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Old 12-14-2019, 01:48 PM
Mdcastle is offline
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Invisalign vs Metal Braces


Every time I'm at my dentist she gives me the pitch "you know, we could really straighten those teeth of yours up really nicely. We can do aligners right from my office". So far I've just given vague promises to think about it. I've got a few teeth that aren't quite straight, and some definite crowding on my lowers, which may or may not be due to impacted wisdom teeth that were never removed. I never had braces as a kid because I completely refused and nothing short of physically restraining me to put them on would have worked.

Looking online there seems the companies promoting those clear aligners seem to state they can fix every problem imaginable out there with just a single visit for impressions. Or maybe not even that if you can take some good pictures to send to them or something. Meanwhile the traditional orthodontists seems to be stating that while some problems might be correctable by aligners, but only for adults that absolutely refuse to have metal braces, and only with needing numerous other procedures that of course have to be done in their office.

I know the definite answer is to "ask a professional", but am I down the right path if I assume that the truth is somewhere in the middle of these extremes, and that metal braces are still the default choice for kids even for problems that could be correctable with aligners due to compliance issues?

Last edited by Mdcastle; 12-14-2019 at 01:50 PM.
  #2  
Old 12-14-2019, 01:58 PM
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Some video I just watched (Wired?) that was sort of a 5 minute AMA with dentists covered that question. IIRC, they all said that you shouldn't use Invisalign. I don't recall them taking up any issue with the product itself. Their concern was that you shouldn't be attempting to rearrange your own teeth at home. There's just too many things that can go wrong.
I'm not sure what their stance was on using Invisalign under their supervision.

Keep in mind, whether it's a driving reason or not, I don't know, but the dentist almost certainly stands to make a good chunk of money by selling them to you.
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Old 12-14-2019, 02:04 PM
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Here's the video. It should start at the correct time for the part about 'at home straightening'.
https://youtu.be/3f5xOCowKc0?t=274

Last edited by Joey P; 12-14-2019 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 12-14-2019, 02:31 PM
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Why?

Unless your teeth are horribly misaligned, why bother. The worse thing that ever happened in my mouth was to start with braces. Long story I will not repeat now.
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
Some video I just watched (Wired?) that was sort of a 5 minute AMA with dentists covered that question. IIRC, they all said that you shouldn't use Invisalign. I don't recall them taking up any issue with the product itself. Their concern was that you shouldn't be attempting to rearrange your own teeth at home. There's just too many things that can go wrong.
I'm not sure what their stance was on using Invisalign under their supervision.

Keep in mind, whether it's a driving reason or not, I don't know, but the dentist almost certainly stands to make a good chunk of money by selling them to you.
You seem to be confusing two products. Invisalign is a clear teeth straightener that is made by an orthodontist and requires several visits over the course of 9-12 months. It costs about five thousand dollars.
At home products like Smile Direct Club and the like cost only a few hundred dollars, require no doctor visit, and can end up loosening your teeth and causing other problems.

Invisalign is a great alternative to braces if you can afford it.
  #6  
Old 12-14-2019, 03:11 PM
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Previous thread

The quote I got for my Invisalign was only about 15% more than getting braces would have been, so that's what I went with.

One of my main reasons for doing it was that I hoped I would get fewer nasty headaches if my bite were fixed up so that I was no longer having to tuck my lower jaw right back in order to make the two halves fit. Anecdotally, this seems to have worked pretty good. Also, it's so nice being able to run my tongue over the back of my teeth and feel a smooth surface there.

My daughter, who's been doing it too, was just self-conscious about her ragged teeth. Wearing the aligners has slightly exacerbated her tendency to get cavities, which is sad, but I think braces would probably do the same
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Old 12-14-2019, 03:33 PM
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Get the wisdom teeth out first, you'll get some realignment all on it's own.
  #8  
Old 12-14-2019, 03:49 PM
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I'm doing Invisalign now. I had braces as a child and somewhere along the way I lost the retainer.

I visit the dentist regularly. Lately I had noticed an issue with my bite...basically, my front teeth were not meeting when I bit down on something. The dentist took a nice 3-D picture of my mouth and showed me that I have an "open bite" which is causing extra pressure on my molars.

I'm doing the treatment through the dentist. I have a series of aligners I switch out every two weeks and I go back to see her in January. So she's monitoring my progress. Considering I'm a working adult I thought they looked more professional than a mouth full of metal.
  #9  
Old 12-14-2019, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
You seem to be confusing two products. Invisalign is a clear teeth straightener that is made by an orthodontist and requires several visits over the course of 9-12 months. It costs about five thousand dollars.
At home products like Smile Direct Club and the like cost only a few hundred dollars, require no doctor visit, and can end up loosening your teeth and causing other problems.

Invisalign is a great alternative to braces if you can afford it.
I didn't know that. In fact, I wasn't even aware that there was more than one type of this product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspidistra View Post
My daughter, who's been doing it too, was just self-conscious about her ragged teeth. Wearing the aligners has slightly exacerbated her tendency to get cavities, which is sad, but I think braces would probably do the same
I've heard stories of people getting a lot of cavities as soon as they get their braces off. Personally, I didn't. I mean I did, but I don't think it had anything to do with the braces. However, with braces, you do need to brush really really well. You'll destroy a lot of toothbrushes during those years. They get pretty torn up on the metal. But a lot of food gets stuck in them and you have to get it all out.
I assume it's similar for Invisalign as well.
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Old 12-14-2019, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Joey P
I assume it's similar for Invisalign as well.
No, the opposite. One just removes the plastic tray to eat and to brush. The benefits are two fold. Food doesn't get trapped in the hardware, and the toothbrush only scrubs the teeth, so it doesn't get worn out like with braces.
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Old 12-14-2019, 08:28 PM
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I didn't know that. In fact, I wasn't even aware that there was more than one type of this product.
I believe a bunch of invisalign patents expired, and then a bunch of third party companies entered the market offering invisalign alternatives. Smile direct club, byte, candid, etc. They generally run about 1-2k.

