If you never had braces as a kid, or your teeth are in need of additional straightening as an adult, Invisalign® could be a great option. In this post we discuss some Invisalign pros and cons to help you decide if aligners are the right treatment option for you.
Invisalign Pros and Cons
Invisalign is the most popular option in a category of braces known as clear aligners. They are customized to your teeth and are removable, making them easier to clean and maintain. Treatment consists of multiple sets of aligners that are changed out as your teeth progress. You are able to remove the aligner trays and you do not have the embarrassment that comes with wearing metal braces as an adult.
However, Invisalign is not for everyone. In fact, if you use it when it’s not recommended, you can end up causing more harm than good for your teeth. Here are some of the factors to consider when determining whether Invisalign is right for you.
Similar to how a cast resets a broken bone, braces move misaligned teeth into their proper positions in your mouth. The amount of adjustment needed varies based on the current state of your teeth.
Invisalign is only intended for correcting small gaps in your teeth. Because the aligners can be removed, it takes longer for them to have an effect. Metal or ceramic braces, which are worn continuously, are required for more significant adjustments.
You might have some inclination about whether aligners can work on your teeth, but it’s best to seek a professional opinion before going too far down a path. An orthodontist will assess your teeth and determine whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign based on how much your teeth need to move.
One obvious pro of Invisalign is that the trays are less noticeable in your daily life. You can smile for pictures and feel confident meeting with others while wearing them.
While your smile might not change much, the words coming out of your mouth may. In some patients, Invisalign has been known to cause speech changes and can take some time to get used to. There’s no way to really know this until you start wearing the trays, but if it becomes a significant issue then your orthodontist can provide some solutions or other treatment options.
There are plenty of foods to avoid when wearing traditional braces, Invisalign has some restrictions in this area, too. The trays must be completely removed before eating or drinking anything but water, which can be inconvenient if you have a lifestyle where you are always on the go.
Think about whether you would feel comfortable removing your trays in a restaurant, at work, or even on a plane if you travel frequently. The answer to that question can help you figure out if Invisalign will work for your lifestyle. Another point to note if you travel frequently is the possibility of losing your trays, which would add time and money to the process.
Beyond eating, the aligners must be worn continuously and should be out of your mouth for less than two hours per day for maximum effect. Are you the type of person who would be tempted to take them out more often? If so, then you might want to consider a different option so you are not wasting money by prolonging the adjustment process.
The Final Decision
The bottom line is that braces of any type are better than no braces at all, and visiting an orthodontist is the first step in making that happen. Receiving a professional opinion is the best way to determine whether clear aligners can work for you.
Our team at Midwest Orthodontics is well versed in all of the Invisalign pros and cons and will give you an honest assessment of treatment plan options based on your dental history and lifestyle. We’ve helped thousands of patients make this same decision and we look forward to helping you do the same.