Straight and properly aligned teeth makes an attractive smile, and they promote good overall dental health. Teeth that overbite, cross-bite, are widely spaced or overcrowded can contribute to gum disease, painful jaw, wearing down of the teeth and other periodontal diseases. Braces are the traditional method of correcting misaligned teeth. However, clear brace alternatives such as Invisalign offers people the ability to correct their teeth without sacrificing aesthetics. You can take them off to eat or brush your teeth, unlike braces. However, Invisalign is not without its disadvantages.
Invisalign is more expensive than braces. Braces average around $5,000. Invisalign retainers range between $3,500 to $8,000, making them potentially out of reach for those on a tight budget.
Your dentist or orthodontist sends your molds, treatment plan and x-rays to Invisalign. Invisalign creates a computer simulation and forwards it to your orthodontist for approval. Your orthodontist can approve or revise the simulation. This usually takes six weeks each time a new set of aligners are made.
You may have a lisp or other problems with speech in your first few weeks of wearing the aligners. The lisp may or may not go away over time as you become accustomed to your aligners.
Some Invisalign treatment requires attachments to various teeth to help the aligners rotate the teeth. They are glued to the teeth in the same fashion as braces. The good thing is that they are invisible and cause no discomfort.
Getting fitted with a new set of aligners can be quite uncomfortable. Most orthodontists refer to it as pressure, but many patients find it downright painful. The pain or pressure subsides as the teeth adjust to the new aligners. Keep some ibuprofen or other type of pain reliever close by if the pain gets to be too much. You may also experience difficulty putting on and taking off your aligners until you get used to them.
Aligners are cumbersome. You must remove them each time you eat, presenting a new challenge when eating out. You must brush your teeth and clean your aligner before putting back on after each meal. There is always the possibility you will misplace your aligners. Whatever progress made in correcting your teeth stops each time you remove the aligner. This can throw your treatment plan off schedule and require new aligners. You must wear the aligners as much as possible for the best results.