Straight Talk About Invisalign

I found an excellent article about Invisalign and I wanted to share it with you. Since I am also in treatment and used Damon braces too, I consider myself experienced enough to chat some more about this topic. Even if the article does seem very well written I kinda sense it might discourage you and in the end, this is not the idea. I’ll try to get some of the most important aspects and discuss them from my own point of view. Maybe the author might also share more insight so that we all benefit from this.

While the company says its surveys show that 87 percent of respondents are extremely or very satisfied with their treatment, it also does not collect information about bad outcomes or failed cases.

This is an aspect we are invited to think about. The author also has had experience in the system, so this makes it all even better. I do agree that the percentage does look pretty nice, but just as we read there, there is still 13% of people who are not pleased with this. Sure, these might be people who weren’t able to adjust to the treatment and the results are not as good as predicted. In general, there are people who FAIL in their treatment.

Because of the orthodontist who is not able to provide them with the best care (not all are good doctors and sometimes they do go wrong), maybe they didn’t take too much care of their teeth during the treatment or they simply lacked the luck. I also know people with bad results from the orthodontic treatment as I see people with fantastic teeth. “S..t happens”. It happens in metal braces case, it happens with ceramics sometimes, why shouldn’t it happen with Invisalign?

They may not be so ‘invisible’

I agree with this part. As mentioned in the article the attachments placed on the teeth might make the system slightly more visible. Still, it’s hard to track. After I got my Invisalign trays placed on my teeth, I got back home. My folks asked me: “ah, he (the orthodontist) wasn’t there?” since they didn’t see my “braces”. After 1 day, at work, I told my boss: “what do you think about my orthodontic braces?”. He had to go to more light and also put his eyeglasses on.

The Invisalign trays are invisible especially when brand new. They are worn for 2 weeks and might get colorations if you drink coffee or anything that can stain them. I have 8 days from starting to wear the aligners. They are still looking like new and they are clear as before. All I drank with them was mineral water. For anything, I get them out and then brush my teeth. I haven’t eaten ANYTHING with them.

If you really like them to remain visible, do the best you can to not stain them. In their “normal” status they are VERY discreet. Since I wore Damon before, there is no comparison. Or, as some say, if we talk about the 2 systems it’s “no contest”. Invisalign is very discreet. In my case it’s invisible, but maybe others had other experiences.

Those who have had braces say the discomfort pales in comparison, but newbies may not be prepared. Some take a pain reliever before putting in a new pair of aligners.

I think it depends. In my case, the Damon system was pretty painful, but I managed with no painkillers. Invisalign DOESN’T HURT at all, I almost came to think something is wrong. Compared to the metal braces, Invisalign seems to be less “intrusive” and the pain is small or even not there. For the people who experience serious sores and toothaches, a good painkiller solves this. The first days are indeed the hard ones, afterward, it’s all way easier.

Wearing the aligners requires a serious commitment. They won’t work and may end up worsening a situation unless they are worn constantly. If a tray gets lost or broken, doctors recommend wearing the previous set until a replacement is sent.

ANY treatment requires discipline and commitment from the patients. I can’t understand how people can misplace the aligners. They cost a lot and are HUGELY important for the treatment. And you’re not supposed to place them too far: I just take them out and leave them in the small box I have for them. In my bathroom (so that I can get back to brush) or in my bag if I am not at home. I eat in a few minutes and then put them back (after brushing my teeth and cleaning the aligners). We have to wear them at least 21-22 hours a day, this doesn’t leave us with too much time to misplace them.

So, my advice would be to really open those eyes when the trays get out of your mouth. It would be a costly mistake indeed and it would really be your fault. Orthodontic treatment is not something to make fun of or take too relaxed. Otherwise, we’d get into that 13% of people with bad results in orthodontic treatment.

Becoming an oral hygiene freak

I couldn’t agree more. Since I started the treatment (first with Damon, now Invisalign), I went nuts with cleaning my teeth. I take great care and I SHOULD. Braces can “help” with the tartar deposits and the treatment should be made with no new cavities. Our teeth are already going through a lot, the least we can do is to keep them clean.

With Invisalign, it’s even more serious. I have a tooth-brush and a tooth-paste in my laptop bag, in my normal bag. I think I’ll put a “set” in my car too and I’ll be the freak indeed.

I brush my teeth 5-7 times a day: as soon as I eat something. It’s hard indeed, but I have to take care of them and of those expensive trays.

A lifelong commitment

Oh yeah, it doesn’t end when the treatment ends. To prevent teeth from moving back, doctors say patients must wear retainers at night for life and that some of them need to be replaced annually.

This happens to ALL systems, not just Invisalign. The teeth have the tendency of getting back to their “form” once the treatment is over so we “fool” them with a retainer. In my case this might be something for a lifetime, in other people’s cases we talk months or few years. It depends on the complexity of your case.

I really wanted to point these things out. The article did provide us with a lot of information, but the situation is still not that serious. There are many people who use Invisalign and are very pleased with it. In my case, it’s an almost 2-year treatment. Compared to the Damon braces, these aligners are way easier to wear. My lisp was gone in few days, I had a very small mouth sore in the first 2-3 days and almost no pain. Compared to those poking archwires and mouth sores, plus the pain I had in the first days of each adjustment, this is a walk in the park. And the “braces” don’t show at all, another plus. Costly, but very nice.