All of our patients come in for 2 primary reasons: to improve the appearance of their smile and/or to improve the fit of their bite. Most patients come in knowing they want to start this process with either Invisalign or braces, but some are on the fence.
For those of you who may be undecided lets discuss the pros and cons of Invisalign.
Being clear, Invisalign is the definite winner for esthetics compared to traditional metal or clear braces. That being said, Invisalign isn’t totally invisible but it’s pretty darn close. Check out our local Bravo TV reality celeb Bobby from Below Deck Mediterranean smile with his Invisalign aligners in after leaving our office from an appointment. You can’t even tell he has them in!
Are Invisalign trays comfortable? Just like anything new, they take some adjusting to. We recommend giving yourself somewhere between a few days to a week to adjust to wearing your Invisalign aligners. You have to jump in completely to adjust to them the quickly. At first, they are going to be kind of annoying and you are going to be tempted to remove them. Given some time, your tongue, teeth, and cheeks will adjust to the feeling of your aligners. Almost everyone finds that after about a week, it will feel better to have them in than out as your teeth and bite starts to move and adjust to their new straighter position.
Invisalign is removable. Most people really like the fact that they can take out their Invisalign aligners. Brushing and flossing is a breeze with Invisalign treatment. Many people with crooked teeth can find flossing difficult. As your teeth straighten, the days where floss shreds between tight tooth contacts will end and getting food trapped between overlapping teeth will become a thing of the past. Your hygienist that cleans your teeth every 6 months will love when your inflamed gums due to crooked teeth disappear. People prone to dental decay will find Invisalign a much easier option for your home hygiene regimen compared to brushing and flossing around traditional braces and wires.
Another big pro to Invisalign is the convenience that comes with your office visits to our practice. Your visits are further spread out and the time spent sitting in the dental chair is much less than with traditional braces. So, Invisalign is a far superior option for people with busy lives and better things to do than coming to appointments.
Most of the Invisalign cons today are related to patient compliance. Because Invisalign is removable, it simply won’t work unless you wear them. So put in the effort to adjust to wearing them the first week, and your results will soon become evident.
Your speech with Invisalign in can also be an adjustment. We always recommend a commitment for the first week and the feeling that your speech is affected will disappear with almost everyone.
The pain of tooth movement is a common concern with orthodontic treatment. There is a wide variation of experiences with this and everyone i different. In general, orthodontic treatment today is much easier and less painful than it was a decade ago. Invisalign is an even further improvement. Typically, braces patients will have sore teeth for a couple days after an adjustment. This time is drastically reduced with Invisalign and many people don’t experience much discomfort at all. On average, we tell patients they will experience about 8 to 12 hours of tooth tightness with a new aligner. It is nothing that a single dose of ibuprofen can’t improve.
Last but not least, Invisalign currently cannot improve every orthodontic problem. Ten years ago, we would say that Invisalign is appropriate for about 15% of orthodontic problems. Today, we can say Invisalign is an excellent treatment option for 90% or more of people. Our ability to treat most problems to the same result as traditional braces is currently the norm rather than the exception.
If either Invisalign or braces seems like it may a good fit for you, please call our office to schedule a complimentary exam. We will take the time to further evaluate what will be involved to improve the appearance of your smile or improve the fit of your bite and help you make this decision. Both will get you to the smile you desire!