What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® braces are clear plastic trays that are custom made to fit over your teeth. They work in much the same way as traditional braces, but without the hardware. They are in fact, a series of trays. Each tray is crafted to add pressure on your teeth so that the tooth moves towards its final destination. The trays are removable making it easier to care for your mouth. Because each tray is constructed of clear rigid plastic, there are no sharp surfaces or sharp wires that cause irritation in your mouth.
What are the advantages of Invisalign® over traditional Braces?
The biggest advantage of Invisalign® braces is that they are removable by the patient. This means that oral hygiene is more manageable. One of the biggest problems with braces is that hygiene is tedious, and that leads to poor oral hygiene, cavities, and even gum disease. Invisalign® helps make daily care for the mouth easier so in a sense they help improve oral health during the straightening process. In fact, while patients often desire straight teeth for cosmetic reasons. Dentists often want patients to have straight teeth because it is easier for patients to practice proper oral hygiene with straight teeth. The mouth is designed to be self-cleansing to an extent, but only if you have straight teeth. In a sense, traditional braces that add permanent wires and brackets are counterintuitive to the goal of easier and more effective oral hygiene.
Another advantage to Invisalign® is that they are easy to manage for kids. Without the sharp edges that braces are famous for, there is less discomfort. The fact that Invisalign® braces are nearly transparent means that there is little to no social stigma about having braces. There is a long list of positive benefits from Invisalign braces, but the result is always the same – a bright, happy smile.
Is Invisalign® more expensive than traditional braces?
Invisalign® can actually often be cheaper than traditional braces because they can sometimes produce the desired result faster. Some cases can take as little as 6 months! Invisalign® is custom made to your teeth and every step is planned meticulously with Invisalign® ‘s software (which has millions of cases in their database). On the other hand, traditional braces involve a little bit of guess work and sometimes, dentists move the teeth too much and need to backtrack to get the desired result.
I have an open bite or deep bite (or any other kind of irregular bite). I heard that Invisalign® cannot work for me.
After several decades of innovation, Invisalign® can now treat almost any case! One of the clear limitations of Invisalign® (or traditional braces) for that matter is skeletal underbites. Underbites (where your lower jaw protrudes) can be skeletal or non-skeletal. If you believe you have an underbite, come visit us for a free consultation and we can evaluate you.
Can I get Invisalign® for my child?
With Invisalign® First, even children with a mix of baby and adult teeth can get treated. This is often done with traditional braces as well and is often called Phase 1 treatment. Some advantages of Phase 1 treatment include preventing pre-existing bite issues from getting worse, improving the appearance of a growing child’s smile, can help with oral habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, or make phase 2 treatment shorter and easier.
How is Invisalign® different from Smile Direct Club or other direct to consumer trays?
Essentially, it’s like asking what’s the difference between doing a heart surgery on yourself with a cardiologist watching vs. a cardiologist doing a heart surgery. If you encounter problems like loose teeth, ill-fitting trays, or pain, you will have a harder time connecting to a dentist to address your problems. Currently, Smile Direct Club and other direct to consumer businesses have complaints against them by the board in 36 of the 50 states (source). Additionally, Smile Direct Club (formerly known as Smile Care) has a 1 star rating in consumeraffairs.com and 896 complaints in the BBB. At the end of the day, the choice is yours, but if it were my mouth, I would simply not do any treatment than risk any adverse effects from direct to consumer trays.