Invisalign is a relatively new approach to improving your smile that we use at the Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea in Lee’s Summit. While traditional braces have been around for centuries, Invisalign has been around for merely a couple of decades. But Invisalign has grown rapidly in popularity in that time, and everyone considering orthodontics these days wants to know if they should choose Invisalign.

Here are the reasons why people choose Invisalign, and why they might not choose it. 

young woman showing off her Invisalign clear braces

You Want Your Treatment to Be Discreet

If you want to have discreet orthodontic treatment, there is no better choice than Invisalign. While it’s true that lingual braces–braces on the back of your teeth, close to your tongue–might be harder to see, they also have numerous disadvantages.

How subtle is Invisalign? It’s not totally invisible, but it’s close. Most people, even those who talk to you on a daily basis while standing close, won’t notice your Invisalign aligners unless you take them out. In other words, people won’t know you’re doing Invisalign unless you tell them.

In some lighting, Invisalign aligners can be more visible than others. This might be a problem if you are getting professional pictures taken while getting treatment. However, in these cases, you can simply take out your aligners for pictures.

There is a caveat. For certain types of tooth movements, Invisalign requires attachments to your teeth. These are not as invisible as the normal aligners. We’ll talk more about this later.

Wires Would Really Bother You

Another reason why people choose Invisalign is that they don’t like the thought of having wires in their mouth. The wires from traditional braces can scratch your cheeks, and sometimes the sharp ends of the wires will come out of the brackets, making even more uncomfortable projections.

Even with tools like dental wax, the irritation from wires might be too much. This is one of the big reasons why people who had traditional braces when young choose Invisalign to deal with orthodontic relapse.

You Have Foods You don’t Want to Give Up

Another big benefit people look for from Invisalign is not having to give up any foods. With traditional braces, you are asked to give up many foods. Some are either hard or chewy with the potential to damage braces. This can include anything from carrots to bagels. Other foods can be extremely difficult to clean out of braces, like chewing gum. Popcorn falls into both categories.

If you have foods you don’t feel you can live without for the year or so that orthodontic treatment will take, then Invisalign might be the best choice for you. You can take out aligners, eat anything you want, then put them back in after cleaning your teeth.

Oral Hygiene Is Hard Enough

Speaking of cleaning your teeth, Invisalign is a great choice for people who find it difficult to clean their teeth. Cleaning your teeth with braces is significantly harder than cleaning your teeth normally. If you’re already having a hard time effectively brushing and flossing teeth, Invisalign might be a better choice. You won’t have to clean around brackets and wires to get your teeth clean.

It’s important to understand, though, that Invisalign requires you to clean your teeth more often. You will have to brush and floss each time you eat before you put your aligners back in.

You Have a Tight Schedule

One of the problems with traditional orthodontics is that the treatment can only progress if you make a visit to the orthodontist’s office. This isn’t always easy for people to fit in their schedules. The visits are relatively frequent and they can be long when it’s necessary to redo elastics, wires, and brackets.

With Invisalign, you can progress the treatment yourself by moving on to the next set of aligners, as directed by Dr. Pribyl or Dr. Kleoppel. You only have to come in periodically to check on the progress of your treatment–perhaps every six weeks–and the appointments are quick, half an hour or less.

When Not to Choose Invisalign

With all these benefits, it’s clear why people often want Invisalign. However, there are some good reasons why Invisalign might not be right for you.

Invisalign Won’t Accomplish Your Goals

There are some types of tooth movements that Invisalign does well, and others it is not as good at. Tilted and rotated teeth are two of them. Correcting these types of tooth misalignment are not only difficult for Invisalign, they are not always predictable.

A high degree of tooth tilt is just impossible for Invisalign to correct. For rotated teeth, the treatment can take a lot longer, and it’s more likely that we will have to do mid-course corrections or revisions after treatment. Plus, you will require attachments on your teeth. These are highly visible and undermine one of the key advantages of Invisalign.

Another difficult challenge for Invisalign is severe overbite. There is no good way for Invisalign to deal with this problem. For traditional braces, there is a time-proven method to reconcile your upper and lower jaws to improve an overbite.

You Have Airway Problems

While Invisalign can improve the appearance of your smile, it isn’t designed to expand your airway. If you have airway problems, such as sleep apnea or daytime mouth breathing, you want to choose a technique that can improve your smile while expanding your airway, such as the DNA appliance. This oral appliance can realign your teeth while putting pressure on your jaws that will expand them and improve your breathing.

Let Dr. Pribyl and Dr. Kleoppel Help You Choose the Best Orthodontics in Lee’s Summit

If you are considering orthodontics, it’s best not to get too fixated on one treatment option or another before your consultation. In the end, the best orthodontic option for you is the one that will accomplish your goals quickly and effectively, reliably giving you the results you want. Let our Lee’s Summit Invisalign dentists choose the best orthodontic care for you.

Please call (816) 795-1000 or use our contact form today to schedule an appointment at The Center for TMJ and Sleep Apnea.