You probably know that Invisalign® offers a visually unobtrusive way to straighten teeth, but that doesn’t answer the one glaring question: Will Invisalign treatment hurt? And the truth is, it can, but not nearly as much as traditional wire and bracket braces.
Invisalign uses a series of aligners, each designed to gently push your teeth closer to their ideal position. When your teeth have moved as much as one set of aligners can take them, the next set will work to continue their movement in the direction of the perfect bite.
In adults, this movement is happening to teeth that are set in bone that is no longer malleable, which can cause a dull and throbbing discomfort for one to two days after graduating to a new set of aligners. In teens, this may be less of an issue because the jawbone is not yet set, making tooth movement slightly easier. This isn’t to say that Invisalign treatment is painless for teens, although it is traditionally less painful than braces.
Braces move teeth through manual adjustments of arch-wire. When tightened, the wire pulls on brackets, moving teeth through slight force and gradually straightening the smile. Not only can this take longer than Invisalign to produce results, but the manual tightening can also cause significant discomfort – sometimes for days – in both teens and adults. What’s more, wires can poke lips and gums, and brackets can rub against lips and cheeks, further causing discomfort during treatment with traditional braces.
When looked at side-by-side, Invisalign is the clear winner in the comfort department. This is not, however, the only benefit offered by this orthodontic treatment.
Additional benefits of Invisalign, when compared to braces, include:
- No interference with eating. Braces limit food choices, but Invisalign aligners are removed for eating, allowing you to maintain a healthy diet complete with fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and the occasional sticky treat like caramel
- No interference with oral hygiene. Invisalign aligners are removed for tooth cleaning, enabling you to keep teeth and gums at peak oral health and beauty during treatment. Braces are affixed to teeth and require burdensome tools and equipment to be used to maintain oral health. And once removed, teeth are often stained in the places where the brackets were affixed
- Reduced risk of oral tissue irritation and cuts. The soft plastic aligners used for Invisalign treatment are not likely to irritate gums or cut lips and cheeks – even when participating in contact sports. Braces often cut and irritate sensitive oral tissue and may make participation in certain activities impossible
- Shorter treatment period. No orthodontic treatment is painless, but Invisalign often completes alignment of the teeth within twelve months. Braces can take 18 months or longer in teens and up to three years in adults. That’s a long time to deal with discomfort
When compared to braces, Invisalign offers a number of demonstrable benefits without compromising high-quality results. If you are interested in learning if Invisalign is the right choice for you, we welcome an opportunity to meet with you, assess your smile, and discuss all of your options to help you choose the best solution.
Call Oradell Family Dentistry at 201-384-9292 to schedule your Invisalign consultation today. Located in Oradell, New Jersey, Dr. Perlmutter and our friendly staff welcome families from all surrounding communities including New Milford, Haworth, Emerson, Paramus, and nearby areas of Bergen County.