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When it comes to teeth straightening, patients get to choose between traditional metal braces or Invisalign. While Invisalign has always been more popular among working adults due to price, comfort and aesthetic purposes, I’m seeing more students and teenagers opt for the clear aligner system as their teeth straightening treatment of choice.
If you’re looking to get Invisalign in the near future, here are some things you should know to help you make an informed decision.
1. Invisalign works for almost all types of dental issues
A common misconception is that Invisalign only works for those with mildly crooked teeth. That is simply not true. Invisalign can treat a myriad of dental malocclusions, including:
- Crooked teeth that are more than mildly crooked
- Overbites (upper front teeth overlap lower front teeth)
- Underbites (lower front teeth overlap upper front teeth)
- Gaps between teeth
- Open bites (upper and lower teeth fail to meet)
- Crowded teeth
With that said, there are a few exceptions that Invisalign cannot treat. They include:
- Teeth that are too short, round or pegged. Having such teeth can prevent the Invisalign aligners from having a good grip.
- Teeth that are rotated past 20 degrees
- Gaps larger than 6mm between teeth
- Midline discrepancy over 2mm
- Previous dental work like a dental bridge
If you fall into any of the categories that Invisalign cannot treat, you may have to consider traditional metal braces or other forms of orthodontic treatments depending on what your dentist thinks is best. But don’t be too disappointed — if you have a severe dental malocclusion, it is important that you get it treated to prevent future health problems.
2. Every Invisalign set is custom made
At Dennis Tan Dental, we work together with Invisalign USA to custom design each aligner. We first get a detailed scan of your mouth with the iTero scanner, and then send the results to the Invisalign lab to create a series of aligners. These aligners are to be changed out every 2 weeks to accommodate your shifting teeth.
3. You may have a slight lisp
Some patients report sounding different or having a slight lisp when having Invisalign, especially during the first week or two. This is very normal and will go away once you get used to the aligners. Besides, the lisp is not very noticeable at all. If anything, this is nothing compared to the sores and ulcers some patients experience with braces.
4. Some Invisalign sets come with buttons or attachments
When Invisalign was first made available to patients, it could only treat cases with few complications. Today, Invisalign treatment has evolved and can treat more severe cases thanks to developments like attachments and buttons.
Invisalign attachments are used when a patient cannot get their desired results with just the aligners. The attachments are bonded directly to teeth using a strong material, and using precise shaping, the attachments create new angles of pressure to move the teeth exactly where they need to. Invisalign attachments are primarily used on severe crookedness or crowding, or if a tooth needs to be raised to line up with other teeth. They may cause your aligners to feel a little tight, meaning removing your aligners might require extra effort, but after awhile you’ll figure out the right amount of pressure needed.
Invisalign buttons are small hooks that act as anchors for inter arch bands to correct issues like overbites and underbites. These buttons are teeth coloured and are barely noticeable at all.
5. Your teeth might feel lose whenever you remove your clear aligners
Many patients report that their teeth feel ‘loose’ whenever they remove their clear aligners or once their treatment is done. This is normal, as your teeth must be loosened in order to move to their correct positions.
6. Compliance and oral hygiene is key in order for Invisalign to work
The effectiveness of Invisalign depends heavily on how diligent the patient is — are you able to keep your aligners on for at least 22 hours a day? If you don’t have the discipline, then Invisalign will be suitable for you. Oral hygiene is also extremely important; every time you remove your aligners during meals, it is ideal that you brush and floss your teeth before putting them back in. This is to avoid food residue getting stuck between the aligner and your teeth.
7. Invisalign is suitable for any age
Invisalign treatment is suitable for children as young as 6 and even the elderly. It is bone density, not age, that determines your candidacy for Invisalign. If you are older, your dentist will check if you have sufficient bone density to receive Invisalign.
If you have more queries regarding Invisalign, feel free to reach out and we’ll be happy to reply.
- Pogal-Sussman-Gandia, C. B., Tabbaa, S., & Al-Jewair, T. (2019). Effects of Invisalign® treatment on speech articulation. International orthodontics, 17(3), 513–518. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ortho.2019.06.011
- Phan, X., & Ling, P. H. (2007). Clinical limitations of Invisalign. Journal (Canadian Dental Association), 73(3), 263–266.