Is Invisalign suitable for me?
Invisalign are transparent, removable teeth aligners that serve the same purpose as braces, which is to correct teeth that are overcrowded or misaligned. Invisalign was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1999, yet many still perceive the clear aligner as a new product in the market and approached it with hesitancy, almost often deterred by its cost that is heftier than the traditional braces.
Invisalign’s benefits easily justifies its cost. Ask any adult who used to wear braces as a teenager and he would recall fortnightly or monthly visits to the orthodontist to have their braces tightened, ensued by limited oral movement in the days after, and the tasks of ensuring that their braces and teeth are well-cleaned. Braces make a permanent facial feature for several years.
On the contrary, Invisalign are removable. In fact, users must remove them while eating and drinking, which eliminates any eating difficulty or the cleaning thereafter. Maintenance is simple; a user will just need to put on new Invisalign aligners usually every two weeks, without having to pay frequent visits to the dentists for adjustments.
But can just anyone use Invisalign? These factors form an early assessment if Invisalign is suitable for you:
Severity of teeth arrangement
Invisalign is generally suitable for mild cases of gapped teeth, crowded teeth, overbite, underbite, crossbite. Severe cases would be yield better results through traditional braces.
A brief description of each condition:
- Overbite – when the top front teeth protrude beyond the lower teeth
- Underbite – the opposite of overbite, ie. the lower teeth extends instead
- Crossbite – you can think of this as a combination of overbite and underbite. When you close your mouth, some of your upper teeth sit behind your lower teeth.
Invisalign intenders must be aware that its aesthetics comes with a little effort from you. Unlike braces where you can leave the maintenance to your orthodontist and would just need to make sure that your teeth and braces are clean, Invisalign users are responsible for the effectiveness of their treatment. The Invisaligns must be worn at all times, and be removed during meals. Every now and then, you will have to switch to a new set of Invisaligns provided which will gradually align your teeth. It sounds relatively easy but we do have patients who misplace their Invisaligns or lose track of the replacement schedule. Strict adherence to the regimes for it to be effective. Worse, failure to adhere can even undo the partial straightening and alignments that have taken place.
Smoking can hamper the correction of teeth, as Invisaligns should be removed whenever you smoke, just like how you should when eating. Frequent removal of multiple times a day will delay the straightening process.
Invisaligns are prescribed to older teenagers or adults who have a complete set of adult teeth. Also, with age typically comes a higher level of responsibility to adhere to the regimes for Invisaligns to work.
These are just general factors for Invisalign suitability. As always, your dentist will assess your case and recommend braces or Invisalign based on your suitability. Our orthodontists at Natasha Beverly have fitted thousands of braces and Invisaligns throughout their years of experience, so you can be assured that you will be getting that perfectly straight set of teeth that you have always dreamed of.