Is Invisalign Right for You?
In the past, straightening misaligned teeth or correcting other orthodontic issues came at a huge cost. People who got braces for orthodontic issues had to put up with bulky metal braces that were not only uncomfortable but also drew unwanted attention to their dentition. These days, thanks to advancements in dental technology, Invisalign now provides a comfortable and discrete alternative for individuals seeking orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign treatment involves using a series of removable aligners to gradually get the teeth into desired positions. With this treatment method, patients looking to brighten their smile don’t have to use wire and brackets fixed permanently to their teeth. Instead, they get Invisalign trays made of transparent plastic that are virtually invisible and can be removed as needed. This has a lot of obvious benefits, so much so that about 12.8 million people have opted for this treatment method.
Unfortunately, not everyone with an orthodontic issue can get Invisalign treatment. Some people will still have to settle for the good old metal braces, regardless. So, what determines if Invisalign is right for you or not? Here are a few factors that determine if one is a good candidate for Invisalign treatment.
Your Case Is Simple
You can get Invisalign to correct almost all types of teeth alignment issues or bite problems. We say almost because the severity of your case will determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for this treatment. Simple cases of gapped teeth, crowded teeth, overbite, underbite, or crossbite can be easily fixed with Invisalign. But for more severe orthodontic issues, you may need to get alternative treatment. Some of these issues include:
- If your tooth is rotated by more than 20 degrees
- Severe overbite or underbite
- Large gaps between your teeth
- Intrusions/extrusions (when a tooth needs to move lower or higher in your mouth)
For complex orthodontic cases like the ones above, traditional braces might be recommended over Invisalign treatment. Although Invisalign has made significant progress in addressing various alignment issues, these malocclusions require precision and control that can only be achieved with traditional braces.
You Have Healthy Teeth and Gums
Invisalign is right for you if you have healthy teeth with no ongoing gum disease that compromises the structural integrity of your teeth. At Ballard Orthodontics, the first thing we do for anyone seeking orthodontic treatment is to carry out a comprehensive dental exam before initiating treatment. The goal is to check for any ongoing teeth and issues that may interfere with the treatment and get them fixed. Some of the issues that may disqualify you from this treatment include severe gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and insufficient space in your jaws.
Note that having a history of periodontal disease does not always disqualify a person from getting Invisalign treatment. Our orthodontist at Ballard Orthodontics will assess the condition of your teeth and recommend the right treatment before getting started with your Invisalign treatment.
You’re the Right Age
Invisalign is sometimes advertised as an orthodontic treatment for everyone. The truth is, there might be some age limit to Invisalign usage. Adults and older teenagers are an ideal age group for Invisalign treatment. That’s because people in this category have all their adult teeth. With children, it’s virtually impossible to predict how their teeth will grow, which makes orthodontic treatment like Invisalign a bad idea. Even adults with one or two baby teeth may not be able to get Invisalign treatment right away.
Another issue with giving Invisalign treatment to children is the challenge of getting them to stay dedicated to the treatment. Although Invisalign treatment is relatively easy, you still need to commit to wearing your Invisalign trays for at least 20 hours per day. You also need to remember to remove the braces when needed, such as when eating, and clean the trays regularly. It’s a lot of work for a child, and even some adults may have a hard time keeping up.
You Don’t Smoke
You’re probably aware that smoking is bad for your lungs. Something else they probably didn’t tell you is that it’s bad for your teeth and gum health too. Since Invisalign treatment only works great for those with healthy teeth, people who have been smoking for a long time or who still smoke actively are often advised to get an alternative treatment.
Apart from the impact on your dental health, smoking or using tobacco can stain your Invisalign trays. Although removing your tray each time you want to smoke is an option, doing so too often will interfere with your treatment because you’ll end up not wearing the tray for enough time during the day. You can either quit smoking first or go for traditional braces to fix your orthodontic issue.
You Can Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
This is not peculiar to Invisalign treatment alone. To get orthodontic treatment, you need to maintain good oral hygiene. That’s because your mouth has to be healthy throughout the duration of your treatment. In addition to brushing your teeth and flossing regularly, you also have to clean your trays consistently to prevent infections or any other issues.
Each time you remove your tray to eat or do anything else, you should rinse or brush it slightly. Generally, it’s easier to maintain great dental care during Invisalign treatment compared to braces. But you still need to follow instructions from your orthodontist for the best result in your treatment.
Conclusion — Is Invisalign Right for You?
So, is Invisalign right for you? If you think you check all the boxes highlighted above, you might be a good candidate for Invisalign treatment. However, the final word on whether or not you can get clear aligners is still with your dentist or orthodontist.
When you visit Ballard Orthodontics to get orthodontic treatment, we’ll take time to discuss your case and carry out X-rays to work out the best action plan based on your unique situation. Visit our clinic to talk to our orthodontist about your treatment options. We’ll schedule you for treatment right away if you check all the right boxes.
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