Invisalign is a dental appliance which was designed to straighten maligned teeth for improving patient’s smile and oral health. Invisalign came into use around 20 years ago, and has gained popularity as it is effective and almost invisible. Unlike conventional braces, Invisalign is not visible and thus accepted better by patients, especially if aesthetics and appearance is a concern. Invisalign system consists of a custom tray made from BPA free clear aligners. This tray is worn over the teeth, and it gently moves the teeth into the desired position. The Invisalign brace treatment is carried out by an experienced orthodontist and supported by radiographic images, photographs, 3 D images of teeth etc. Before opting for this innovative option, it is important to understand the pros and cons of Invisalign braces. These are discussed in detail below:
Pros of Invisalign Braces
Invisalign brace has several advantages over conventional braces. The most evident pros are discussed below:
Comfortability of Invisalign Braces: As compared with wired metallic braces, Invisalign brace is much more comfortable to wear. Invisalign trays have smooth edges which sit comfortably in the oral cavity. There are no wires, brackets or other metallic parts (as seen in conventional braces), thus the possibilities of cuts and nicks in mouth are drastically reduced. These aligners are very similar to mouth guard and quite comfortable to wear.
Appearance: Since these aligners are clear and metal free, they appear more attractive to the eyes. They often go unnoticed by other people around, and thus the patient feels free to smile without feeling self-conscious.
Convenience of Invisalign Braces: Unlike fixed braces, Invisalign braces are not fixed to the teeth and can be easily removed while eating, brushing or flossing. This ensures better oral hygiene and no restriction while eating. It lower the risk of developing gum diseases while undergoing orthodontic treatment and it also eliminates the risk of food particles getting stuck to the appliance.
Low Maintenance: Invisalign braces are easy to maintain and easy to clean. It can be easily disinfected or cleaned using bleach and water with a toothbrush. There are special solutions available in the market which can be used to freshen the aligner. Simple scrubbing can help in removing the stains from the aligner.
Cons of Invisalign Braces
There are a few disadvantages associated with the use of Invisalign braces. It is important to keep these cons in mind before considering Invisalign braces. The most common cons of using Invisalign braces are discussed below:
High Cost: It is well known fact that orthodontic treatment can be expensive. The expenses associated with Invisalign are higher than that associated with conventional braces. Invisalign braces can cost anywhere between $3500 to $8000. It is advised to get Invisalign covered by dental insurance.
Attachments: In complex cases, Invisalign braces comes with additional attachments which help in holding the aligner in place. Attachments enhance the overall effect of treatment. However, these attachments are often visible to the naked eye. There are attached directly to the tooth surface, making them uncomfortable andunacceptable by the patient.
Long Duration to Wear Invisalign Braces: It may be required to wear Invisalign braces for about 22 hours a day making them uncomfortable. Constant tooth movement also causes pain and discomfort. In some cases, the patients are advised to take pain killer to combat the pain. It is recommended to wear these appliances throughout the day except while eating and cleaning them; which mean, the patient is expected to wear them while going out for social gatherings such as dates, meetings, family functions etc.
Inconvenience: Wearing Invisalign braces can be a hassle, as it is required to remove them before a meal. This can be quite embarrassing in public places such as school, offices etc. It is also advised to brush before wearing the aligners, which makes it necessary to brush multiple times a day.
Invisalign brace has gained popularity over the years due to its clear appearance. However, it is important to consider the other pros and cons associated with it before opting for this option. The biggest drawback associated with Invisalign brace is the high cost associated with it. While some find Invisalign very convenient, some may find it inconvenient. What works for one set of patient may not work for another set of patients. Thus it is important to consult an orthodontist and discuss the pros and cons in detail before making a choice.