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Invisalign: Expectations vs. Reality

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September 19, 2022

When it comes to dental care, many people are quick to invest in Invisalign braces. After all, they offer a number of benefits over traditional metal braces – they’re practically invisible, removable for eating and cleaning, and comfortable. However, what many people don’t realize is that Invisalign braces are not perfect – and that can cause a lot of issues for some patients.

How does Invisalign work?

Using a 3D modeling software program, a custom series of aligners is developed for patients. Patients wear these aligners for about two weeks before moving onto the next set. The entire treatment takes anywhere on average between 9 months to 1.5 years depending on one’s individual case. Some patients document as little as six months for treatment time. Patients are expected to visit their dentist every six weeks for adjustments and/or checkups. 

Invisalign Expectations

Common questions before signing up for Invisalign treatment are the following:

- How does it work?

- How much does it cost?

- Will my teeth truly look perfect after the treatment?

- What are the downfalls of getting Invisalign?

- Does it hurt?


With these questions can come some expectations and preconceived notions about the treatment’s procedure and effectiveness. 


Common customer expectations include: faster treatment time, affordability, and a better smile. The truth is that Invisalign braces are a great option for a lot of patients – but they come with a few important side effects to be aware of. 


Reality: What Can Actually Happen When Wearing Invisalign?

Tooth and Gum Sensitivity

-One of the most common complaints about Invisalign is that they can cause tooth and gum sensitivity. This occurs when the aligners rub against teeth and gums, irritating them over time. Since each set of aligners must be worn for two weeks, this sensitivity can be quite bothersome for some patients.


Minor Speech Impediments 

- Invisalign braces are also known to potentially cause minor speech impediments. This is because the aligners can change the way teeth fit together, causing patients to mumble or slur their words.


Difficult to Keep Clean

- Invisalign braces can be difficult to keep clean. Since the aligners are removable, they can be difficult to clean thoroughly. Patients must clean them with water and toothpaste or mouthwash before re-inserting them into their mouths. When patients don’t keep their Invisalign braces clean, bacteria can form – leading to bad breath and even tooth decay.


Treatment Time

- Based on the word of mouth from others, it is stated that people with Invisalign treatment spend an additional six to nine months wearing them. This happens when your teeth don’t move as planned initially. 


Effectiveness

- Sometimes, either due to not wearing the aligners for its recommended time or to a provider’s lack of experience in mapping aligners, the aligners may not give you your desired end result. 


Different Pricing from Traditional Braces

- Invisalign can range in price depending on your treatment plan. To get the most accurate quote for your Invisalign journey, please contact our office today.


How to Ensure You Get a Good Invisalign Experience


The First Consultations

Most Invisalign providers offer free consultations. With this free consultation does not mean you need to commit to that provider. You can visit several orthodontists until you find the right one that makes you feel comfortable. 


During the initial consultation, the provider will look at your teeth, mouth shape and your bite (overbite, underbite, etc). They will then let you know if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. 


Invisalign can solve many issues but it won’t be able to fix them all. Your dentist or orthodontist may recommend jaw surgery or braces as an alternative to Invisalign. 


Remember that you do not have to go with the first provider that you have your initial consultation with. Be sure to pick the one that makes you feel confident in the process.


State-Of-The-Art Technology

In order to have Invisalign aligners that are most accurate to how you want your perfect smile to be, your provider will need a highly accurate picture of your teeth. In order to get this, either 3D digital imaging equipment or molds are used.


Molds are not entirely accurate. They can also be uncomfortable and messy. The orthodontist will fill a mold with goo and press it into your mouth then waits until it hardens before removal. 


On the other hand, a digital scanner is super quick and very accurate. Choosing a provider that uses a scanner instead of molds will prove to be beneficial in the moment. 


Keep Your Aligners On For 20-22 Hours A Day

To get your teeth to move in the right direction, you must be diligent about the time you keep them on for. The trays won’t work if you don’t keep them secured in your mouth. After about one or two weeks, you will switch to the next tray which will move your teeth again. 


Conclusion

All in all, Invisalign can help you to fix your overbite, underbite, misaligned teeth, and etcetera. There are many benefits that come with Invisalign including comfortability, invisibility and the freedom to take them on and off. Although there are these benefits, there are also some downsides as well.


Many people expect Invisalign to be more affordable than braces, take less time to complete treatment and produce them with their dream smile. However, without the right provider and without the right diligence that comes with wearing Invisalign, this may not be possible.


Furthermore, the price of Invisalign is higher than traditional braces. This could be due to the fact that they were invented in the mid 1990’s making them a newer technology than braces which date back to the 17th century! 


Remember to choose the right provider, preferably with state-of-the-art technology and to keep your aligners on for 20-22 hours a day. This will ensure that you get the best experience possible out of your treatment and that you achieve that dream smile of yours.


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