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The Smile Space
The Smile Space

Having misaligned teeth can affect your overall oral health and confidence. Fortunately, there are several orthodontic treatment options to straighten crooked teeth, including Invisalign. These invisible braces are made of custom-made plastic trays designed to gradually shift the position of teeth.

Since Invisalign is a newer technology than traditional braces, some may wonder if it helps them achieve straight teeth. This article answers that question and discusses its other purposes and limitations.

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Summary of the Article

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment option that uses clear, removable aligners to gradually shift the position of teeth. It is an effective option for mild to moderate cases of misaligned or crooked teeth, bite problems, and gaps between teeth. However, it has its limitations and it may not be effective for severe cases of teeth misalignment, large gaps between teeth, or jaw problems like severe overbite or underbite. Patients with cavities or periodontal disease should address these issues before starting Invisalign treatment.

Invisalign can be used by patients of all ages, including children as young as six. Invisalign is not designed to correct jaw misalignment, which is best addressed with orthognathic surgery. Alternative treatment options to Invisalign include traditional metal braces, lingual braces, ceramic braces, and veneers.

Is Invisalign as Effective as Traditional Braces for Straightening Teeth?

Invisalign is an effective orthodontic treatment that straightens misaligned or crooked teeth. It uses a series of clear, removable aligners created with BPA-free plastic materials. They aim to move your teeth into their proper position, slowly shifting them over time. They work by applying gentle and consistent pressure to the teeth, which forces them into their new position.

Like other orthodontic treatments, Invisalign also has its limitations. Unlike traditional braces, it cannot address severe cases of teeth misalignment due to its limited force. These cases require stronger forces which can only be delivered by brackets and wires used in traditional or conventional braces.

Invisalign is a discreet alternative to traditional braces, providing excellent results for mild to moderate cases of teeth misalignment.

Which Orthodontic Problems Can Invisalign Address?

Aside from mild to moderate teeth misalignment, the following orthodontic issues can be addressed by Invisalign:

  • Mild to moderate bite problems (malocclusion)
    Malocclusion describes a type of misalignment wherein the lower and upper teeth don’t meet properly when the patient bites. It has a few types: overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite. Invisalign can help address these conditions by shifting the teeth into proper alignment.

  • Mild to moderate crooked or crowded teeth
    Crowded teeth are when your teeth are too close to each other, making it difficult for them to align properly. This impacts chewing, speaking, and even your smile. Invisalign can help reposition these teeth to achieve proper alignment.

  • Mild to moderate gaps between teeth
    Gaps between teeth are often caused by genetics or teeth that have moved apart because of losing other teeth. These spaces can be closed through orthodontic treatment. Invisalign can slowly move your teeth closer together to close these spaces.

Are There Orthodontic Issues That Invisalign Can't Address?

While Invisalign is an effective dental treatment that can address various dental issues, there are some cases where it may not be the best option. Here are some orthodontic problems that Invisalign may not be able to address:

  • Severely crooked teeth:
    Invisalign is not recommended for people with severely crooked teeth, as it may not be able to effectively shift the teeth into the correct position.

  • Large gaps between teeth:
    While Invisalign can close small gaps between teeth, it may not be effective for larger gaps.

  • Jaw problems: Invisalign is not designed to address jaw problems such as severe overbite or underbite, so in such cases, other orthodontic treatments may be recommended.

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Can Invisalign Be Used for Patients With Cavities and Periodontal Disease?

Patients with cavities and gum or periodontal disease should address these issues before starting orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign. This is because orthodontic treatment can make it difficult to properly clean the teeth and gums, leading to an increased risk of further dental problems.

If a patient with cavities and periodontal disease undergoes Invisalign treatment, the plastic aligners can trap bacteria and food particles between the teeth and aligners, leading to an increased risk of cavities and gum disease. It is essential to have a healthy foundation before starting any orthodontic treatment.

Therefore, it is important to have a dental examination and cleaning before starting Invisalign treatment to ensure that any underlying dental issues are addressed before starting the treatment. Your dentist can recommend a treatment plan tailored to your specific dental condition to ensure a successful treatment outcome.

Can Invisalign Be Used by Patients of All Ages?

