July 11, 2012

Invisalign: The Unseen Answer to All of Your Smile’s Wishes? Pros and Cons of Invisalign Braces

If you need braces but cringe at the thought of sporting traditional metal braces in your soon-to-be perfect smile, you might want to consider alternative orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign. Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses clear, removable aligners that are virtually undetectable when worn. Here are a few pros and cons of Invisalign braces.

Pros & Cons of Using Invisalign Braces


Quicker results.

Invisalign is an option for many people who need braces.

Invisalign is an option if you need braces but cringe at the thought of sporting traditional metal ones.

Even before the Invisalign treatment is complete, you’ll be able to start enjoying a new and improved smile. Invisalign braces begin correcting teeth alignment almost immediately. With each set of aligners, teeth gradually shift into place, so the improvements to your smile will be more and more noticeable at each stage of treatment.

Freedom to remove braces.

Invisalign aligners are removable so you can take them out to eat, floss, and brush your teeth. Almost every other type of orthodontic braces can cause tooth decay because, unlike Invisalign, they cannot be removed for eating and brushing, so food particles can get trapped in the orthodontia.

Comfortable and virtually pain-free.

Your orthodontist will take precise impressions of your teeth to create customized aligners that are made of a smooth plastic that won’t irritate your gums and cheeks like metal braces do.

The braces are virtually invisible.

Downside of wearing braces

Traditional braces have their downsides…

Perhaps the most obvious benefit is a cosmetic one: Invisalign braces are virtually undetectable, so no one will even know they’re there. Children, adolescents, and adults can achieve the perfect smile with confidence: the transparent Invisalign aligners allow a degree of discretion not afforded by the conspicuous metal wires and brackets used for traditional orthodontic braces.

Turnaround time.

Generally speaking, orthodontists are unable to accurately forecast the duration of orthodontic treatment involving conventional braces because they lack the ability to model teeth movement over the course of treatment.

Conversely, Invisalign treatment includes a pre-planning phase that enables orthodontists to accurately project treatment time, which can be equal to or less than that of regular braces. Several studies have shown Invisalign treatment time to be quicker than that of traditional orthodontic braces; however due to insufficient clinical research, the validity of this has been debated within the medical community.

While further clinical trials are necessary to conclusively prove that Invisalign treatment is (or is not) accelerated, the accurate projection of treatment time gives Invisalign patients a valuable benefit not afforded by traditional braces.

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Easy to lose.

Invisilign’s removability is one of the aligners’ best qualities; but it is also a double-edged sword. Since the Invisalign braces are easy to take out, it is equally easy for patients to misplace them in the course of daily activities. Children also frequently lose the clear Invisalign trays, sometimes multiple times during the course of treatment. In either case, a replacement set will need to be made for the lost tray.

Not always an option.

Invisalign does not work for everyone, especially for those needing major adjustments. Due to its design, there are some limitations on what Invisalign aligners can do. In certain cases, Invisalign braces are unable to correct dental issues that conventional metallic braces can.

Pain & discomfort.

The transition phase with Invisalign is as uncomfortable as it is with traditional braces. The shift from one set of Invisalign braces to the next can be equally painful as the tightening of wires on metal braces.

Commitment to treatment schedule.

The success of Invisalign braces largely hinges on the patient’s commitment to follow the required treatment schedule. The process requires a series of aligners to be worn for a set amount of time.

The success of Invisalign braces largely hinges on the patient’s commitment to follow the required treatment schedule.

If patients fail to stick to the treatment schedule and don’t wear each aligner for the necessary length of time then the remaining aligners will not fit properly. If this occurs, a new set of aligners will be needed to resume Invisalign treatment.

Have you worn Invisalign braces? Share your insights about the pros and cons in a comment, below!

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