Invisalign aligners are orthodontic trays that are a transparent, plastic form of braces used to adjust / straighten teeth.

Invisalign is the brand name of a type of thin clear aligner(transparent removable tray) used in orthodontic treatment. The aligner is made from a flexible thermoplastic material named SmartTrack. As the name suggests, this product is designed to make orthodontic treatment “less conspicuous,” as the American Association of Orthodontists puts it.

Are they an alternative to traditional braces treatment?

Yes, Invisalign clear aligners are an alternative treatment to braces for teeth straightening for kids, teens, and adults.

Although Invisalign aligners may not be completely invisible, these clear coverings fit tightly over your teeth and are much less noticeable than the brackets and wires of traditional braces.

Clear aligners have grown in popularity and are now considered the best option for straightening or realigning your teeth.

Invisalign aligners v/s fixed dental braces

When is invisalign the right choice for you?

  • If you have only a fair amount of crowding or bite issue with your teeth?
  • If you feel self-conscious about wearing braces?
  • If you are ready to wear the aligners for the appropriate number of hours every day?
  • If you can afford them?
  • If you can take care of them correctly?

If you have a teenager at home who would rather opt for Invisalign than regular braces, assess whether they'll wear them and care for them appropriately.

If you know your child is prone to losing things, Invisalign — which can be removed and misplaced — might not be the best choice.

What types of dental issues can Invisalign correct?

Invisalign can be used for a variety of purposes, including crowding and spacing issues, as well as some mild and moderate bite issues.

Invisalign aligners can be used to treat the following dental issues:

  • Some types of overbite, underbite, and crossbite issues
  • Open bite
  • Gap teeth
  • Crowded teeth

What does the process involve?

The first step is a visit to an orthodontist.(Braces Specialist)

Next step would involve intra oral scanning which would create a 3-D image of your mouth and jaw. This image would help your orthodontist to put together a plan for moving your teeth into their proper place.

Your orthodontist will then use that plan to create a series of customized plastic aligners. These aligners are removable transparent trays which will be made to fit snugly on your teeth and will apply pressure to your teeth, gradually shifting them and moving them into the desired places.

Depending on your treatment plan and your orthodontist's instructions, you would need new set of aligners about once every week or two or even once a month. Typically, you'll need to wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. Duration of the treatment may vary from 9 months to 2 years.

What are the pros and cons?

To help you determine whether Invisalign is the right choice for you, let's take a look at the pros and cons of this treatment option.

Pros of Invisalign

  • The aesthetic factor. This is a very commonly cited reason for choosing Invisalign. These clear aligners are much less noticeable than the wires and brackets of braces.
  • You can remove them. You can physically remove the aligner from your mouth if you need to.
  • Ease of cleaning your teeth. By removing the aligner, you can easily brush and floss your teeth, without having to work around wires and brackets.
  • Fewer potential problems. Many people with traditional braces have stories about a bracket that fell off or a wire that broke, leading to an emergency visit to the orthodontist. You won't have that potential problem with clear aligners.

Cons of Invisalign

  • Less effective for complex issues. Invisalign is more effective for people whose teeth require only certain kinds of movement. Your doctor may suggest another treatment option for more complex issues. Additionally, if you have bridgework on some of your teeth, Invisalign might not be the right option for you.
  • Requires compliance. To get the maximum benefit from Invisalign, you must wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. If you think you'll be tempted to slip them out more often, it may not be the best choice for you.
  • Removal when eating or drinking. When you're eating or drinking, you need to take the aligners out. If you don't, food or drink can get into them. This causes bacteria to grow along your teeth or gumline, which could lead to cavities. Also, liquid can seep down into them and cause staining of the aligners and your teeth.