Invisalign is a game changer for those who desire healthy and perfectly aligned teeth. This clear plastic aligner system allows you to achieve straight teeth without the drawbacks and hindrance of metal braces.
If your appearance is important to you, or if your job requires you to attend social events and make important presentations, perhaps Invisalign might be a better option than having metal braces on your teeth. Here are some reasons why we prefer Invisalign over traditional metal braces:
1. Easier to clean
When you have on Invisalign, you are required to take them off when eating and to also brush them with toothpaste and warm water regularly. This ease of application makes Invisalign easier to clean and you don’t have to worry about food stuck in metal brackets.
2. No need for food adjustments
As mentioned above, you have to take off your Invisalign during meal times. To some, this might be a hassle, but think about it — you get to eat and drink whatever you want even during the initial phase of treatment! That’s a win, at least for me. Most patients with metal braces have to keep to a soft diet for the first few weeks.
3. Less discomfort
If you’ve ever worn braces, you’ll know the discomfort that comes with it, especially when it’s time to tighten the brackets. I’ve seen many patients (both adults and children) experience sores and ulcers. As a dental health provider, as much as my job requires me to fix people’s teeth, I want to make their treatment experience as comfortable as possible. This is why I would recommend Invisalign first; the clear plastic doesn’t scrape against your tongue, cheek or gums.
4. Fewer inpatient office visits
When you start an Invisalign treatment program with us, we’ll give you your aligner trays for the current phase and next several phases. Having these trays in advance means you can continue treatment without requiring too many visits to the clinic. But of course for patients who wish to come in they are always welcome to do so.
What can Invisalign treat?
Invisalign can treat a range of orthodontic issues including:
Gaps in teeth
If you have a gap between your teeth, you have a spacing issue. This excess space can appear either in one area of your mouth or through your entire bite. It is usually caused by abnormal jawbone growth or tooth loss which caused surrounding teeth to shift. The fashion industry might have at some point glamourised the gapped teeth look, but in orthodontics, having gaps in teeth is an invitation for food to be caught between the teeth and gums, leading to pain and gum disease!
When there is not enough room in your mouth for your teeth to sit and grow comfortably, they can overlap and twist. This is known as overcrowding, which typically happens in people with small jawbones. When not addressed, overcrowded teeth can become crooked and affect your bite. They are also harder to clean, which increases plaque buildup and your chances of tooth decay and gum disease.
Overbite and underbite
An overbite occurs when the lower front teeth protrudes or extends outward past the upper teeth. Having an overbite is frequently described as ‘bugs bunny teeth’ or protruding teeth. An underbite is the exact opposite (extend over lower teeth), and could be caused by having a larger lower jaw. If you have an overbite or underbite, you may find it hard to pronounce some words properly.
When you close your mouth and some upper teeth sit inside your lower teeth, you have a crossbite. A crossbite can result in severely worn teeth, receding gums and bone loss.
Yes, Invisalign can fix an open bite too, one of the less common malocclusions. This condition is when the upper and lower teeth do not meet even when the two jaws are in contact. In Singapore, open bites are frequently seen among those with speech issues.
What Invisalign cannot treat
While Invisalign can treat a myriad of issues, however, it is not without its drawbacks. If you decide to use Invisalign, you need to know that you have to consistently wear the Invisalign clear aligners for a minimum of 20 hours daily. As the Invisalign can only work when they are on your teeth, the longer they are on your teeth, the more effective they will be at achieving the desired result. You can remove the Invisalign clear aligners just for eating and brushing your teeth. You should also take them off if you are drinking anything that is not plain water. Once you are done with your meal or drink, you should brush your teeth to clean them off any food particles, then put on your Invisalign clear aligners again.
For complex cases, Invisalign alone may not be enough. There are also other supportive mechanisms that can be utilized in order to solve the complex cases with Invisalign so as to achieve a similar result as metal braces. For example, you may be asked to use orthodontic elastics which are similar to what is used for metal braces, in order to push the teeth in a certain direction.
- Lagravère, M. O., & Flores-Mir, C. (2005). The treatment effects of Invisalign orthodontic aligners: a systematic review. Journal of the American Dental Association (1939), 136(12), 1724–1729. https://doi.org/10.14219/jada.archive.2005.0117
- Kravitz, N. D., Kusnoto, B., BeGole, E., Obrez, A., & Agran, B. (2009). How well does Invisalign work? A prospective clinical study evaluating the efficacy of tooth movement with Invisalign. American journal of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics : official publication of the American Association of Orthodontists, its constituent societies, and the American Board of Orthodontics, 135(1), 27–35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajodo.2007.05.018