by Dr. O. Karnakova
Invisalign is a clear orthodontic aligner tray made to replace traditional braces. Unlike braces, they do not contain any metal, are constructed out of a smooth comfortable plastic, and are removable. They are used to correct moderate under bites, open bites, crowding, cross bites, and gaps between teeth (diastema).
Invisalign should be worn a minimum of twenty-two hours per day and should only be taken off when eating or brushing. A new set of custom aligners are to be worn approximately every two weeks.
Invisalign offers many advantages over traditional braces. They are virtually invisible and are more esthetically pleasing. The aligners are much more comfortable to wear as compared to the metal brackets and wires. Braces also make it more difficult to maintain optimum oral hygiene. The brackets can trap food debris and plaque, resulting in gum infection.
Invisalign trays can be removed to perform oral hygiene and do not have any food restrictions. Studies have shown that Invisalign can align teeth faster than braces when used correctly.
A disadvantage of Invisalign is that they are not designed to correct severe malocclusions. Teeth that are overly rotated, severely misaligned, or have large gaps over 6mm are not candidates. Invisalign treatment also has the potential for higher costs than traditional braces. Another potential disadvantage with Invisalign treatment is noncompliance. Patients who do not wear their trays for at least twenty-two hours per day may slow the progress of treatment. Not wearing the aligners for long extended periods of time may relapse the progress and require additional costs with mid-course correction.