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Patients often ask us, “How effective is Invisalign?” For so many people, Invisalign is a discreet and convenient way to improve the alignment of their teeth. Not only does this result in a more confident smile, but it also may help improve oral health.
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment using clear, removable aligners to straighten your teeth gradually. It’s a popular alternative to traditional braces, especially among adults, due to its virtually invisible appearance.
While it is trendy and effective, no treatment is suitable for everyone. This article isn’t a substitute for personalized dental care since only a dentist or orthodontist who has examined you can help you choose the right options.
Overall, Invisalign is effective for people when their dentist clears them for treatment and recommends Invisalign. This is the case for many people.
For some, traditional braces would be more effective than Invisalign, especially when more intervention is required to re-align the teeth. One study found traditional braces and Invisalign are similar in effectiveness, providing that Invisalign is suitable for the patient’s type of alignment issues. Some even see results from Invisalign sooner than they would with traditional braces.
When considering the effectiveness, it helps to first learn a little more about how Invisalign works.
How Invisalign Works
When your dentist uses Invisalign technology, you benefit from the brand’s experience of re-aligning more than “14 million smiles.” For many adults who avoided braces, Invisalign is a game changer due to its appearance and convenience. Here’s how it works:
- Your dentist first determines whether your teeth, gums, and bones are healthy enough for Invisalign and whether it can address your alignment needs.
- Next, your dentist maps out the path your teeth need to move to reach their optimal alignment.
- Your dentist will create the custom aligners according to 3D scans so it fits your bite perfectly.
- These custom aligners are made for each step of the process.
- These aligners gently guide your teeth toward their goal position, and you change aligner trays as scheduled.
- Every few weeks, your dentist may need to see you to assess your progress and readjust if necessary.
- Afterward, depending on your situation, you may need to wear an Invisalign retainer.
According to the Invisalign brand, you wear the aligner trays throughout the day and night other than when you eat or drink anything other than water and for your dental hygiene routine. It works without involving traditional metal braces. For best results, you wear the aligner trays around 22 hours per day.
The Invisalign aligner trays are made from an FDA-approved thin plastic. It’s free of BPA and latex.
Each dentist who is certified in Invisalign benefits from the brand’s technology, collected research, and past success. If you have unusual alignment issues, chances are your specific concerns may be similar to others who have already benefited from Invisalign treatment.
Primary Benefits of Invisalign Over Braces
Overall, many people prefer Invisalign for comfort, convenience, and appearance. Some of the key advantages of Invisalign include:
- The clear aligners are barely noticeable.
- The plastic is thin, so many find it more comfortable than metal braces.
- They’re easy to remove, so you can eat, drink, brush, and floss as usual.
- While you need to wear the aligners around 22 hours a day, removing them for photographs is possible.
- Sometimes, Invisalign treatment is faster than traditional braces.
- There are fewer emergencies with Invisalign; sometimes, with traditional braces, the rubber bands or metal braces break loose.
- When you wear traditional braces, you sometimes need to avoid certain foods, and you can eat whatever you want with Invisalign.
A less obvious benefit is that sometimes, traditional braces cause small white spots on the teeth due to demineralization from poor oral hygiene. Traditional braces are harder to clean around.
Invisalign aligners can treat a range of alignment issues, according to the Invisalign website. The issues include:
- Gap teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Open bite
The most significant benefit is that more people will willingly comply with their treatment plans. This results in more confident smiles with well-aligned teeth.
How to Improve the Effectiveness of Invisalign
Results from any treatment vary depending on the patient’s original condition, compliance, genetics, and more. Here are a few tips to help increase the odds that you will love your results.
- Comply with your treatment plan, which means you will consistently wear the aligner trays for at least 22 hours per day.
- See your Invisalign dentist for follow-up check-ups as scheduled.
- Maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine, including your scheduled cleanings, brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing your aligner trays as directed.
- Avoid smoking or using tobacco.
- Ask to see before and after photos, especially of patients similar to you, and it is crucial that you have realistic expectations.
While you can’t control the genetic factors and other factors like age, you can control the lifestyle factors. The better you comply with the Invisalign treatment plan and maintain good oral health, the better your results will be.
Next Steps to a Straighter Smile
If you are interested in seeing whether Invisalign is right for you, make an appointment with a dentist who offers it. Given your close relationship with your Invisalign provider, there are benefits to seeing a dentist with a holistic view of your oral health.
Be sure to talk openly about your goals and hopes. Be sure to ask any questions you have. Also, if you are seeing a new dentist, be sure to share your dental and health history, as that will help your dentist assess whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign.
Southview Dentistry proudly offers cosmetic and preventative dentistry to people in and near Charlotte, NC. Invisalign is one of the services we offer in addition to smile makeovers and other services. Not only can we provide Invisalign, but we can also provide for your other dental needs. Contact us today to schedule your consultation appointment.