How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign has revolutionized the orthodontics industry, making it easier for patients who have crooked teeth to reclaim their smile. However, one of the most common questions dentists get is, "is Invisalign right for me?" The following outlines how these clear aligners work and factors to consider when choosing between metal braces and Invisalign.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign are clear, retainer-like aligners that shift the patient’s teeth into place. These aligners are removable, but dentists insist that patients should wear Invisalign for at least 22 hours every day. The patient has to change his or her aligners once every two weeks for a new pair that continues to shift the teeth into the proper positions. The factors to consider when deciding to use Invisalign include the following.

The severity of the case

Invisalign is more effective for cases that are simple or moderately severe. These include overbite, gapped teeth and crowded teeth. However, if the case is very extensive and severe, dentists recommend getting metal braces. Such cases include crossbites, very crooked teeth and malocclusions. This is because metal braces have wires and bands that can shift the jawline and rotate the teeth.

Is the person self-conscious?

After determining the severity of the case, the dentist can ask the patient whether he or she cares if people find out he or she is wearing braces. Metal braces are very noticeable and can be bulky. This can be an issue for older children and adults who do not want other people to know they have braces. Fortunately, Invisalign is virtually transparent, and most people do not notice that a patient has them.

How disciplined is the wearer?

Invisalign aligners are removable, but the patient has to put them on for at least 22 hours every day. However, some patients may not have the discipline to put them back on after every meal or after brushing their teeth. If the patient does not have much discipline, metal braces may be the better option for them.

Teeth cleanliness

Metal braces make teeth harder to clean, and the patient needs to be more careful and thorough to prevent staining and plaque. However, Invisalign is easy to clean because it is removable. If the patient does not mind spending a certain amount of time cleaning his or her teeth twice a day, then going with braces is ideal However, those who have less time to spare and have concerns about teeth cleanliness should opt for clear aligners.

Number of visits to the dentist

Some people are very busy and would prefer fewer visits to a dentist or orthodontist. With Invisalign, the patient has to get new trays every two weeks. However, with metal braces, the patient can get adjustments every four weeks. Fortunately, some dentists have made the process easier for people who choose Invisalign by giving them more than one set of aligners per visit to reduce the number of trips to the dentist’s office.

Wrapping up

If the patient’s case is not severe, both Invisalign and metal braces can straighten his or her teeth effectively. The right option depends on the patient’s personal preferences. Talk to your doctor and discuss the pros and cons of each option before deciding on the one to choose.

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