We get it, the idea of traditional braces isn't ideal for everyone (don't worry we're not offended), so what are your options? Although Invisalign is a great alternative for some people it is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and there are a few things most people are surprised to learn when they get here.
1) You still need something glued to your teeth
Easily the biggest surprise to people is that you actually do still need something glued to your teeth. Small, tooth-coloured bumps called attachments are added to the front of your teeth to give the Invisalign aligner trays something to grip onto. Because the aligners are shaped differently than your teeth in order to move them into the desired position, this makes the aligners likely to pop off without a proper grip. The attachments are also used on teeth that require more specific movements such as rotation. Typically, attachments are not required on all teeth, but they are completely necessary for getting the desired results.
2) Treatment typically takes longer than braces
This is for a number of reasons including less control, the fact that it is a removable appliance, and the overall process.
Because the aligners aren't bonded directly to your teeth, it is harder for them to steer the teeth in an efficient way and therefore provides less control. This can add weeks to months of extra time to your treatment.
Invisalign is also removable. This makes eating, brushing and flossing much easier, but it also means that there are hours in your day that your teeth aren't being moved. Those hours add up! It is also very tempting for patients to remove the aligners once their teeth start to get sore. Sore teeth is the less appealing side of Orthodontics, but it also is a sure sign that your teeth are moving! Removing the appliance every time your teeth hurt will prevent any progress and prolong treatment.
With traditional braces, adjustments can be made as soon as it is determined they are needed by the Orthodontist. This is what your regular 6-8 week visits are for. With Invisalign, there is a third party that is required to make any necessary changes. This means that once it is determined that changes are needed an appointment needs to be made to bring you back to re-scan your teeth, and the scan is then sent off to Invisalign. Once Invisalign and your orthodontist agree on a treatment plan the new aligners need to be manufactured and shipped to our office. When we receive the aligners you are then brought back in for another appointment to pick them up. This process makes necessary adjustments more difficult and far less time efficient.
3) Not everyone is eligible
Unfortunately, there are some things that can not be done with Invisalign. Invisalign works great for alignment issues, but will not correct bite issues, space deficiency, and many other common orthodontic concerns! If Invisalign is something you are interested in, we would be happy to discuss if it is the right option for you at your consultation.
4) It costs more
Invisalign is essentially an orthodontic lab, and with labs come lab fees. Using Invisalign means you are not only paying for the fees from your orthodontist, but also the cost of manufacturing the aligners. The manufacturing cost alone can be upwards of $2500, and orthodontist fees vary based on time and complexity of treatment. As previously mentioned, Invisalign typically takes more time which in turn results in additional cost.
All in all, Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional braces for some cases, and can be discussed as an option if you think it may be right for you! Contact us today to book your consultation.