Seeking a beautiful smile but metal braces seems to be the stopper? Now there is a solution for your problem with the advancement in the field of orthodontics – the invisalign braces. No more ugly metallic braces and wires for people to see, no more pain torture episodes, no more funny speech problems. It is a dream come true for adults to straighten their teeth especially for those working in professional fields.
What is invisalign?
Invisalign is the a series of clear, removable aligners used to straighten crooked teeth and close gaps between teeth giving you the perfect smile and perfect bite in a shorter time duration. It is custom made depending on your occlusion where an impression is taken and sent to the lab. Using computerized technology, the invisalign aligners are designed and delivered to you by your orthodontist. Over time, they move teeth to the ideal position. Invisalign has great pros as well as cons in its process.
- Cosmetic value : invisalign being absolutely clear and transparent compared to the traditional design of metal braces is well opted even by adults besides teenagers and children. It is less noticeable and difficult to detect by others.
- Removable : the aligners can be taken off during meal time which allows you to eat almost anything, anytime! This is certainly contraindicated with metal braces which restricts you to a long list of food and beverages. It can be removed when there is a special function that you are attending or during sports activities. You can practice regular cleaning with this easy removable nature.
- Oral hygiene : brushing and flossing is more manageable as the access is not limited. The result – a nice set of clean teeth and happy healthy gums! Supporting tissues are in better state of health due to reduced amount of resorption (root shortening), gum disease and decalcification.
- Shorter duration : treatment time is shorter for about 12-18 months for the desired outcome. Visit to the dentist is less frequent and there is no need to rush to the dentist if a problem is encountered unlike metal braces. A retainer is to be worn at the end of treatment to retain the teeth in optimum position as teeth are constantly moving.
- Less pressure : This aligner exerts a less amount of force per week and there is less pain than fixed appliance (metal braces). A new set of aligners are issued every 2weeks. The pressure is due to the bone being broken in the jaw to allow tooth movement. Metal braces are adjusted every 2months and exert great elastic force which are extremely painful and unbearable.
- Computer simulation of the tooth movement : a 3d view from the start to finish of treatment will be a great motivation to the patient. The patient has a better understanding of the proposed treatment and able to compare different types of treatment plan.
- Back to front : the invisalign aligner is said to move the back teeth first creating spaces followed by the front teeth in which patients have indicated that it is a more comfortable process.
- Comfortable : invisalign has smooth edges which do not irritate the tissues in the mouth. Metal braces are believed to rub against the cheeks and cause ulcers. Your mouth is free of wires and brackets against the teeth. There is absence of inflammation of the gums and soft tissues.
- Helps prevent decay : invisalign regards you to wear it for 21-22 hours daily. Therefore, there is less time for snacking on junk food and reduces caloric intake. It is advisable to stay away from sugary and carbonated drinks. Do make sure you rinse your mouth well before replacing the aligners on.
- Cost : standard braces charges are around $5, 000. Invisalign treatment cost can range from $3,500 to $8,000. It is very expensive and if u misplace the aligner since it is removable, you will be paying extra for a new set of aligners leading to a delay in treatment.
- Speech problems: Some patients have experienced a lisp or other minor speech problems at the beginning of every aligner. If the patient has a habit of grinding and biting hard, there are chances for the aligners to be damaged.
- Additional attachments : one can expect as many attachments in form of small “buttons” that are glued to the outside of your teeth like braces. They help the aligners to rotate teeth and secure the trays in place.
- New aligners : every 2 weeks a new set of invisalign braces are delivered which may cause pain as they fit tightly around the teeth. It is usually heavy pressure and not pain.
- Initial difficulty in getting aligners on and off : a new set of aligners are tight and snap on. After several days they loosen up. There maybe a little trouble faced here.
- Type of treatment : invisalign may be applicable to selective treatments. It is yet to be proven in the treatment of crowding. Rotated teeth and certain tooth shape may not favour invisalign. It cannot correct complicated problems which can be done with traditional metal braces.
- Full patient cooperation : the success of invisalign depends on the period of wear for 21-22 hours everyday and removed only during meal times, followed by brushing and flossing. If you do not follow instructions, teeth will not move as desired. The next set of aligners will not fit, a new set of impression will be needed, adding on to the cost.
- Toxicity and allergy : although rare, there has been reports on sensitivity to invisalign and minor symptoms such as cough, sore throat and some other serious medical emergency leading to discontinuation of wear of invisalign.