Braces have long been the preferred corrective procedure for straightening misaligned teeth. Unfortunately, while effective, their less than aesthetically pleasing appearance has made them unappealing. As a result, many adults who are looking to straighten their teeth are caught between a rock and a hard place; carry on doing their very best to hide/draw attention away from their crooked teeth or get these unsightly braces fitted and endureeven more self-consciousness and unwelcome comments for well over a year? Tough choice isn’t it?
With the introduction of Invisalign in 1999, suddenly, a new solution appeared. However, many still had their reservations. After-all, it sounded far too good to be true. Invisalign aligners promised the same results as braces minus pretty much all the drawbacks. Inevitably, myths and misconceptions brewed and even to this day,some still refuse to die. If you still have your reservations about Invisalign, this will hopefully clear them up by debunking the myths and separating fact from fiction.
1. Invisalign cannot treat complex cases – This is not true. Firstly, only a dental professional would be able to determine this. People will tend to disqualify themselves by magnifying the true extent of their individual affliction. Seeking advice from a professional who has likely seen it all is the best way forward.
Secondly, it is interesting to note that Invisalign has been around for well over 10 years. Over time, it has undergone development and with every passing year, the scope of cases to which it can be applied increases. It can treat crowding, overbite, spacing and cross-bite. If you feel that your case may be too severe for Invisalign, think again: it very likely isn’t. Consult a dental professional who has experience and get a valid opinion.
2. Its only suitable for adults – Once again, this is false. There is no age limit for Invisalign. What determines the suitability are the teeth which have erupted in the mouth. Typically these erupt between the ages of 10-12.
3. Invisalign aligners make it difficult to eat – Many people do not realise that Invisalign aligners are completely removable. Unlike traditional braces which can get food caught in them and have been shown to cause tooth decay and demineralization in up to 50% of patients, Invisalign aligners can be removed to allow proper brushing, flossing and trouble free eating.
4. It takes too long to get used to – A few people are under the impression that the aligners are uncomfortable and may potentially take far too long to get used to. Invisalign aligners use gentle forces which require adjustments every couple of weeks. Mild discomfort of some sort is to be expected, however. Though with little to no gum irritation, they can actually be far easier to get used to than traditional braces.
5. It’s more expensive than braces – This too is inaccurate. From a purely financial perspective, Invisaligncosts roughly the same as braces. Prices range from around $3000-$8000 or even as little as $2000 in simpler cases. On average, you can expect to pay around $5000 – about the same as traditional braces.
6. Invisalign will take longer than braces – There can be an element of truth to that. The advantage of braces is that they always stay on your teeth while Invisalign aligners are removable. People who keep them off for a long time find that their results are less than satisfactory.
Ultimately, the aligned generally need to be left on for 20-22 hours a day and should only be removed for brushing, eating and flossing. The commitment of the patient will result in the desired outcome. When used in accordance with the recommended guidelines, the aligners will work at the same speed as traditional braces do.
7. Insurance doesn’t cover Invisalign – This isn’t true. In fact, most health insurance policies cover Invisalign just as they would cover other orthodontic treatments
While traditional braces are very effective, they present many drawbacks. For an adult looking to finally address some long overdue dental issues, braces can really seem unappealing. They can make one far more self-conscious and since treatment takes a fairly long time, it can erode on confidence. Invisalign aligners take much of that away.
Not only do they allow you to clean your teeth and ward off tooth decay, they do not irritate your gums or make certain foods awkward to eat. In many ways you could argue that Invisalign aligners do the same exact job that braces are meant to do without all the disadvantages.
Are they for you? The best way to find out is to consult a dental healthcare professional. If you’ve always wanted to get a killer smile but did not warm to the idea of wearing metal braces for a few years, then this might just be the solution for you.
Author bio: Dr. Mark Marchbanks has been an Arlington Texas dentist since 1983. He enjoys caring for patients young and old. You can find Dr.Marchbanks on Google +. If it’s been more than 6 months since your last teeth cleaning, give us a call today to schedule your check-up.