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Is Invisalign Right for Me?

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Updated March 01, 2011

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Is Invisalign Right for Me? Photo: Compassionate Eye Foundation/Chris Newton/OJO Images Ltd / Getty Images
Question: Is Invisalign Right for Me?

Invisalign is quickly becoming one for the most popular options for people who are looking to obtain straight teeth, without the use of traditional braces, but many people often wonder "Is Invisalign right for me?"

If you have ever asked yourself this question, I have broken down a few aspects that may play a role in deciding if Invisalign is, in fact, right for you.

Answer:

Invisalign is an orthodontic system used to straighten your teeth using a series of clear retainers, also known as aligners, rather than the traditional brackets, bands, and archwires that are traditionally used in orthodontics. There are several factors that one may want to consider before determining whether or not Invisalign treatment is right for them. These factors include:

  • The Cost - The cost of orthodontics is generally considered to be very expensive. Invisalign treatment may cost more than traditional braces because the patient may require longer treatment time, compared to the time it takes for traditional braces to move the teeth into their correct position. Because Invisalign is not made directly in the dental office, losing or breaking an Invisalign retainer will add additional costs for the patient. When you lose a bracket, band, or break an archwire, their typically is not any additional charges necessary in order to repair the braces.

    Patients that require Invisalign treatment may be required to wear traditional clear braces for a short period before they are able to advance to the Invisalign retainers. There may also be extra charges on top of the cost of the Invisalign system if you are in fact required to undergo pre treatment before you are able to begin wearing Invisalign braces. On average, Invisalign treatment may cost between $5000 and $8000.

  • Your Speech - The idea of the Invisalign system being discreet is very appealing to most people, until they learn that they will be wearing clear retainers in place of traditional braces. For some patients, these retainers may cause a slight speech impediment, due to the extra bulk on the back of the teeth caused by the retainer. There is also a chance that patients may experience bouts of excess saliva. This, again, is caused by the extra bulk on the back of the teeth from the Invisalign retainer. Most patients report that their speech returns to normal one to two weeks after wearing their Invisalign retainers full-time however, when they are required to advance on to the next retainer, their speech may become impaired slightly again.
  • Remembering to Wear the Retainers - Wearing the Invisalign retainers as prescribed by your dentist is the most important aspect of the Invisalign system. Patients are required to remove the retainers when brushing, flossing, and before eating. For some patients, remembering to replace the retainers after eating or brushing becomes a problem for them. There are also may cases where patients end up losing their Invisalign retainers because they have taken them out to eat, and then forgot to replace them when they were finished their food.
  • Grinding and Clenching of the Teeth - Patients that grind or cleanch their teeth together excessively may find that their Invisalign retainers take a real beating. Grinding on the Invisalign retainers may cause the biting surface of the retainers to wear thin, and eventually cause a hole in the clear plastic material. Patients that normally wear a bruxism splint at night will be unable to do so, because the Invisalign retainers need to be worn overnight, in order to keep a constant force on the teeth. In some cases, patients that are no longer able to wear their bruxism splint at night report their TMJ symptoms return or even worsen.
  • Coffee and Tea Drinkers - If you can't forego savouring your cup of coffee or tea throughout the day while you wear your Invisalign retainers, you may find that the retainers begin to pick up the stain from these beverages. Also, the temperature of the beverage may affect the shape of the retainers, causing them to warp and not fit correctly.

Only you and your dentist can determine together if you are an ideal candidate for Invisalign. If you have questions about Invisalign, speak to your dentist or orthodontist about the orthodontic treatment that is right for you.

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