Disadvantage of Invisalign?

Invisalign is the brand name of an orthodontic treatment solution which uses clear, thin aligner trays. The trays are created from a flexible thermoplastic material which is called SmartTrack. The goal of the product is to be less obvious than traditional metal braces and more comfortable to wear. While the Invisalign aligners are not entirely invisible, the trays are clear, thin and fit snug over the teeth. They are far less noticeable than traditional braces.

Invisalign can be used to treat a variety of different issues. This includes overcrowding, space issues, crooked teeth, in addition to mild or moderate bite issues. According to the Invisalign website, the solution is effective in treating the following problems: some types of overbite, underbite, and crossbite, open bite, gaps in the teeth and crowded teeth.

The research is somewhat limited, however, Invisalign may be more effective in treating mild alignment issues than more complicated bite issues. Must of the success and popularity of Invisalign is by word of mouth from friends and family. Unfortunately, there is limited research that can prove the effectiveness of the treatment. Based on a review of Invisalign conducted in 2015 which included 11 different studies, research of effectiveness was quite limited. The studies which have been completed, generally have small sample sizes or do not include a control group. Many criticize Invisalign for the lack of clinical research used to support the effectiveness of the brand.

Based on the limited research, Invisalign is more effective compared to other brands of clear aligners. Newer versions of the aligners produced after 2010 appear to be more effective. In order for Invisalign treatment to be effective, the aligners must be worn for a minimum of 20 to 22 hours daily. The aligners can be removed for eating, drinking, brushing or flossing the teeth, and cleaning the aligners. Once the task is complete, the aligners should be replaced right away.

Use caution and be gentle when cleaning the aligners. Extremely hot water can potentially warp the plastic and damage the aligner which may alter the fit, and impact how effective the aligners are.

Below are some of the key disadvantages associated with Invisalign:

  • Not suitable in treating severe or complicated issues. Based on the limited research, Invisalign is more effective for patients with mild to moderate issues. For complicated or severe issues, the dentist may suggest the use of another type of treatment. Patients may not be a good candidate for Invisalign if they have had any bridgework done.
  • Compliance is required for the treatment to be effective. For Invisalign to be effective, the aligners must be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours daily. They may not be suitable for young patients or those who are tempted to frequently remove the aligners.
  • Removal of the aligners when eating or drinking. The aligners need to be removed when patients are eating or drinking. When patients neglect to remove the aligners for eating and drinking, bacteria is able to grow along the teeth or gumline. This can result in cavities and decay. Liquid may seep into the aligners causing the trays or teeth to be stained.
  • The aligners may place some limitations of the type of food you can consume. There may be some soreness and discomfort when the aligners are removed. As a result, food choices may be limited and patients should avoid consuming hard foods.

Alternatives to Invisalign