Going through an Invisalign® treatment means wearing the clear aligners for 20-22 hours each day. This will happen for two weeks before a new set of aligners comes in. Removing the aligners only occurs during eating and dental care. This type of treatment needs discipline and responsibility. That is why there is an ideal age…
Is Invisalign® as Effective as Braces?
Many patients desiring straighter teeth need to make a choice between Invisalign® and traditional braces. As with most options, there are pros and cons to each, and the decision should not be made without doing some research and consulting a dental professional.
Tooth type and issue
Aligners will work more effectively on certain teeth types and problems than others. Whether aligners will be as effective as braces is contingent upon a variety of factors.
Braces are attached securely to the teeth, allowing them to grip the tooth and rotate it into the proper position regardless of tooth shape. Because aligner trays rely on gripping the entire surface of the tooth to rotate it, teeth that are more rounded, have severe tips, are short, or pegged can be difficult for trays to move.
Existing dental work
Patients with a bridge, crown, or veneers are typically not advised to use aligner trays. In some cases, the aligners are unable to bond to the surface of the crown or veneers. Invisalign® trays are also unable to move teeth bonded together in a bridge.
When worn correctly, Invisalign® can be as effective as braces. However, the patient must commit to wearing the aligners as instructed to achieve maximum results.
Almost constant wear
Braces and aligner trays use small amounts of force to slowly move the teeth into the correct position. Because patients are unable to remove braces by themselves, wear compliance is not an issue, and steady progress can be made. Aligner trays can be taken out at will, so patients need to keep them in place at least 22 hours each day to see the desired results. When a patient takes out the aligners while eating, exercising, sleeping, or for other reasons, the trays are prevented from performing as intended. Patients who follow the wear schedule strictly can enjoy the benefits of straight teeth without the cosmetic and comfort issues associated with braces.
Avoiding certain foods
Both braces and aligner trays can be damaged by eating hard or crunchy foods. Popcorn, pretzels, nuts, and potato chips are just a few examples of foods to avoid. One of the advantages to aligner trays is they can be removed while eating to prevent them from breaking. The issue with taking them out in order to eat crunchy foods is fairly obvious; the more the aligners are taken out, the less effective they can be. In order to keep the trays in as much as possible during the day, it is advised to simply not eat foods that are crunchy or hard while going through the aligner process. Patients who are unwilling to stay away from certain foods during this time will most likely experience either lack of aligner effectiveness or broken aligners.
Invisalign® can be as effective as braces under the right circumstances. To ensure the desired results, it is important the patient will commit to wearing the aligners correctly and has an issue aligner trays are able to fix.
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