Debunking 4 Myths About Invisalign
Orthodontic treatment is beneficial for a variety of reasons. It can realign bites and straighten crooked teeth, and the end result of an improved smile can no doubt provide a big boost to your overall self-esteem. However, many find the process of getting a tip-top smile to be a bit confusing and possibly even a little intimidating. Much of that is likely because orthodontic treatment options weren’t always as comfortable, discreet, and effortless as they are today.
Way back in the early 1700s, a dentist first attempted to straighten teeth with forceps, using force to shift the teeth and then tie them to adjoining teeth to keep them in place. Talk about painful! Obviously, that crazy method isn’t used in modern times. Decades later, several smile-enhancing methods emerged, including expanders, braces, and aligners.
For many years, metal braces were the gold standard for perfecting someone’s bite and smile. At first, these braces were large and chunky, and sometimes patients even had to wear headgear. Over the years, metal braces have become smaller, lighter, more comfortable and require fewer adjustments. You can even get ceramic braces made from a durable, translucent material that blends into your teeth, making them much less noticeable than metal braces.
Some patients still opt for metal or ceramic braces, but these days most adults and teens lean toward an even more discreet and painless option, which is Invisalign.
Invisalign first started popping up in North America in 1999. Since then, the smooth, clear, plastic aligners that correct teeth with nearly invisible trays have become the most popular cosmetic dental treatment on the market, even though most people have yet to become entirely familiar with what Invisalign is and how it works.
These clear, removable aligners could no doubt be the answer to your smile problem. However, many only know the myths about the virtually invisible straightening trays. We want to help clear up some of the confusion. This short guide will help you learn the truth about a few common Invisalign myths.
Myth 1 – Invisalign Is Not Ideal for Severe Misalignments
Many believe Invisalign is unsuitable for severely-crooked teeth and misalignments, but that is not true. One of the most significant advantages of Invisalign is that the aligner system is customized to your smile’s needs.
Invisalign can be an effective orthodontic treatment for the following conditions:
- Open bites
- Gapped teeth
- Overcrowded teeth
If you have one or more of the above issues or want to realign a few crooked teeth affecting your smile, Invisalign can be a great option. Invisalign is for badly crooked teeth, too!
That said, there are some instances where Invisalign is not an ideal orthodontic option.
Invisalign is not an option in some cases where teeth need to be moved more than what is possible with clear aligners. In these cases, traditional metal braces may be necessary.
Additionally, Invisalign may not be suitable for people with certain types of misalignment, such as very severe overbites, underbites, or crossbites. The key word there is severe. In most cases of overbite, underbite and crossbite, Invisalign can be used successfully.
Lastly, while Invisalign is a great option for adults and teens, it is usually not recommended for children whose teeth are still growing and developing.
It is important to consult with a dentist or orthodontist to determine if Invisalign is the right treatment option for your individual case.
Myth 2 – Invisalign Takes Longer Than Traditional Braces
Because Invisalign involves switching out different aligners to wear instead of metal braces that are connected to the actual teeth, you might think aligners take longer to realign your teeth and bite. In reality, the Invisalign system is actually more efficient than traditional metal braces.
On average, the Invisalign system can take between 12 and 18 months to be effective. Two years is the average time most patients will need to wear traditional metal braces.
This time frame is just a general guide. Many factors determine how long aligners or traditional braces need to be worn. Some may need to wear them for less time, while in rare cases, others might need to wear them longer than 2 years.
There are things you can do to ensure Invisalign’s success in a timely manner. For example, failing to wear the aligners for the recommended 22 hours a day can affect the treatment’s success, increasing the time you will need to wear the aligners. Also, the severity of your dental issues may require a more extended period of orthodontic treatment.
Myth 3 – Invisalign Is Only Ideal for Adults
You may think the benefits of the Invisalign system are only suitable for adults who require orthodontic care. Although not recommended for young children because of their growth and development, orthodontic aligners are an excellent option for responsible teenagers.
In fact, Invisalign has a special type of aligner specially designed just for teenagers. Invisalign Teen is a version of Invisalign similar to regular Invisalign, but it has some features that are designed to accommodate the unique needs of teenagers.
Invisalign Teen includes compliance indicators that fade from blue to clear to help teens remember to wear their aligners for the recommended 20 to 22 hours per day. Invisalign Teen also includes replacement aligners in case any are lost or damaged.
Additionally, Invisalign Teen is designed to accommodate the continued growth of the teeth and jaws that occurs during adolescence.
If you are a parent considering Invisalign for your teen, make sure to communicate the importance of proper wear. Teens should also be responsible enough to remove the aligners before eating, cleaning, and brushing and flossing their teeth. This ensures no food residue and plaque builds up on the aligners or your teen’s teeth.
Myth 4 – DIY Aligners Are Just as Effective
You’ve probably seen ads pop up on social media or even seen tv commercials for other similar invisible aligner systems. There are also various DIY aligners available through the mail.
We understand the appeal. These aligners are less expensive, and everything can be done at home, which means you can avoid dental visits. Although the premise is similar, orthodontists do not recommend DIY aligner systems for very good reasons.
Firstly, DIY aligners are also ineffective at treating more complex dental issues, such as jaw misalignment or severe overcrowding.
Second, many DIY aligners promise to quickly improve your smile’s look. Unfortunately, moving the teeth too fast can damage the bone and gum tissue. Also, DIY/mail-order aligners may not move the teeth into a correct position, resulting in a misaligned bite that causes more harm than good.
Additionally, DIY aligners may not be made of the same high-quality materials as professionally-made aligners, which could lead to discomfort or even damage to teeth and gums.
We certainly understand their appeal, but DIY aligners are not a good idea for straightening teeth because they are not designed or supervised by dental professionals. Without the guidance of a dentist or orthodontist, it is difficult to ensure that the aligners will properly straighten the teeth and achieve the desired results.
In an attempt to save money, you might spend more money to fix issues that occur with many DIY/mail-order aligners. It is always best to consult a dental professional before straightening your teeth.
Invisalign In Middle Tennessee
If you are looking for Invisalign in Tennessee, you want to be well-informed before making a significant dental health decision and major investment. We hope this article helped debunk some of the Invisalign myths out there.
If you still have questions or are interested in the Invisalign system or other forms of orthodontic/dental care, we would love to help you!
Our dentist will determine if you are a good candidate for these clear aligners. The Invisalign system of orthodontic aligners can be an excellent investment. Give us a call! We are here to answer any questions or concerns you have!