Invisalign: Teeth-Fixing procedure’s Dark Side

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Invisalign

Invisalign

Invisalign braces are made with clear tray aligners. These aligners are made from Invisalign’s proprietary blend of plastic and manufactured in their own factories based on your mouth molds.

Aligners are solid pieces made of plastic that can place pressure on certain parts of your teeth to move them in a better direction.

This is a seductive message to adults who want a perfect smile. It’s an easy, painless, and invisible way for you to straighten your teeth.

Christine knew she wanted it as soon as she saw the commercial on TV four years ago. She’s not the only one. Since its introduction nine years ago, Invisalign has seen a boom in demand.

This clear and removable retainer system has been a hit. Align Technology, a California-based manufacturer of Invisalign, shipped nearly 17 percent more to doctors around the world in 2006 than it did the previous year.

The product has been used by more than half a billion people. Nearly 46,000 doctors have completed the half-day training to become providers.

Despite its widespread popularity and clever marketing, flawless pearly whites are possible with some surprises.

Bracesreview.com hosts hundreds of Invisalign users who share their real-life stories. Many people don’t know the details of the computer-generated treatment and the common procedures until they have spent thousands of dollars.

The company claims that its surveys have shown that 87 percent are very satisfied with their treatment. However, the company does not collect any information about failed cases or bad outcomes.

Here’s how Invisalign works.

They might not be as invisible as they appear. To hold aligners in place, pull-down, or turn teeth, most patients will need little buttons-like attachments to attach to their teeth. There may be various buttons, and they can be added at different times during the treatment.

Matt, 25, from Baltimore, discovered the attachments by visiting the forums online. The buttons are connected to the bumps on his trays, but the dentist did not attach the composite attachments.

He was still amazed at the bumps in his new tray, also known as aligners. They are clearly visible. The invisible part is even more visible.

* Teeth might be shaved. Adults can suffer from tooth crowding. After taking a complete mold of the patient’s mouth and sending it to the lab, the aligners are made. They are then changed every two weeks.

The computer generates a series of steps that predicts how the aligners will work together. The treatment involves creating space through “slenderizing” (or making “interproximal cuts,” as the company calls them.

Robert Waxler, an Orthodontist from St. Louis County, says that studies have shown that small amounts of enamel can not cause damage to teeth. It all depends on the skill and knowledge of the practitioners.

* The first weeks are the most difficult. Some patients feel shocked by the pressure and pain after the first set is inserted.

Waxler stated that everyone experiences some discomfort. “You can’t move a tooth without feeling sore.”

Braces are less painful than those who have had them, but some people may not feel as prepared for the newer braces. Before putting in new aligners, some people take pain relief.

It can be difficult to adjust to having a chunk of plastic in your mouth. Sore spots can be caused by hard plastic edges that may dig into the gums and tongue.

Raye used cuticle scissors to remove the jagged edge. Others report using nail files for smoothing rough edges. The company does not recommend either technique.

Patients may experience a noticeable lisp for the first few days. This can recur with each new tray. It can be difficult to lift trays that are too small until you get better at them.

You must wear the trays constantly, and they should be removed for eating, drinking, and brushing. The process of removing trays can be messy. There will be a trail of drool that sticks to each aligner.

New aligners can cause headache pain for those who are more susceptible to headaches.

* Making mistakes can lead to costly consequences. The aligners require a commitment. If they are not worn regularly, they won’t work and could make matters worse. Doctors recommend that you keep the tray in its original form until a replacement can be sent.

Waxler stated that if you don’t wear any, your teeth will shift. If you don’t take care of it and your teeth drift, then everything fits.

The average treatment time is approximately one year. However, the doctor might order refinements that can extend the treatment.

Patients don’t tend to shop around for treatment. Align Technology charges each provider a flat fee of $1,500 for full-service treatment and $750 to perform short, express treatments for minor changes. The fees of doctors typically range between $3,000 and $5,000.

Invisalign providers make up more than half of all dentists than any orthodontists who have received specialized training.

Schilling selected his provider based on recommendations from family and friends. He is generally satisfied with the results to date. Schilling said that he didn’t shop around as the orthodontist offered $500 savings if he signed up on the same day of the initial consultation.

* Becoming an expert in oral hygiene. If you keep a piece of plastic in your mouth for 20 hours per day, odors are inevitable. The majority of users double their daily maintenance by soaking and brushing their plastic retainers and brushing their teeth.

To avert food particles from getting stuck in the plastic retainers after eating, some users carry floss.

* A commitment for life. It doesn’t stop when treatment is over. Doctors advise patients to wear retainers every night to prevent their teeth from shifting back. Some retainers need replacing annually.

Invisalign alternatives

Clear aligner braces are a household name, and Invisalign is a popular choice. But there are other options.

Lingual braces

You may be more concerned about appearances than your health. Your doctor can recommend lingual braces. These are hidden behind your teeth and cannot be seen when you smile.

Although lingual braces may still be made of metal, clear, and ceramic brackets, they are less expensive than Invisalign.

ClearCorrect, the American competitor to Invisalign, is the dominant player in the United States. ClearCorrect uses invisible plastic aligners. ClearCorrect’s aligners are made in America.

ClearCorrect claims that their product is priced between $2,000 and $8,000. Insurance may also cover up to $1,000 of your treatment.

The Consumer Guide for Dentistry estimates the national average cost for ClearCorrect treatment to be $2,500-$5,500.

ClearCorrect may take longer than Invisalign but is generally cheaper. Cost and timeline depend on the complexity of your case.

ClearCorrect and Invisalign both offer their own brand of aligner products. ClearCorrect and Invisalign are not dentists.

Discuss your case with your dentist to determine which type of orthodontic appliance would be best for you.

The product will be ordered by your dentist and used as a tool in shaping your smile.