There’s no getting away from the fact that Invisalign® and other invisible braces have received a fair amount of media attention over recent years. Clear braces technology has made systems such as Invisalign a popular cosmetic treatment particularly for adults and teens who prefer a more discreet approach to orthodontic treatment than metal braces. But do invisible braces work for everyone?
The straightforward answer to this question is that invisible braces do not work for everyone. While they can work for adults and teens, they aren’t suitable for children. Children in need of orthodontic treatment will be required to wear traditional braces attached to the outside of their teeth with metal brackets and wires.
So, while as an adult or teenager, you may, in theory, be a suitable candidate for invisible braces (clear aligners) there is another reason that they don’t work for everyone and that’s compliance.
What do we mean by that?
Aligners need to be on your teeth to work
One of the most appealing reasons for getting invisible braces/aligners is that unlike traditional braces that are fixed permanently to your teeth throughout your treatment, aligners are removed at mealtimes for eating, brushing, and flossing.
Not only does this mean that no foods are out of bounds but also you can clean your teeth without metal brackets and wiring getting in the way. However, to achieve the best results, aligners need to be worn for 22 hours a day. Failing to wear them for at least 20 hours each day can significantly delay treatment or worse still, can cause treatment to fail completely.
If you think you may struggle with compliance issues, there is another option and that’s ceramic braces which also fall beneath the umbrella of ‘clear braces.’
Like metal braces, these are worn permanently throughout the duration of orthodontic treatment with the difference being that the brackets and wires are white or tooth-coloured to blend in better with your teeth. While not as ‘invisible’ as clear plastic aligners, they are less visible than metal braces and are also popular with self-conscious adults and teens.
So what dental problems do invisible braces work for?
Generally speaking, invisible braces such as Invisalign, are best suited to minor or moderate orthodontic problems such as crowding, gaps, and malocclusions.
Unfortunately, removable braces such as Invisalign have certain limitations and cannot treat badly rotated teeth or severe crowding.
Traditional and clear braces (ceramic), on the other hand, can treat any orthodontic problem no matter how complicated. If you happen to have complex or multiple orthodontic issues, a traditional bracket and wire style brace may well be the better option for you.
So now we know that invisible braces do work for people looking to fix minor to moderate alignment problems, then aside from compliance, what else is there to consider before deciding aligner treatment is the way forward for you?
Taking your aligners in and out can be inconvenient
If you already have a good daily regime of brushing and flossing your teeth to keep them in tip-top condition, then you’re probably the best type of candidate for clear aligners.
You will need to become best friends with your toothbrush since it will need to accompany you wherever you go. Aligners must be removed when eating or drinking anything other than water. To avoid the risk of infection or decay, it’s vital to brush and floss your teeth after every time you eat and drink before placing the trays back in your mouth. Food particles can stain your aligners and prevent teeth from moving. It also puts you more at risk of cavities and bad breath. That’s a lot of brushing so you may want to consider investing in several toothbrushes at a time.
On the plus side, you could end up losing a little weight, as you’ll probably avoid snacking between meals because of the need to brush and floss immediately after.
The length of your treatment is determined by your situation. Metal braces are on average worn for a period of between 12 and 24 months but sometimes it can take longer. Ceramic braces tend to take longer because while they look nicer than their metal counterparts, they are not as strong and often break. Time spent in repairing your ceramic braces can extend your treatment time. In addition, dentists are more conservative when adjusting these braces because of their fragility and this too can lengthen treatment time.
Invisible braces treatment also varies but in general, treatment time is quicker for many mild to moderate cases. Typically, however, treatments take between 6 and 12 months.
Cost of treatment
Finally, there’s the cost of treatment to consider – do invisible braces cost more?
Yes and no!
You can expect to pay from $4,500 for minor Invisalign treatment and from $6,000 to $9,000 for full Invisalign treatment. This compares with from $4,500 to $8,000 for metal braces and $5,000 to $8,500 for ceramic clear braces.
Call an experienced Invisalign provider
If you want to discover if Invisalign invisible braces do work for you, then call the friendly experienced team at Dental 266 to schedule your orthodontic consultation. We provide Invisalign as well as a variety of modern orthodontic braces and are happy to discuss your best orthodontic solutions.