When faced with a choice between noticeable and unnoticeable braces to correct your teeth, most people will prefer an invisible treatment. However, compromising on effectiveness for appearance’s sake isn’t ideal. Which begs the question, “How well does Invisalign really work?”.
Invisalign can be a highly effective treatment to straighten your teeth, but it won’t work for everyone.
In this article, we’ll explore how well Invisalign works, explain what factors can impact its effectiveness and detail what the benefits are of getting this treatment.
What is Invisalign?
Compared with traditional metal braces, Invisalign is considered a less noticeable treatment to fix your teeth. It involves wearing a clear tray (known as an aligner) for long periods every day. Generally, you can get Invisalign to help fix issues like an overbite, underbite, crossbite, openbite, gaps in your teeth or crowded teeth.
How Well Does Invisalign Work?
In general, Invisalign’s effectiveness depends on how complex the structural issues are with your teeth. But some other factors can impact their success, too, including:
- How long you wear your aligners each day
- How careful you are during cleaning and removal
- Your age – studies (source) have shown that the rate your teeth move can increase around the ages of 35-50, which can make the treatment more effective
- Your sex – studies (source) have shown that women aged 50-70 can have more movement in their teeth than men of the same age
Ultimately, how well Invisalign works can vary significantly. You should always seek advice from an Orthodontist before deciding whether it’s the right (or wrong) treatment for you.
How Long Does it Take For Invisalign to Work?
How long Invisalign takes to work depends on how bad the issues are with your teeth. Most people start seeing results after around six months. But you can usually expect to wear the aligners for between 1-2 years overall.
To get the most out of your Invisalign treatment, you’ll usually need to wear the aligners between 20-22 hours per day – only removing them for eating, drinking or cleaning.
If you’re considering getting Invisalign for your teeth, it’s important to speak to an Orthodontist for personalised advice about how well the treatment will work for you and how long you’ll need it for.
What are the Disadvantages of Invisalign?
Choosing Invisalign as a corrective treatment for your teeth is a great decision for many people. However, it’s important to consider what’s involved before you commit.
- You’ll Have a Long Daily Wear-Time
Even though the retainers are removable, you shouldn’t take them out that often. It’s recommended that you wear your Invisalign for between 20-22 hours per day, so you should only really take them out when you’re eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth. While the aligners aren’t very noticeable (and you should get used to the feeling of wearing them), this is a long wear-time and will take some adjusting.
- You’ll Have Strict Cleaning Rules
Another important factor about Invisalign is that you’ll need to follow strict cleaning rules to keep them looking (and working) their best. You can’t wash the trays with very hot water (as this can damage the mould and make it less effective) and you’ll need to be very careful about what you drink – even when you’re not wearing the aligner. Since the trays are fitted to attachments in your mouth (that can’t be removed), these can stain easily if you drink tea or coffee, or if you don’t frequently brush your teeth after consuming something.
- You May Find it Difficult to Remove
Another downside to Invisalign is that it can sometimes be difficult to remove the trays. Even though you should get used to unclipping the aligners over time, the actual moulds will frequently be tightened or replaced, so you may always experience some difficulties. This can be hard on your nails and can make your teeth feel slightly sore after removal.
What are the Benefits of Invisalign?
Despite their disadvantages, there are many benefits of choosing Invisalign for your teeth.
- It’s Almost Unnoticeable
One of the biggest reasons why many people want Invisalign is because it’s almost unnoticeable. Because the trays and attachments are clear, they are considered an ‘invisible’ treatment – especially when compared with other braces (like metal ones) that are very obvious and noticeable.
- It’s Removable
Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign trays can be removed. While it’s recommended you wear them for most of the day, you can take them out when you need to. This can make things like eating and drinking more comfortable. It can also make your teeth easier to clean, as there shouldn’t be food stuck in the aligners.
- You Can See Quicker Results
Invisalign tends to fix your teeth quicker than traditional metal braces. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, since the aligners focus on moving all your teeth, rather than each tooth individually, a greater force is applied. Secondly, aligners are frequently renewed to reflect the changes in your teeth’s positioning, sometimes as often as every two weeks. Both these factors combined can mean you won’t need to wear Invisalign for as long as braces to see results.
Getting Invisalign has its benefits. It can be one of the quickest, least noticeable ways to straighten your teeth. But how well the treatment works really depends on you, your teeth, and the ongoing maintenance you apply when you have them. If you’re considering whether you should get Invisalign, it’s best to seek personalised advice from a professional.
To learn more about Invisalign treatments, get in touch today to book a consultation with one of our friendly Orthodontists.