Invisalign in my opinion is one of the most amazing treatment options in orthodontics. As exciting as this technology is however, it is important that we separate facts from fiction.
Fiction: Invisalign can be used to correct all orthodontic problems. Fact: Although the technology is getting better, there are still some complex movements that cannot be treated as efficiently or effectively with aligners.
Fiction: Invisalign is Invisalign and it doesn’t matter who provides it. Fact: Invisalign is just a tool that doctors use to straighten teeth. Align Technology (the manufacturer) does not diagnose or treatment plan the cases.
Fiction: Invisalign does not hurt as much as braces. Fact: Teeth get sore anytime consistent pressure is placed upon them. They cannot tell whether the pressure comes from plastic or from metal. You will experience some discomfort whenever your orthodontist moves a tooth (although your lips might be more comfortable against the smooth aligners rather than the metal brackets, wires, and ties).
Fiction: Invisalign is faster than braces. Fact: Healthy tooth movement occurs at one speed and it doesn’t matter if that movement is caused by plastic aligners or metal wires. The reason most Invisalign cases are typically shorter in length is because most orthodontists only use Invisalign for their easier cases.
Fiction: Invisalign costs a lot more than regular braces. Fact: The reason many providers do charge more for Invisalign is because there is such a large lab fee that must be paid to Align Technology at the beginning of treatment. There are four areas of treatment that figure into a treatment fee: 1) the diagnosis and treatment plan, 2) the appliance cost (brackets, wires, aligners, etc.), 3) chair time during regular appointments for adjustments and activations, and 4) retainers and retention at the completion of treatment. The diagnosis/treatment plan and retention steps are the same for both Invisalign and braces.
We are Invisalign fans!. We think you will be too. It is important however that all of us approach treatment with our eyes wide open and that we understand the facts before treatment begins.