What are the Pros and Cons to Invisalign?

Before delving right into discussing the advantages and disadvantages of Invisalign I believe it is best just to give a general outline and overview as to what it actually is first.

Invisalign is basically a pretty much revolutionary dental product that will do all of the same work as braces, but without the metal brackets and wires that can dominate a person’s smile. If you are considering an alternative to common braces and want something more comfortable that will keep your teeth straightening process under the radar, Invisalign may be perfect for you. Here are some important things to consider before making your choice.

Similarities Between Invisalign and Metal Braces

The first thing you should know is that there are some things that are not much different between the old traditional braces and the modern plastic ones. For starters, the cost of an average treatment is very comparable. Either method will run the average person a bill of around $5,000.

With Invisalign, you can expect to pay somewhere between $3,500 and $8,000, depending on the complexity of your situation and the course of the financial plan you have in place with the Invisalign treatment.

Both types of braces will straighten your teeth well, and both will work for many of the most common problems that cause patients to seek orthodontic care, like crowding, overbite, underbite, crossbite, or spacing issues. Only the most unusual problems may require metal braces to fix.

The Advantages of Invisalign

  • See Through (considered to be Cosmetic)

One look at Invisalign and you’ll know that the big difference is that they are nearly invisible. In fact, only a close observer will even know you are wearing them, and adults especially appreciate the fact that they don’t have a mouth full of metal. They are made from a clear plastic that gently aligns teeth over time, by using a series of molds over two week periods that gently move the teeth into position.

  • Easily Removable

Another significant advantage is that you can easily remove them. This has two huge benefits. One is that you can eat like a normal person, and you can eat whatever you like. With metal braces you need to avoid certain sticky things, and fighting to remove some foods from the brackets is a real pain. That’s not problem with Invisalign, since only your natural teeth will be involved.

  • Better Oral Hygiene

The other advantage of the fact that you can take Invisalign in and out when needed is that you can keep brushing and flossing your teeth like you always have, without the hassle of working around wires. This is not only easier, it maintains healthier teeth and gums, preventing any issues during treatment [2].

  • More Comfortable

Comfort is improved for most patients that use Invisalign, as the smooth plastic is less likely to irritate cheeks, and certainly less likely to cause a sore or cut for an active person who might take a knock to the cheek in a sporting event or while working out.

  • Faster Treatment

Compared to typical braces, dentists usually find the procedure is quicker (all things equal) with Invisalign taking around 12 months whereas with traditional braces it is pretty much double that (you are looking at two plus years). This was proven in a study with 408 patients using traditional braces that took an average of "35.92 months to complete" whereas it was less than half that with the Invisalign alternative.

  • Initial Better Results

Carrying on from the study above [3], not only did they find the treatment to be faster but the Invisalign results were better as well, achieving a straighter set of teeth initially. Whereby they do eventually relapse back into place and come out with a similar result to traditional braces .

  • Less Frequent Invisalign Dentist Check Ups

With regular braces you will be required to go to the dentist on a fairly regular basis to get check-ups and to ensure the braces are still set-up properly. You also have to go if something gets lodged in them and can’t be removed such as bits of food etc. However, With an Invisalign treatment you can get check-ups much less often (given as described above they are much more convenient). You also do not have to worry about those annoying rubber bands that continually snap in your mouth with regular braces.

The Disadvantages of Invisalign

  • Invisalign Can be Expensive

The term of your procedure will impact the cost, and a longer treatment with Invisalign may be more costly than with traditional braces. That is especially true if you slack off in wearing them and need more molds than originally planned (and even more so if you haven't got appropriate dental insurance). One way to prevent this is to diligently follow the orthodontist’s schedule and keep them in as needed. All things equal, you can expect alignment to take longer with Invisalign than with braces.

  • Invisalign Maintenance

Invisalign Advantages and DisadvantagesCredit: morguefile.comInvisalign must be cleaned well, and a baking soda and water mix works well for this. While this is extra maintenance that some people consider a pain, it is likely no more time consuming than the extra care required to properly clean teeth covered with traditional braces, since metal braces makes brushing and flossing much more difficult.

While being able to remove the mold to eat is a nice benefit, it can also be a disadvantage in that you need someplace to put the fitting when it is not in use. That can be awkward out in public, but you will soon figure out how to remove and replace Invisalign discretely as needed.

  • Need to Be Worn on a Regular Basis

Speaking of removing Invisalign, this can also be a disadvantage, especially for kids. Since it is easy to remove, the fittings may be left out too long (they need to be worn between 20 to 22 hours a day [1]). This can ultimately cause the treatment time to be longer, so it’s important to keep the unit in at all times except when eating or brushing.

  • Initially Disrupt Speech

A slight disadvantage of invisalign is the potential impact it can have on your speech for some people, at least initially, giving you a slight twang & lisp. But, after a few days your tonuge will adapt to the braces and you will be able to speak just fine.

A 'New Kind' of Braces

Invisalign has some compelling advantages over braces as you can see, and as long as they remain in place as directed, you learn how to care for them when you eat and clean them as required, the advantages may very well outweigh the disadvantages. If it’s a low profile orthodontic option that you want that is comfortable and does not dominate your smile, Invisalign is a great choice.