The decision to get braces is rarely an easy one. They can be uncomfortable, make it harder to eat certain foods, and require extra care when brushing and flossing. But when it’s over, the benefits can include straight and healthy teeth.
Invisalign offers an alternative to traditional braces that many people are turning to. But is Invisalign worth it?
Invisalign uses custom-fitted clear aligners to straighten teeth, and they may be worth it if you or your child are looking for an alternative to traditional metal braces. Invisalign can help many people, and as your family dentists, we can help you understand if they’re specifically suitable for you or your child.
Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces
Traditional braces have been around for a long time, and they have been used by millions of people across North America. They’re made up of brackets and wires glued to your teeth and are designed to work by putting constant pressure on teeth to gradually bring them into the desired position.
Braces can feel highly visible and may require regular tightening by an orthodontist, which can be uncomfortable and time-consuming for patients. People with crowding, overbites, underbites, and other dental alignment issues can choose this option to straighten their teeth.
On the other hand, Invisalign aligners are a series of clear, removable trays that can gradually shift your teeth into the desired position. They’re custom-made for your teeth by using 3D scanners to capture detailed images of your teeth.
Each set of aligners is worn for about 1–2 weeks before being replaced by the next set in the series. The number of aligners and the length of treatment can vary depending on the severity of the case, but we can determine this during your visit.
Benefits of Invisalign
When considering if Invisalign is worth it, we can help you look at the benefits offered to determine what’s right for you. Some of the following benefits may make the treatment worth it for you or your child.
One of the biggest advantages of Invisalign is the almost invisible appearance of the aligners. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are made of clear plastic, which can make them much less noticeable. This can be especially appealing to those who may not enjoy how braces look.
You typically need to wear Invisalign for 20–22 hours a day. However, that leaves 2–4 hours a day where Invisalign aligners are removable.
Because they’re removable, you may be able to eat the crunchy popcorn or caramel that traditional braces wouldn’t allow—but don’t forget to brush your teeth. You also don’t need to brush around brackets or wires like you do with traditional braces, which can allow for simpler, effective daily cleaning.
An orthodontist will have to tighten braces, and this can be uncomfortable. While Invisalign may take some time to get accustomed to, many patients find it more comfortable overall to wear the custom aligners.
While traditional braces can sometimes rub against the inside of your lips, Invisalign aligners are made of smooth plastic that can be less likely to cause discomfort. You may experience some mild discomfort or soreness when you switch to a new set of aligners, but this typically goes away after a day or 2.
Of course, a huge benefit of Invisalign is that it works for many people. One review of several studies showed that, in some cases, Invisalign can improve dental alignment just as well as traditional braces. While research is ongoing, there may be cases where Invisalign is the ideal choice, depending on your dental needs.
Considerations for Invisalign
Invisalign isn’t for everyone, and there are fair reasons why they may not be worth it for you.
Certain orthodontic treatments may not be covered under some forms of health insurance. You’ll likely need to discuss this with us and your service provider to see which options are suitable for your coverage.
Invisalign requires more responsibility on the patient’s part. To effectively move your teeth, you need to wear your aligners for 20-22 hours a day, which means being mindful of removing them to eat and brushing your teeth carefully before putting them back in.
If you or your child aren’t prepared to commit to this level of responsibility, traditional braces might be a better option.
Severe Dental Problems
Invisalign can address many issues with teeth alignment and spacing, from overbite to gaps between teeth, but there is a limit to what it can do. People with severe overbite, crowding, or rotated teeth might require traditional braces to get the results they want.
But you don’t have to figure that out yourself. We can examine your teeth to help you find out whether Invisalign can address your dental needs.
The Final Word on Invisalign: Is It Worth It?
There’s a lot to consider for your family’s dental health. Invisalign can offer many benefits for beautiful smiles. Still, when it comes down to the final word, only you can decide if Invisalign is worth it.
Our knowledgeable team at West 85th Dental in Calgary can talk you through everything you need to know about Invisalign so you can make an informed decision. We’re happy to answer your questions about Invisalign and traditional braces, so you can make the right decision for your smile.
Contact our office and ask about Invisalign today!