Anyone who wants to avoid metal braces wonders, “Will Invisalign work for me?” After all, Invisalign is a brand of invisible aligners that corrects many orthodontic problems. People love this option for teeth straightening, because it’s less visible than metal braces. It’s especially popular for adults who need braces, since it’s more aesthetic and more comfortable than metal brackets.
Now, Invisalign is very effective at correcting some orthodontic problems. But it could be less effective with more complex problems. So, how can you know if you’re a good Invisalign candidate? Keep reading, and we’ll walk you through it all. But first, let’s review exactly what Invisalign involves.
When you choose Invisalign for teeth straightening, you’ll get series of invisible aligners. Over time, these aligners change the position of your teeth. And, as that happens, you’ll need new trays. Think of switching trays like tightening brackets on traditional braces.
Before starting Invisalign, your orthodontist makes a custom mold of your teeth either by taking a digital scan or by using a special dental impression material. Next, you’ll get the first Invisalign tray that will start moving your teeth. Every tray will make subtle shifts to your smile. Then, over the course of Invisalign treatment, the changing series of trays will get your teeth to their optimal position.
In the majority of cases, attachments will need to be placed on some of your teeth. Those are small tooth-colored “bumps” that come in different sizes and shapes. The attachments are bonded to the teeth using dental composites, a similar material used for dental restorations. They are required for certain types of tooth movements such as extrusion, root angulations, tip and torque, etc.
In addition, interproximal reduction, also known as IPR, tooth polishing, stripping, or slenderization, is utilized to remove black triangles, resolve crowding and create more space for all the teeth to fit into the dental arches.
Bite corrections or midline discrepancy also require the wear of orthodontic rubber bands. The elastics connect top and bottom aligners and direct the teeth and bite in desired positions.
Invisalign has come a long way over the years, they are constantly improving the materials and their systems but it still might not work for absolutely everyone. So here’s how to tell if Invisalign can give you the smile of your dreams. Or if you should look for a different option.
Before we talk about who shouldn’t choose Invisalign, let’s review when these invisible aligners work best. Invisalign is great for:
- Straightforward cases. If your teeth are crooked, crowded or have gaps, Invisalign should work well for you. In some cases, you can still choose Invisalign if you have bite problems, but your orthodontist will have to help you make that decision.
- Adults. When you choose Invisalign, you’ll be able to remove your trays when you eat and brush your teeth. But, to do their job, you need to wear your aligners for a certain number of hours each day (at least 20-22 hours). For that reason, Invisalign for kids may not work as well if they are not responsible. Children can forget to wear their trays. Or even lose them! Which can delay or derail your child’s teeth straightening process.
It’s best to start Invisalign once you’ve got all your adult teeth. Otherwise, more complex issues can come up when those teeth grow in. Transforming your smile in a way that Invisalign can’t correct. And making you a bad candidate for Invisalign.
- Great brushers. It’s really important to keep your teeth—and your Invisalign trays—clean. That’s why we’re so excited about the Crest Aligner Care kit and Cleaning Tablets. Because, if you don’t keep these trays clean, you increase your risk for cavities and gum infections.
- Non-smokers. Smoking is always rough on your smile. But you really can’t smoke when you choose Invisalign. Tobacco can damage your trays, and removing your trays to smoke means you’ll spend less time wearing them. Which can delay your treatment.
- Compliant and motivated patients. Invisalign aligners are removable and they do require to be worn 20-22 hours each day/night. They need to be taken off for eating, brushing and drinking anything that’s not clear water. Showing up to appointments, elastic wear, and instructions given by the orthodontist also need to be followed. Invisalign will work extremely well for those patients who are motivated and compliant with the treatment!
Earlier, we said that Invisalign works well for simple orthodontic problems. Specifically, it can correct:
But that’s only true if your case is straightforward and the patient is compliant. With more complicated orthodontic issues, you’ll need to steer clear of Invisalign. However, keep in mind that in the hands of an experienced orthodontist, even the most complicated cases, including orthognathic surgery, could be resolved with Invisalign alone or combination of an orthodontic appliance, braces, and Invisalign.
Similar to orthodontic treatment with braces, at the end of Invisalign, it’s very important to wear your retainer. Otherwise, you may see all your teeth straightening results disappear. If you know you’re unlikely to wear that retainer, you may want to choose a different orthodontic treatment or no treatment at all.
Finally, you have to consider your budget. When it comes to the Invisalign price, affordability may be a concern. Check with your insurance whether any portion of the treatment might be covered. While Invisalign isn’t significantly more expensive than other teeth straightening methods, metal braces tend to be the most affordable choice. So, if budget is a top concern, make sure to discuss the Invisalign price before committing to that type of orthodontic treatment.
Here’s the good news: Invisalign wants to help you get your best smile. That’s why they offer a free, online, Smile Assessment Test. By entering a little information about yourself and your smile, this quick and easy test will help you decide if you’re a good Invisalign candidate.
Did you choose Invisalign for straightening your teeth? Did you have a good experience? Comment below to let us know how it went!