Invisalign is a popular alternative to traditional braces because the aligners are completely invisible. Not everyone is a good candidate for Invisalign, however. If you are considering this braces alternative, ask yourself these four questions to determine if you are a good candidate.
Do You Have Mild to Moderately Crooked Teeth?
Invisalign works like traditional braces to slowly reposition your teeth within your jaw. It works great at correcting mild to moderate cases of gap teeth, crowded teeth, overbite, underbite and crossbite. However, Invisalign doesn't work as well as traditional braces, so if you have any of these problems, but they are severe, Invisalign is not the right treatment for you.
Invisalign is also not a good treatment if you need to reposition your teeth vertically to even the height of your teeth. If your teeth are drastically rotated or stick out more than 45 degrees than normal, traditional braces are the better option.
Do You Have Healthy Teeth and Gums?
To be a candidate for any type of braces, you need to have healthy teeth and gums. Braces use force to push your teeth into better position. If your teeth are weak due to a lot of decay, cracks or large fillings, this force may be too much for them, causing them to crack further or completely break. If you have unhealthy gums caused by gum disease, your jawbone may not be strong enough to support braces.
However, if your gum disease is under control, Invisalign may be a better option for you than traditional braces. Traditional braces irritate the gums and mouth. Plus, they make it harder to clean your teeth, worsening gum inflammation. Invisalign is easier to clean and doesn't aggravate your mouth, reducing the risk of gum inflammation.
Do You Have Discipline?
To be a good candidate for Invisalign, you must have a lot of discipline. With traditional braces, once they're in, they're stuck there until the dentist removes them, so it's out of your control. However, Invisalign can be removed. In fact, you are told to remove it when you eat and clean your teeth. This makes it too easy to forget to replace them or simply leave them off because of the discomfort.
You must wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, every day. If you fail to do so, you have a longer process and less impressive results. If you have the discipline to remove your aligners when necessary and wear them every other hour of the day, you may be a good candidate.
Do You Want Completely Invisible Braces?
For mild crookedness, traditional braces and Invisalign results are comparable. The cost is also comparable, but in some cases, Invisalign can be more expensive. Therefore, your desire to have invisible braces plays a major role in your decision-making process. If your major concern is hiding your braces, choose Invisalign, but if you don't care, go with traditional braces to get better results and possibly save some money.
There are other "invisible" braces options. Ceramic braces use clear brackets, but they are not completely invisible, especially if they contain metal wires. Inside braces are also discrete as they sit on the back of your teeth. People can only see them if you open your mouth wide. If your obsession with invisible braces is strong enough, however, Invisalign is still the right option since it is the least visible option.
You may not be a good candidate for Invisalign, but there is still an option out there to correct your crooked smile. If you do feel you are a good candidate, contact an orthodontist like Randolph S. Moore DMD to schedule a consultation.