It is hard to believe that Invisalign can straighten the teeth without pain or the use of metal brackets and wires. Invisalign is a relatively new tooth straightening option, and, most people are familiar with seeing or using metal braces that require brackets, wires, and complex treatment procedures. With Invisalign treatment that involves a few plastic trays, it is normal to feel that this may not be effective, but it is.
A lot of people ask if Invisalign clear braces work. The answer to this question depends on a few factors.
Does Invisalign work?
Invisalign is commonly known to correct minor issues, but it can be used to correct most minor, moderate, and even some cases of severe misalignments. Most of the more severe orthodontic problems cannot be corrected with braces but with treatment options such as spacers, expanders, or dreaded headgear.
Invisalign and metal braces can be used to correct issues such as overcrowding, gaps, and even turned teeth.
When Invisalign was first introduced, it could only correct a few issues, but this has changed as Invisalign uses attachments, buttons, movements and even plastics when necessary to correct more types of misalignment.
Generally, Invisalign treatment is suitable for different types of minor teeth alignment problems like crooked, or protruding teeth to serious problems like malocclusion, overbite, or underbite.
Invisalign is commonly used to treat conditions that could lead to tooth loss, decay, and gum diseases such as gapped teeth, an overbite that causes the upper teeth to protrude out over the lower teeth, underbite which causes the lower teeth to protrude over the upper teeth, open bite, overcrowding, and crossbite which causes the upper and lower jaws not to align properly.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign aligners use a series of plastic aligners instead of the traditional wire and brackets to carefully move the teeth into a better position in a steady manner.
The first step in getting Invisalign is using a 3D technology to create a step by step plan for your treatment. This helps you to know the processes involved in the treatment and what to expect at the end. Your orthodontist will carry out an x-ray on you and take your teeth impressions to create a 3-D image of your teeth that will be used to know the places that need movement for the teeth to become straight.
Your first set of aligners will be made using the plan, and every couple of weeks, you would have a new set of aligners until the teeth are in their right position.
Most orthodontists will tell you that Invisalign treatment takes a longer time than metal braces because the aligners are made of plastic which is not as strong as metal and do not exert much pressure so, treatment will be slower. The nature of the aligners gives it an added advantage because those who use Invisalign feel more comfortable, experience less pain, and fewer sores during treatment.
Invisalign also has more upsides like the ability to take them out to brush, eat, and clean the trays whenever you want to. Metal braces cannot be removed, and this makes cleaning them difficult. However, with the right cleaning technique and special toothbrushes, you can comfortably clean your teeth and braces.
The aligners are virtually invisible meaning that people would hardly notice you are wearing them, unlike metal braces that make people self-conscious while wearing them. A variant of Invisalign made specifically for teens makes it easier for teenagers to straighten their teeth.
Why would Invisalign fail?
Invisalign requires a commitment to be able to wear the aligners for the required number of hours daily for an effective treatment. The aligner trays are removable, and most patients forget to wear them when they take them out to eat while some other persons choose not to wear them some days.
Patients who do not wear their aligners for up to twenty-two hours every day may not get their desired result at the end of treatment and even when they do, it may take longer than the normal treatment time. Leaving your aligners out for a long time may also have a counter-productive effect on the movement already achieved.
People who used traditional braces to straighten their teeth report that their plastic retainers feel tight and experience discomfort when they put them on at night or at the end of the day. This happens because, after a little while, the teeth begin to shift back to their previous position. The movement can occur years after treatment and wearing retainers.
Aligner trays should only be taken out before eating or drinking anything other than water, and when you want to brush or floss your teeth. They should also be put back immediately after any of these. If you think you will not comply with this basic requirement for Invisalign, you should think about getting metal braces. If you also have a hard time complying with dietary restrictions and a cleaning routine, your orthodontist may have to provide you with an alternative to Invisalign.
At the end of your treatment, you would have to wear retainers as this is a necessary step to keep your teeth from gradually shifting back to its previous position. You may have to only wear your retainer on either the top or bottom teeth or both. You will be required to wear the retainer all day at first then subsequently, only at night.
Types of retainer
There are generally two types of retainers – removable and fixed. The removable type can be worn for about a year while the fixed one may be used for several years. The fixed retainers are glued to the back of the teeth using cement while the removable ones can always be taken out.
Retainers are made of two types of materials:
These are the common materials used to make retainers. They are available in different colours and adjustable with bendable wires.
This is a clear plastic that is made to fit over the teeth. They are less noticeable, and most people opt for this type of retainer.
Metal braces and Invisalign: which is better?
Choosing a treatment option depends on the misalignment case and how willing you are to comply with the requirements needed for Invisalign to be effective. Metal braces and Invisalign both have up and downsides so, visit your nearest clinic for Invisalign London.