Invisalign is a type of braces that are clear aligners for teeth. They are made up of a plastic blend and manufactured in a mold of the person’s mouth in which they are to be fitted.

They are solid and strong that makes them suitable for slowly moving your teeth in a right position by putting pressure.

You can get Invisalign by visiting a dentist who will decide the overall treatment plan after determining different factors such as your smile and your oral health. After that they take an impression of your mouth so that a set of customized Invisalign can be made that will be fitted to your mouth.

The Invisalign aligner trays will be replaced after every one to two weeks and each of these aligner tray may feel slightly different as they are designed to shift and move your teeth to a suitable position.

Invisalign trays need to be worn for about 20 to 22 hours per day so get successful results. They can be removed easily at special occasions or during daily tasks such as flossing, brushing, or eating.

The invisalign are made of solid plastic acting as braces and not retainers. Unlike retainers that function to hold your teeth in a certain place, Invisalign move your teeth according to the shape of you jaw and mouth actively.[i]

Purposes for use of Invisalign

Invisalign is used for variety of purposes such as crowding, teeth spacing issues and and some bite issues. The situations in which an Invisalign can be used include:

  • Gap between teeth
  • Crowding of teeth
  • Crossbite, openbite, overbite or underbite issues

Although they may be used in mild to moderate bite issues, however, studies suggest that Invisalign are not very effective in case of severe bite problems.

Wearing Invisalign

Initially, the orthrodentist creates a 3-D impression of your mouth and jaw. They will then use this impression make aligner trays that will work best for moving the teeth to a proper place. These customized plastic aligners function to apply a particular amount of pressure on your teeth and shift and move them gradually to a desired position.

Your orthodontist will then use that plan to create a series of customized plastic aligners. These aligners will apply pressure to your teeth, gradually shifting them and moving them into the desired places. There are a series of aligners custom made according to the orthodontist’s instructions. He will switch out the previous set of aligners with a new set about every week or two. Typically, you have wear the Invisalign aligners for 20-22 hours a day.

Alternatives of Invisalign

There are alternative clear aligners to Invisalign that include:

Lingual braces –The lingual braces are installed at the back of your teeth and are not visible when you smile. Lingual braces are usually cheaper than Invisalign and have clear, ceramic, or metal brackets.

ClearCorrect – by a competitor of Invisalign, ClearCorrect. The treatment time of ClearCorrect is the same as that of Invisalign but they are cheaper as compared to Invisalign.

Smile Direct Club – the third and the cheapest option.  A dental professional views your dental impressions that may be taken at your home and sent to Smile Direct Club by mail. Then, your aligners are made and sent to you in the mail. You can then simply use them as directed.

Clear Aligners vs Braces

Comparison of Invisalign with braces shows that there are a lot of benefits of clear aligner which are stated below:

  1. The main benefit of Invisalign is aesthetics. Most teens and adults don’t want the look of braces in their mouth. Invisalign being clear look much better than the braces.
  2. Invisalign is more comfortable as compared to braces as they are custom made according you to the impression of your mouth and they do not rub against your cheeks like braces do.
  3. Aligner trays are more attractive than braces as you can remove them whenever you want such as during eating or brushing.
  4. Unlike braces, aligner trays are almost painless. The metal wires or retainers can cause you pain while the aligners don’t.
  5. Traditional braces wires need to be tightened about every 6 weeks and that require a lot of dentist visits and appointments.
  6. With aligners any damage can simply be eliminated by using the next aligner but if a bracket or wire of braces becomes loose you need another orthodontist visit.
  7. You can simple remove your aligners during brushing or flossing which is not the case with braces. The removal of plaque or foods around the brackets can be lot of work and also take a lot of time.
  8. Clear aligners cost a lot more than the traditional braces which cost about from $2,500 to $6,000.

Clear Aligners Cost

The exact of cost of aligners cannot be known as it may differ with the specific needs of a person’s teeth. However they do cost a bit more in comparison to traditional braces. Your orthodontist or dentist can tell you the estimation cost after examining your smile and positions of your teeth.

You can expect an amount around $3,500 to $8,000 for Invisaligns. The price usually depends upon the realignment required for your teeth and the number aligners needed throughout the process. The cost may also vary with different cases depending on an individual’s needs and the length of treatment.

Most insurance companies allow the dental insurance plan to cover the costs of clear aligners but extent of the coverage must be inquired before starting the procedure.

Pros and Cons of Invisalign

The pros of Invisalign are as follows:

  • They are clear and that is why nearly invisible
  • They do not need any metal wire to hold them
  • They are easily removable
  • They may straighten your teeth in only 12-18 months
  • They can correct bite and crowding issues
  • They do not require routine repairs

Some of the cons or drawbacks of Invisalign are stated below:

  • They need to be worn about 20 to 22 hours per day
  • You may need to have attachments
  • They exert some pressure on your teeth to align them.[ii]