But I don't know what kind of dental oversight you get with those. It used to be you had to get the molds made at home, which freaked me out. But now I think companies like smile direct club work with local dentists to have the molds of your teeth made.
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Old 12-14-2019, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
No, the opposite. One just removes the plastic tray to eat and to brush. The benefits are two fold. Food doesn't get trapped in the hardware, and the toothbrush only scrubs the teeth, so it doesn't get worn out like with braces.
My concern would be that if you didn't brush your teeth well enough, anything on them (food/tarter/etc) would be trapped under the trays with no chance of getting washed away by saliva or you noticing it with your tongue and picking it out.
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:31 PM
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My concern would be that if you didn't brush your teeth well enough, anything on them (food/tarter/etc) would be trapped under the trays with no chance of getting washed away by saliva or you noticing it with your tongue and picking it out.
That's not the case any more than with any mouthguard.

Last edited by needscoffee; 12-14-2019 at 09:32 PM.
  #14  
Old 12-14-2019, 10:32 PM
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That's not the case any more than with any mouthguard.
When you say mouthguard are you talking about ones for sports? I can't think of anything else that would be pressed up against your teeth almost 24 hours a day.

Clearly, this isn't really an issue. It's just something I thought about as I was reading through the thread.
  #15  
Old 12-14-2019, 10:37 PM
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When you say mouthguard are you talking about ones for sports? I can't think of anything else that would be pressed up against your teeth almost 24 hours a day.



Clearly, this isn't really an issue. It's just something I thought about as I was reading through the thread.
Such as a nightguard.
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Mdcastle View Post
[...]

I know the definite answer is to "ask a professional", but [...]
I think you're asking a good question and, basically, asking it in a good place. This is one of those situations where you can ask multiple professionals, and predict pretty accurately which answer you get depending on which professional you ask. All these people have some kind of professional status and backing, though not necessarily the same. How are we to decide? The Dope is a real help.

Another situation like this is going to a doctor for back pain. You don't completely dictate your treatment by choosing which phone number to call first, but it's way too influential in the process. IMHO.
  #17  
Old 12-15-2019, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
No, the opposite. One just removes the plastic tray to eat and to brush. The benefits are two fold. Food doesn't get trapped in the hardware, and the toothbrush only scrubs the teeth, so it doesn't get worn out like with braces.
I have started carrying a toothbrush in my purse so I can brush after lunch. Before, I would brush and floss when I got up in the morning and before I went to bed. I drink lots of water during the day so any hopefully any lunch bits would be washed away. I also brush the liners and douse them in Polident regularly.

I am finding I'm not snacking as much, because I'm finding it's not worth the effort to get up, go to the bathroom, pop the liners out, rinse, store them, go eat my handful of almonds or crackers, go back to the bathroom, brush my teeth, rinse out the liners and put them back in.
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Old 12-16-2019, 10:38 AM
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Two of our three teenage sons have had Invisalign braces and I think have overall been pleased with them.
  #19  
Old 12-16-2019, 06:45 PM
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I finished using Invisalign about a year ago. I wore traditional braces as a kid for about 2 years. Once I went to college, I quit wearing my retainer. Over time my teeth shifted, crowding of lower teeth and overlapping of my two front upper teeth. At age 52, I decided that I didn't like my smile as much as I used to, and I had recently moved and my new dentist recommended the Invisalign.

The cost was about $5,000, of which my dental insurance covered 50% of, and since I paid upfront, I received a 10% discount, so my cost was $2,250. The total time I was in the trays was about 26 weeks, changing to a new tray each week. I visited my dentist about once a month to review progress and to have them attach and remove the buttons that were glued to my teeth so that the trays would click into place properly. The trays are expected to be worn about 22 hours a day. You can remove them to eat and drink and to clean them, but they need to be worn the rest of the time including sleeping. Each successive tray is a bit tighter, and as you wear it through the week, it is moving your teeth in the desired location. After you finish a week, you toss that set of trays and start the next week's.

After I was done, they allowed me to decide if I wanted further refinements, etc. (meaning a few more weeks) at no additional costs. At the end I received two sets of heavier plastic trays (upper and lowers) that are the retainers. You only have to wear the retainers while you sleep. If you forget a night or two of wearing the retainers you can feel it when you put them back in, as your teeth are always shifting.

There were no problems with cavities or wearing out tooth brushes. My dental hygienist said that having my teeth straighter makes her job of semi annual cleanings easier as there are fewer crooks and crannies for tartar to build up in.

I'm very pleased and happy with my smile once again.
  #20  
Old 12-18-2019, 12:10 AM
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Our dentist referred my son to an orthodontist after finding some of his teeth not aligning correctly leading to a lot of uneven wear.
The orthodontist sold us on the Invisalign. Insurance covered about half of the $5K total. The corrections needed weren’t major so he’s about half way through a six month treatment. They give you multiple sets of upper and lower trays with numbers on them. Each set makes a step in the correction progression and you change to a new set every week. About every 8 sets (weeks) you visit the orthodontist just to make sure everything is on track.
Seems to be pretty easy and painless if it works out like it should.
  #21  
Old 12-18-2019, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
At home products like Smile Direct Club and the like cost only a few hundred dollars, require no doctor visit, and can end up loosening your teeth and causing other problems.
The Smile Direct Club website says they cost $1895.

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