Disadvantages of Invisalign
The advantages of Invisalign are clear, if you’ll excuse the pun. Clear aligners have continued to increase in popularity since they were introduced just before the beginning of the new millennium, helping people straighten their teeth or realign their bite without the bulky discomfort and awkward look of traditional orthodontic therapies like metal braces. The first clear aligners appeared in the dental market in 1998 and were introduced with the brand name Invisalign. Since their introduction, other brands of clear aligners have arrived on the market, expanding the possibilities for people with moderate or mild misalignments to correct the positioning of their teeth. Many of these are similar to invisalign but may be more effective, less expensive, or both.
Invisalign aligners are made of a highly flexible plastic that is malleable when heated and solid when cooled. These thin, clear pieces of plastic are inconspicuous, resting tightly over the teeth and keeping a low profile. Customized to fit the patient’s teeth, the aligners apply force to the teeth and slowly move them into the correct position. The patient will change out an aligner for a new aligner within a scheduled time period, usually one or two weeks. The new aligner is slightly closer to the ideal tooth positioning, which gently guides the teeth together incrementally. While Invisalign isn’t completely invisible, they are considerably less noticeable than traditional braces. Invisalign can be used to treat some bite issues, gaps in the teeth, and crowded teeth, but it is recommended for mild or moderate alignment problems only and should not be used in more severe cases. In addition to being clear and hard to see, Invisalign aligners can be taken out, which allows the patient to brush and floss their teeth effectively; this can be nearly impossible when navigating against the wires and fixtures that make up traditional braces. Clear aligners are also safer and more comfortable than braces, as there are no pointy parts that can snap or rub against the inside of the mouth.
Invisalign treatment offers many benefits, including convenience and appearance, but it is not without its drawbacks. Invisalign is most effective for people with mild alignment problems that can be solved with a minimal variety of movements; in complex cases, other treatment options will be reviewed. Invisalign is also not recommended for people who have had any of their teeth replaced with a dental bridge. In order for Invisalign to work, the patient must comply with all treatment guidelines. This requires wearing the aligners for at least 20 hours a day, if not longer. If you foresee that this could be a problem for you, Invisalign may not be suitable. While it’s important to leave the aligners in for a substantial amount of time, it’s also important to remove the aligners when eating or drinking. Leaving the aligners in leads to an accumulation of bacteria along the gums, leading to tooth decay and possibly gum disease. In addition to increasing the risk of infection, leaving aligners in while eating or drinking can also allow liquid that seeps behind the aligners to stain the aligners and the enamel on the teeth. While it is imperative to remove them, the teeth are likely to be sore when the aligners are removed, which limits the foods that are appropriate for people undergoing Invisalign treatment. In some cases, Invisalign is not covered by a dental insurance plan, and the cost of Invisalign treatment is comparable with conventional braces, with an average cost of $5,000.