We Are Going to Answer All Your Questions About Invisalign!

You have asked and now we are going to answer! After searching Reddit for the most pressing dental questions, we discovered that YOU want to know more about the latest in cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign. Invisalign is an alternative to metal braces, using clear, custom-made aligners that fit over the top of the teeth, and they straighten the teeth in a series of steps. Now that we know what Invisalign is, let’s look at the burning questions we found on Reddit!

Your Question: Is it true that Invisalign doesn’t move your roots? How important is it to have your root move when getting braces?

Our Answer: Invisalign aligners will move the roots of your teeth, although there are some limitations. The crowns, or visible parts, are connected to the roots as one solid piece, so any time you move a tooth at all, the root is moving right along with it. So, this does create a mild to moderate movement of the root. There are also auxiliary techniques that assist with the movement of the roots.

However, there are a couple of types of root movements, such as those roots that have to be moved a long distance, which may be difficult or impossible to accomplish with Invisalign. The best way to know for sure if Invisalign is right for you is to schedule a consultation with an experienced provider who will be able to let you know whether or not you are a candidate for aligners.

Your Question: Is it true that Invisalign doesn’t give the orthodontist full control of detailed refinement as traditional braces do, meaning the final result won’t look as good?

Our Answer: This depends on the patient and each case is different. A lot of the time, Invisalign actually gives more precise control.  Think of it like this: if we are looking to make a very specific, measured, and precisely controlled movement on one particular tooth, it can actually be done easier with Invisalign. If we only want to make one tooth move just a teeny tiny bit, without moving the other teeth, the best method would be custom aligners. If we were to instead place brackets on every single tooth, we would inevitably start moving all of the teeth, and the treatment would take a lot longer for this very minor movement.  Invisalign really excels at this sort of focused and carefully controlled tooth movement.

With that being said, there are a few types of movements in which traditional braces do give us better control. Extruding a tooth (pulling a tooth up that is sunk too far down in the jawbone compared to its neighbors) is a more difficult movement with Invisalign than it is with braces. If there are any limitations in what may be possible with your particular case, it will be discussed in detail during your consultation appointment.

Your Question: With trays being made at once, your treatment plan can only be on time as expected or longer for any refinement compared to traditional braces, where it may be earlier than expected. Is this correct?

Our Answer: It’s true that you will not finish Invisalign faster than your initial proposal, and that it can take longer if you need refinements at the end. The length of time for Invisalign treatment tends to be equal to, but is often shorter than, the length of time for traditional braces. It’s rare for orthodontic treatment, in general, to finish ahead of schedule. A refinement is a series of additional trays used at the end of the Invisalign treatment to enhance results, or provide additional movement that was not achieved in the original aligners.  With braces, refinements are accomplished by adjusting the wires and continuing on for an additional period of time.

Your Question: Speaking long term result, which is better? Invisalign or traditional?

Our Answer: There really isn’t a difference in results between traditional braces and Invisalign. The long-term results depend on a lot of things including whether or not the treatment was planned properly, the amount of care given to the teeth during the treatment period and whether or not retainers are used faithfully after the treatment is over.  If there are any problems with your specific case that would make Invisalign less effective than traditional braces, you will be told during your consultation.

For the vast majority of patients, there shouldn’t be a difference.  The long-term results are in your hands!  We recommend wearing retainers for 6 months, both day and night, after your orthodontic treatment is completed, and then every night for as long as you would like your teeth to stay straight!

If you have more questions about Invisalign or you would like to schedule a consultation, please call our office today!