A dental emergency can come suddenly and without warning. It throws a wrench in your schedule and you are left panicking, grabbing the phone and dialing the closest emergency dentist, hoping for the best. Patients can be forced to deal with many kinds of dental emergencies: a lost filling, a loose crown — or even…
Is Invisalign® the Right Choice for My Smile?
Many patients who long to improve their smile or address orthodontic problems wonder if Invisalign® is a possible course of treatment. By using clear plastic instead of metal brackets and arches, these aligners are a more discreet alternative to traditional braces. However, not everyone can benefit from this option. Continue reading to learn what problems clear aligners can address and discover the advantages and disadvantages of this type of treatment.
Who can benefit from using Invisalign®
Clear aligners can address a wide variety of orthodontic issues, but there are some situations where metal braces are required. The following can often be addressed using Invisalign®:
- Crooked teeth
- Gaps smaller than 6 mm
- Open bite
If the patient’s case is too severe, clear aligners may not be able to effectively move teeth into the desired position. For instance, very large gaps in between teeth and extremely rotated teeth often need to be treated with regular braces. Additionally, some types of prior dental work can exclude patients from being able to wear clear aligners, such as dental crowns, porcelain veneers or dental bridges.
The advantages and disadvantages of Invisalign®
Since clear aligners can treat so many common orthodontic problems, many patients will have the option of choosing either metal braces or Invisalign®. It is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment before making a decision.
There are many benefits of using clear aligners. The main reason a person may prefer this option is that aligners are hardly visible on the teeth. Some people may fear or avoid orthodontic treatment because of how braces look on the teeth, so aligners can help patients feel more confident during the time of treatment.
Unlike metal braces that are fixed onto the teeth for the entire course of treatment, these aligners are not permanently in place. This means that patients do not need to make any dietary changes since the aligners can be removed to eat meals. This also makes cleaning one’s teeth easier, as there will be no brackets in the way when brushing and flossing.
Many people also find that clear aligners are more comfortable than metal braces. People may feel less sore for a shorter period of time, and there is no need to worry about metal cutting one’s gums.
Invisalign® is often more expensive than metal braces, and patients might have trouble speaking clearly when first wearing the clear trays. The main drawback to aligners is that they require discipline for patients to experience results. Removing clear braces for extended periods of time can halt treatment. For this reason, aligners may not be a functional option for young children or adults who cannot commit to at least 22 hours of wear.
To learn if clear aligners are a possibility for them, patients should consult with a dental professional who can assess the teeth and jaws and determine what treatments can be effective for straightening. For those who can commit to wearing aligners full time, Invisalign® can be a more attractive option than traditional braces.
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