To help you determine whether Invisalign is the right choice for you, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this treatment option.

Pros of Invisalign

  • The aesthetic factor. This is a very commonly cited reason for choosing Invisalign. These clear aligners are much less noticeable than the wires and brackets of braces.
  • You can remove them. You can physically remove the aligner from your mouth if you need to.
  • Ease of cleaning your teeth. By removing the aligner, you can easily brush and floss your teeth, without having to work around wires and brackets. A 2017 study also suggests this can improve your periodontal health by reducing the number of bacteria lurking around your teeth and gums.
  • Fewer potential problems. Many people with traditional braces have stories about a bracket that fell off or a wire that broke, leading to an emergency visit to the orthodontist. You won’t have that potential problem with clear aligners.
 Cons of Invisalign
  • Less effective for complex issues. Research, while limited, does seem to suggest that Invisalign is more effective for people whose teeth require only certain kinds of movement. Your doctor may suggest another treatment option for more complex issues. Additionally, if you have bridgework on some of your teeth, Invisalign might not be the right option for you.
  • Requires compliance. To get the maximum benefit from Invisalign, you must wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. If you think you’ll be tempted to slip them out more often, it may not be the best choice for you.
  • Removal when eating or drinking. When you’re eating or drinking, you need to take the aligners out. If you don’t, food or drink can get into them. This causes bacteria to grow along with your teeth or gumline, which could lead to cavities. Also, the liquid can seep down into them and cause staining of the aligners and your teeth.
  • Food limitations. You may experience tooth soreness when the aligner is removed, which can limit your food choices. Hard foods, especially, should be avoided.
What’s the cost?

According to the Invisalign website, the cost of treatment with Invisalign is similar to the cost of traditional braces.

According to the Consumer Guide for Dentistry, the cost will probably range between $3,000 and $5,000. The cost can fluctuate depending on how long you need treatment, the complexity of your tooth alignment issues, and where you live.

You may want to check with the administrator of your dental insurance plan if you have one. Some dental insurance plans do pay for some or all of the cost of Invisalign.

If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you may also be able to use it to pay for some of the costs of Invisalign treatment.

If you don’t have insurance coverage, many dentists and orthodontists offer payment plans for the care they offer. Be sure to ask about this before you agree to the treatment.

Is Invisalign right for you?

If you’re considering Invisalign aligners, ask yourself these questions to help you determine whether this is the best choice for you:

  • Do I have a fairly straightforward crowding or bite issue with my teeth?
  • Do I feel self-conscious about wearing braces?
  • Will I wear the aligners for the appropriate number of hours every day?
  • Can I afford them?
  • Will I take care of them correctly?

If you have a teenager at home who would rather opt for Invisalign than regular braces, assess whether they’ll wear them and care for them appropriately.

If you know your child is prone to losing things, Invisalign — which can be removed and misplaced — might not be the best choice.

The bottom line

Invisalign can be used for a variety of purposes, including crowding and spacing issues, as well as some mild and moderate bite issues.

It may be a good option for you if you don’t have a complicated bite or crowding issue and you’d prefer a less visible treatment than braces.

Talk with your orthodontist or dentist about your teeth, what type of orthodontic treatment you may need, and whether Invisalign is a good option for you. Then, consider all the pros and cons before making your decision.

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