Removable clear aligners like Invisalign have become a popular alternative to traditional fixed braces in recent years. Are they as effective, and what are some things to consider when choosing between the two orthodontic solutions? We ask an expert in the field, orthodontist Dr Catherine Lee, for her expert advice.
“Removable aligners are currently not able to replace fixed braces entirely, especially in complex cases. However, as technology rapidly changes, leading clear aligner manufacturers like Invisalign are increasingly able to treat more complex cases. There are various factors to consider when making a choice. The removable clear aligner treatment option (as opposed to braces) may be more suitable for you if the following statements apply to your personal habits and lifestyle:
- You’re able to commit to a minimum of 20 hours of wear per day.
- You don’t like the idea of having braces on your teeth.
- You’re a busy person and cannot spend a prolonged amount of time brushing every night, or after eating.
- You have a busy schedule and can’t see an orthodontist every four to six weeks for a period of 12 to 18 months.
- You don’t like restricting your diet and enjoy eating harder foods like nuts, pizza crust and corn chips.
- You grind your teeth at night, or get stressed during the day.
- You wear a night guard.
- You have a delicate mouth and are prone to developing ulcers.
- You don’t have extensive crown and dental implants in your mouth.
- You visit a dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups every six to 12 months. Of course, it’s always best to consult an orthodontist in order to evaluate your dental condition.”