Invisalign tends to be one of the first topics to pop up during orthodontics consultations. And what is Invisalign, exactly?
Invisalign is an alternative to braces, and its main draw is that it’s clear and nearly imperceptible and perceived to be easy. But is Invisalign right for everyone? Is it superior to traditional braces?
Yes and no.
In short, Invisalign is good for almost everyone. Invisalign is great for correcting:
Invisalign corrects the vast majority of problems you might experience with your teeth. With the latest technology, it’s capable of fixing just about any bite problems just like normal braces.
While Invisalign is great for many people, it can’t fix every bite issue. The more severe your problems, the less likely you are to be a good candidate for Invisalign.
Age also plays a role in the effectiveness of Invisalign. Younger patients whose teeth are still growing might not be good candidates for Invisalign treatment, while older teens and adults see the most benefit.
The third factor to consider is your own personal drive to see results with your treatment. Invisalign must be worn at least 20 hours every day.
While the aligner trays can be removed to make cleaning and eating much easier, that also means it’s easier to forget to wear them. Getting great results with Invisalign requires more dedication than with braces.
There’s also a sort of schism in orthodontics. Some doctors hate Invisalign and say it doesn’t work. Others—especially younger doctors—love Invisalign and say that it fixes everything. And while the truth is that Invisalign does correct many bite problems, it isn’t perfect.
The area where Invisalign doesn’t quite live up to expectations is the smile arc. Your smile arc is what makes your smile truly aesthetic, and marks the difference between merely straight teeth and a truly incredible smile.
Because Invisalign isn’t good for improving the smile arc, I often don’t recommend it to my patients. It’s more common to have straight teeth and a smile arc that needs improvement, than a perfect smile arc and imperfect teeth.
Of course, some patients already have an aesthetic smile arc—in that case, Invisalign is a solid treatment option.
The other point of contention between orthodontists and Invisalign is the cost.
Truthfully, some doctors may even push patients away from Invisalign to avoid its expensive lab fees and protect their bottom line. But that’s looking at the glass half full.
When Invisalign is a great choice for a patient we view it as a win-win because the reduction in the amount of time we have to see you offsets Invisalign’s expensive lab bill, meaning we don’t have to charge more money for it.
I know most people would rather have Invisalign because it’s clear and hard to see. But the fact is, there’s no point in choosing a treatment that won’t give you the results you desire.
During your consultation, you’ll find out which type of treatment is right for you and your unique smile. While most of my patients wind up choosing braces (more on that later, we use the “Tesla” of braces), rest assured you’ll receive the most effective treatment possible, whether that’s with Invisalign or not.
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