few people will notice that you are wearing them. You can be more confident when you smile and you won’t feel self-conscious as you might with braces. Adults especially enjoy this benefit since having braces can sometimes come with a stigma attached.
You Can Take Them Out: You can remove Invisalign braces when you are eating or cleaning your teeth. Traditional braces do not allow for this. In fact, with braces you have to limit eating certain foods since particles can get caught in them. If you clean your teeth immediately after eating and before you put the aligners back on, you can eat whatever you want with Invisalign. There is no worry about any food particles getting stuck and leading to discomfort and cavities.
Little Maintenance: With Invisalign you don’t have to worry about any time consuming or inconvenient maintenance. You can get straighter teeth and a better smile without having to do much work for it. They may start to look dirty after a bit of time, but they can be easily cleaned using some bleach and water. A good rule of thumb is to give them a good scrub every few days to keep them fresh. Having a regular good oral hygiene routine, including brushing and flossing, will also keep them from getting too gunky.
What are Some of the Disadvantages of Invisalign?
Unfortunately, some patients find that there are some drawbacks to having Invisalign. Here are the details.
They Are Costly: Perhaps the biggest drawback of Invisalign is that they are costly. In most cases they are not covered by dental insurance. So if you are looking to have the treatment it can cost between $3,500 to $8,000. People who have a budget or do not want to take out of their savings may want to explore other options. However, you should always remember that when you are choosing from different cosmetic dentistry options, you want to get the best results you can afford. Spending your money on Invisalign means investing in your smile and your self-confidence.
Attachments: More and more, dentists are using attachments with Invisalign to help secure the aligners in the mouth. These attachments are made from an enamel that adhere to the teeth and keep the aligners in place. They provide a more secure hold, which means that the aligners can be more effective at shifting your teeth into place. However, while these attachments can make the process faster and more effective, they are also more visible and can cause discomfort in the mouth.
Discomfort: While in most cases it is pretty minor, Invisalign aligner trays can cause discomfort or even pain in your mouth. However, this is usually just when they are first applied and your mouth simply needs some time to get used to them. They do place pressure on your teeth to shift them into position, which can also cause some discomfort. You can always use a pain relief medication to ease your discomfort until your teeth adjust to the pressure being placed on them.
They Are Worn For Long Periods: To work properly, Invisalign must be worn for around 22 hours every day. The only time you should be taking them out is when you are eating or during your oral hygiene routine. No matter what you are doing, whether it’s going to work, a party, or even on a date, you should be wearing your aligners. If you aren’t, then your teeth will not shift as quickly as needed. Because of this, many parents choose another option for their teenagers since they can be forgetful or less responsible.
What Can Invisalign Not Fix?
While Invisalign is very effective, it is not as forceful and able to shift teeth as much as braces can. So if too much movement is required, then other options may be necessary. Here are some of the situations that Invisalign can’t fix.
Certain Shapes of Tooth: The teeth of some patients just do not fit properly inside of the aligner tray. If they are too short, pegged, or have sharp tips, then the aligner may not be able to properly adhere to the teeth. If the aligner doesn’t adhere, then it cannot effectively shift the teeth into the right position.
Position of Tooth: When Invisalign is used for an overcrowded mouth, it rotates the affected tooth to get into the right position. However, if that rotation needs to be more than 20 degrees, then it is too much for Invisalign. The rotation can be a little more if the teeth to be rotated are incisors or canines, however. In some cases teeth need to be moved forwards or backwards in a crowded mouth. If that movement is more than 45 degrees, then Invisalign may not be appropriate.
Large Gaps: Invisalign is a great option for when you have one or several small gaps between teeth. If that gap is more than 6mm, then another option is necessary.
Intrusions and Extrusions: Intrusions and extrusions are when teeth are too far into or out of the jawbone and they do not match up with the rest of the teeth. Invisalign can’t move teeth very far up or down, which braces use enough force to do so.
Midline Movements: Ideally, you want your middle front teeth to match up to the middle of your face. If your front teeth are out of alignment, Invisalign can help correct this, but only up to 2mm in either direction. Otherwise, braces are more appropriate.
Who Is Not Eligible For Invisalign?
The thing that may preclude someone more often than other things is that they have active gum disease or cavities. Those issues must be treated before a dentist will move forward with Invisalign.
If a patient has already had certain dental procedures, then they may not be able to have Invisalign. This can include bridges, veneers, or implants. These treatments can make it hard for the aligners to adhere to the teeth, which will make it impossible for the treatment to properly shift your teeth. However, a dentist may be able to provide Invisalign in certain situations. If you have had recent work, then it must be completely resolved before Invisalign. Otherwise it might affect the bonding to your teeth, or your teeth may still shift slightly. If you need extractions, then Invisalign isn’t appropriate for you, either.
Finally, to be eligible for Invisalign you must be dedicated to the state of your smile. Having Invisalign means wearing them for at least 22 hours every day, and keeping your teeth and the trays clean. Afterwards, you may also need to have a retainer. If you are not willing to keep your aligners in place, then there is no point to getting Invisalign.
Are Invisalign Braces Worth the Money?
In the end, it’s up to you whether Invisalign is worth the money. If you are on a tight budget, or if you are not sure you can commit to keeping them on yourself for 22 hours every day, then braces might be a better bet. However, Invisalign offers a comfortable way to get straighter teeth in a much shorter time than braces. At the same time, they are also much less noticeable in your mouth. If this sounds like something worth it to you, then talk to Dr. Kate Brayman about an Invisalign consultation.