Metal braces are not very unusual things and most of people have been through this at some point in their lives. While metal braces bring desired alignment to teeth, they also bring along nicknames like ‘brace-face’. This gets worse in the case of adults. However, advancement in dental technology has revolutionized the process of teeth alignment with the invention of Invisalign – an invisible and comfortable solution to crooked teeth. Here is a brief introduction to pros and cons of Invisalign treatment along with the due procedure and its costs.
Advantages of Invisalign Aligners over Metal Braces
The biggest advantage of Invisalign aligners is its removability. Under Invisalign treatment, one needs to wear the aligners only for 20 hours a day. So, it provides enough time for normal eating and maintaining proper braces-free oral hygiene through brushing and flossing.
Invisalign aligners save the patients from social pressures as they are invisible. You can get your teeth aligned and no one would even notice it.
Comfortable to Wear
Metal braces are painful as their additional attachments such as wires have sharp edges. One has to keep bracket wax handy all the time to avoid accidental cuts on the inside of mouth. The tissues in the mouth have to get accustomed to these braces to prevent the cuts and sores. However, Invisalign aligners do not suffer from such shortcomings as they have smooth edges that do not result in any sort of irritation on the tissues. Because of the absence of attachments, Invisalign aligners can be easily worn in no time at all.
Maintains Oral Hygiene
Metal braces are placed over the affected tooth and come with attachments such as metal springs, elastics, bands and bars. These attachments tend to hold food and removing the food items from their trap through flossing is a tedious affair.
The food materials, if left like that, will cause bad breath and formation of plaque. Hence, maintaining oral hygiene is problematic in people wearing metal braces. This is not the case in Invisalign aligners that does not come with additional attachments.
Freedom to Eat Anything
Since these aligners are to be removed while eating, the users can eat any food they want without the fear of the food being stuck in the braces. People with metal braces were advised not to eat corn and apple as biting on them might result in removal of metal bracket.
Freedom from Tooth Decay
Metal braces require thorough cleaning regularly failing which it leads to decalcification as well as tooth decay. Both these conditions result in discoloration and call for extra spending in procedures such as tooth whitening and even dental fillings. However, Invisalign aligners can be easily removed and cleaned daily. It also does not cause swelling of gums unlike metal braces.
Metal braces have to be worn for longer than Invisalign aligners. Depending upon the severity of the case, every patient has to undergo different treatment procedures with metal braces. In any case, the treatment lasts for at least 2 years. On the other hand, Invisalign treatment takes maximum of 1 year and is even lesser in the case of teenagers.
Invisalign treatment duration depends on how many trays the person has to wear. Each tray expires in two weeks and it has to be followed up by another set to be worn for another two weeks. Simple cases get resolved within 6 months.
Invisalign Treatment Process
Selection of Invisalign Preferred Provider
The first step is to select an experienced and well-versed Invisalign Preferred Provider and schedule your consultation. Being comfortable with the provider is a prerequisite since the treatment process demands regular interaction with the doctor.
The best way to find the most suitable provider is to meet quite a few of them personally and then decide. Besides, you should choose the right dentist who has professional training in Invisalign treatment. This is also important because the dentist will let you know honestly whether or not you are a right candidate for Invisalign treatment.
Mapping of Treatment Plan
Your dentist will study your mouth thoroughly with the help of x-rays, impressions and pictures. These data will be used to make 3D image of the teeth. Based on the exact teeth movements studied through the 3D image, your dentist will design your treatment plan.
Creation of Aligners
The dentist will then make set of customized clear aligners depending upon your individual treatment plan. The clear aligners, composed of BPA-free plastic, are smooth and comfortable. These aligners, when worn daily, will enable your teeth to shift places gradually.
Moving to Consecutive Stages of Treatment
You will be required to wear new aligners every fortnight. This has to be followed up by occasional check-ups with your dentist to keep track of your progress. You can visit your doctor in 6 weeks.
Duration of Invisalign Treatment
In the case of adults, the treatment generally lasts for a year while there might be some exceptions in special cases. EXPRESS Invisalign treatment that does not require much movement gets over within 6 months. In teenagers, the Invisalign treatment lasts as long as that of metal braces. Improvement in teenagers shows much quickly though. For on-time results, you should wear Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours every day till the treatment is not over.
Cost of Invisalign Treatment
Invisalign treatment costs in the range of $3000 to $9000. Cost of Invisalign treatment depends on the place you belong to and the condition of your teeth. In most cases, the cost comes out to be equivalent to that in the case of simple metal braces. Further, some centers in specific regions offer periodic discounts.
Limitations of Invisalign Treatment
The major drawback of Invisalign treatment is that it is not meant for everyone. It can resolve simple issues but cannot help solve serious orthodontic issues including jaw alignment. This is because Invisalign aligners are not strong enough to exert the extra pressure to correct major orthodontic issues. Besides, commitment of the patients also determines the success rate of Invisalign treatment. If you fail to wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, you will end up with no results.