Invisalign has become an increasingly popular orthodontic treatment option for people of all ages. Not only is it discrete, but it’s also highly effective and can help provide results faster than traditional braces. Previously, Invisalign was limited to teenagers and adults, but with the advent of Invisalign First treatment, even patients as young as six can benefit from this innovative technology. Now more than ever, people of any age can take advantage of the convenience and comfort Invisalign provides to achieve the smile they always wanted.

Will Invisalign Be Able to Realign My Jaw if I Have a Misalignment?

While Invisalign can positively impact the overall alignment of the teeth, it’s not designed to correct conditions like jaw misalignment, which are best addressed with orthognathic surgery. If the misalignment is causing symptoms such as difficulty chewing, clicking or popping noises from the jaw joint, locked jaw, or a noticeable deformity, then orthognathic surgery may be the best choice for treatment. Invisalign can still be beneficial as it is often used as part of post-surgery treatment to improve alignment and comfort further. To address your jaw misalignment, consult your dentist about the most suitable treatment option for you.

What Are the Alternatives to Invisalign Treatment?

Invisalign is just one of the many orthodontic treatment options available to patients seeking to straighten their teeth or address their bite problems. Some alternative treatment options to Invisalign include:

  • Traditional metal braces
    These consist of metal wires and brackets that are attached to the teeth. They can be an effective treatment for mild to severe cases of misalignment. However, the treatment duration may be longer and require more frequent visits to the dentist for adjustments. Also, maintaining good dental hygiene can be difficult with traditional braces, as food can get stuck in the brackets and wires.
  • Ceramic braces
    Ceramic braces work similarly to metal braces, but the brackets are made of tooth-coloured ceramic material less noticeable than metal.
  • Lingual braces
    Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal braces, but the brackets and wires are placed on the backside of the teeth, making them less visible from the front.
  • Veneers
    Veneers are thin, custom-made shells placed over the front of the teeth to improve their appearance. While veneers can help improve the appearance of crooked or misaligned teeth, they do not address the underlying orthodontic issues.

    The best orthodontic treatment option for you depends on your dental condition, lifestyle, and personal preferences. It is important to consult with an experienced dentist to determine the treatment that will fit your needs.

Final Thoughts

Invisalign can be an effective and versatile teeth straightening method that can be used for mild to moderate cases of misalignment. It’s removable, almost invisible, and more comfortable because it doesn’t require metal brackets or wires on the teeth. However, Invisalign treatment cannot address severe misalignment of teeth since they don’t have enough force to do so, like conventional metal braces.

The Smile Space has a state-of-the-art facility to help us provide quality dental services, including Invisalign. We have a team of dentists with years of experience assisting patients to achieve a straighter smile. Talk to us today if you are considering this procedure to achieve a beautiful smile. We can discuss your goals and evaluate the ideal option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although Invisalign is generally considered relatively safe and effective, it still comes with certain risks and side effects, including mild tooth pain or discomfort, lip and cheek irritation, aligner damage or loss, speech difficulties, root resorption, and relapse. The chances of having these are relatively low, so many people opt for this treatment with complete confidence. However, before deciding whether to use Invisalign, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks of this type of treatment. Talk to your dentist to get more information and make an informed decision.
The biggest advantage of Invisalign is that you can eat and drink normally during Invisalign treatment because the aligners are removable. You can remove them whenever you want to eat or drink and put them back on when you are done. This prevents potential breakage or damage to your Invisalign trays caused by food or liquid.
Generally, there are no food limitations while on Invisalign treatment, as you can remove your aligners before eating. However, as a rule of thumb, limiting your intake of sugary and acidic foods is always a good idea because they can increase the risk of tooth decay, which can delay your treatment.
During the first few days of wearing your aligners, you may feel minor discomfort due to the pressure exerted, but this should subside as you get used to them. Sometimes, you may receive aligners with sharp edges that irritate the gums and inner cheeks. If this happens, your dentist can trim the edges to make them more comfortable. If the pain persists for over two weeks, see your dentist as soon as possible to check if the aligners need any adjustments.
Dr. Joseph Coorey


Dr. Joseph Coorey

Dr. Joseph Coorey, or just Joey as many of his patients call him, graduated from the University of Sydney in 2010. Joey is passionate about dentistry, particularly Dentofacial Orthopaedics and Orthodontics, with a goal for appropriate airway development, healthy jaw joints, and proper function in adults and children.

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