Until Invisalign was introduced, many adults did not seek treatment for crooked smiles, unsightly gaps or crowding, the main reason being the fear of traditional braces. Since the introduction of Invisalign, it has become an increasingly popular cosmetic treatment for straightening teeth. They are particularly popular among adult patients who prefer a discreet alternative to traditional braces, and they are also catching on with teenagers.
The following table, which provides advantages and disadvantages of Invisalign vs Traditional braces, explains why Invisalign is the winner.
INVISALIGN VS BRACES
|Invisalign is undoubtedly the winner in this category. Most of the people who chose Invisalign say they chose it, because is discrete. Even people who are up close cannot always tell if you are wearing them.||Traditional braces require brackets and wires and are very conspicuous. Even the “Clear braces” are still visible.|
Comfort and Pain
|The plastic used in Invisalign aligners is smooth and irritant free and the pain and sensitivity one experiences when adjusting to a new tray is bearable and does not last long.||Besides pain and discomfort after in-office adjustment, there is minor risk of cutting your tongue and scratching the inside of the mouth and gums with the brackets and wires.|
Lifestyle Changes – Eating, Drinking, Smoking
|You need to remove your trays out every time you want to eat something (whether you’re at work, at the movies, or at a restaurant). This is rather inconvenient. On the other hand, Invisalign wearers are not restricted in what they can eat.|
Aligner wearers who are heavy coffee, tea or red wine drinkers will need to cut down on the amount they consume. You might not want to adjust your consumption. If this is the case, Invisalign is less effective because the adhesive used to bond your attachments, and your aligners themselves, can become stained, removing a key benefit of Invisalign. While it is true that aligners can be removed for consumption of coffee, tea or red wine, aligner wearers need to remember that aligners need to remain in your mouth for 22 hours every day and taking off aligners every time for drinking anything but water, cuts into the time you can remove aligners without compromising their effectiveness
|You can eat while wearing braces but you need to restrict what you eat as certain foods tend to get caught in the brackets or under the wire.|
One needs to avoid chewy foods like chewing gum, hard foods like nuts and foods that require biting into like corn on the cob, hard candy, pizza crust, etc.
|Invisalign aligners are made from an FDA approved polymer and the plastic used in Invisalign aligners is irritant free||Some people are sensitive and even allergic to the metal used in traditional braces|
|Aligners are removable for easy cleaning and you can brush and floss without being concerned about damaging the brackets. However, you have to brush after every meal to maintain good oral health and reduce the risk of infections or decay throughout the treatment period. Brushing and flossing needs to be thorough, in order to remove food debris trapped in the crevices and clean those areas where there is contact between teeth and aligners.||Brushing and flossing requires more effort and as certain foods tend to get stuck in the brackets, you have to increase how often you floss.|
|The time commitment is fairly low, the longest part of the procedure being the placement of attachments to help the trays stay in place||Braces have more hardware to maintain and therefore are a more time consuming option. The regular follow-up appointments means that you are in the dentist’s chair more often|
|Straight teeth but retainer required to maintain your teeth alignment||Same as Invisalign. Retainer is needed to maintain teeth alignment|
|Invisalign is particularly great for adults and teenagers who can be trusted to wear the trays and follow dentist’s instructions||Braces are perfect for kids and teenagers who are unlikely to remember to wear their trays as often as they’re supposed to or to even clean them properly|
Looking and feeling great is the main reason why more and more people seek out Invisalign to straighten their teeth. As much as people want to use Invisalign to straighten their teeth, Invisalign may not be right for everyone. How do we know if Invisalign is right for you?
Are you a candidate for Invisalign?
There are orthodontists who say everyone who has teeth is a good candidate for Invisalign. There are orthodontists who exclusively treat their patients with Invisalign. That includes people who are missing teeth, have major crowding, or have large spaces. According to them, Invisalign is not the same it was 15 years ago.
There are orthodontists who offer both traditional braces and Invisalign, some of whom are the top 1% providers. These orthodontists argue that Invisalign is great for mild to moderate issues but for severe issues, other orthodontic treatment may be a better option.
Who’s Actually Not A Good Candidate?
Dental health issues
There are a couple of things that will disqualify you from Invisalign (but that is true also for regular braces)
- Dental Cavities. A mouth full of cavities needs to be fixed before Invisalign treatment is started.
- Active gum disease. Periodontal issues, especially when the teeth are loose may exclude you from Invisalign treatment. If you’ve been treated for gum disease and your gums are healthy and the teeth are solid, then you can still have Invisalign.
There are certain things that can make Invisalign more difficult but are not an absolute disqualifier.
- Dental implants can’t move with Invisalign (or regular braces). If it is in a bad spot, it may need to be redone.
- Bridges, especially long ones as they won’t move very well.
- Current TMJ problems
Age is a major factor
Age is a major issue in Invisalign candidacy. Age plays an important part in commitment of the individuals. Young children often do not have the commitment required for Invisalign aligners to be effective. Invisalign aligners are removable. They need to be removed for cleaning and eating and young children often forget to put them back on
Moderate to severe cases
Clear aligners are appropriate for many orthodontic problems, but unfortunately, in many cases, they are still biomechanically inferior to conventional braces. Most orthodontists still prefer to use brackets and wires for moderate to severe cases because it is more difficult for plastic shells to create some of the forces required for complex tooth movements like turning round teeth, making teeth longer, and paralleling roots in extraction cases.
The following are not considered good candidates for Invisalign
- Patients with severely rotated teeth more than 20 degrees and people with arches missing multiple teeth cannot be corrected with aligners. The Invisalign aligner is a removable appliance, this makes it ineffective in its goal to precisely control tooth movements.
- Invisalign should not be used for patients who have back tooth bite issues, need to rotate canines or premolars, or need to move teeth vertically.
Who is a Candidate for Invisalign?
You may be a candidate for Invisalign if you:
- Have bite problems such as an overbite, crossbite, spaces between teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned teeth
- Are currently wearing metal braces or have worn them in the past
- Are a teen or an adult
- Have good overall dental health with no untreated cavities or gum disease
- Are committed to following treatment guidelines and wearing Invisalign trays as directed by your doctor
- Qualify for conventional metal braces
Just like Invisalign for adults, Invisalign Teen is an effective option for common teeth straightening needs for teens, including treating a mild to moderate cases of underbites, overbites, overcrowding and spacing gaps between teeth. Invisalign for teens aligners have a discreet blue indicator that will fade over time when used as directed. You and your child’s orthodontist can check the blue indicator to track compliance.
Best way to determine if you are a candidate
If you are interested in straightening your teeth with Invisalign aligners and would like to know if you are a candidate, we encourage you to schedule a complimentary consultation appointment with our in-house Board Certified Orthodontist, Dr. Neel Reddy Kaipatur by submitting a request online (https://agapedental.ca) or calling 780-465-1211