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Straight Talk on Orthodontics: Does Invisalign Really Work as Well as Braces? Is it for me?

Are you considering orthodontic treatment for yourself or your teenager? Don't want braces? Find out about Invisalign vs. Braces in this post.

Are you considering orthodontic treatment for yourself or your teenager? Perhaps you have seen an advertisement in a magazine, on TV, online or at the Teen Choice Awards for something called Invisalign. Chances are you have heard of this product, as it is without a doubt the most successfully marketed dental product/service ever launched. Over 480,000 patients have been treated with Invisalign to date, and the number is growing.

Invisalign is a system of clear (almost invisible), removable orthodontic aligners that slip over your teeth to straighten them. The patient is given multiple such aligners to take home and wear. They are worn 20 hrs daily for 2 weeks at a time, and then the next set is worn in a similar manner. They can be removed while eating.The number of sets of aligners varies with the nature of the orthodontic problem being treated. It could be 5, 10 or 52 sets. It depends on what is being corrected.

Now the answer to the title question: Does Invisalign work as well as braces do?

The answer is YES!  

While there are always some patient cases that are not ideally treated with Invisalign (like when a tooth hasn't completely grown in or is blocked out), Invisalign has invested millions of dollars in research and development resulting in technological advances that allow the orthodontist to precisely control tooth movements in a manner that rivals braces, which have always been the "gold standard" of optimal control of how teeth are positioned. This has included the addition of small tooth colored "attachments" (small hardly visible temporarily bonded bumps on the teeth) that the plastic aligners grasp to move your teeth. That is the equivalent of a mini brace being placed on your teeth.

It is important to understand that Invisalign care in one dentist's hands doesn't always equal Invisalign care in another. Why? Invisalign is only plastic. It is a tool, or device in the hands of a doctor who designs the sequence of aligners, placement of attachments and use of auxiliaries like elastics. It is a highly individualized plan for every patient that requires careful diagnosis and treatment planning. 

Any Invisalign doctor, regardless of experience can order you a set of aligners, but without adequate training, and experience the outcome of your treatment is not always predictable.

That is why an Orthodontist is your best choice for Invisalign, as Orthodontists are dental specialists who have intensive training in tooth movement and bite relationships, while dentists receive limited training in these areas. General dentists nevertheless can provide good care in less difficult cases. It just makes sense that more complicated cases be treated by a specialists, with the additional training and experience that a patient would want to assure the best outcome. Teenagers, who have not only alignment issues but also growth related orthodontic problems with their bites, are best seen by an experienced orthodontic specialist.

Braces work so well because every tooth has an attachment on it to control its position in 3 dimensions. Unfortunately, oral hygiene is difficult, you are limited in what you are allowed to eat, and braces can break and require additional emergency appointments. Office visits tend to be spaced at 6 week intervals. 

Invisalign allows you to eat anything, there are hardly ever emergencies, and office visits can be spaced at 12-16 or more weeks. Of course perhaps the greatest appeal is that the public can hardly tell that you are wearing anything.

If you have any questions about Invisalign, braces, or this post, you can reply by blog, or visit our website: www.braceace.com.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

George Poole June 10, 2013 at 12:34 AM
I just read the whole article & find it very interesting & helpful especially who are having new braces for their teeth. Thanks for sharing it.
Iris Wise June 26, 2013 at 09:19 PM
This post is absolutely informative. I really appreciate such effort in sharing all these pieces of information on invisalign and braces. Invisalign really works in perfection. This kind of orthodontic treatment is indeed amazing. My friend has this kind of treatment and it's awesome. She loves it so much. It really works. -http://www.minahanorthodontics.com/
Bob Strong October 09, 2013 at 08:57 PM
I am in need of a new dentist to do some invisalign for me. Does anyone know a dentist here in Idaho Falls that would do it. http://www.lowdersmiles.com/invisalign
Lexie Carter November 14, 2013 at 07:32 PM
I have really been wondering if I should do braces or get invisalign in Mokena, IL. This post was really helpful for me. I think I'm going to give invisalign a try! Thanks. http://www.maloneydental.com/library/1973/Invisalign%26reg%3B.html
Charlie McPoyle April 17, 2014 at 05:41 PM
I have thought of using the invisaligns over the braces. I don't want to look like a teenager by having braces as an adult. I would rather have it discreet and use the invisaligns. http://www.wildaboutbraces.com/damon.asp

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