My wife has them. She’s about halfway through the process, both upper & lower. She’s very happy with the whole experience.
Cost. For her, conventional metal braces were going to cost about $4K. The invisalign program cost $4.5K. The cost increment is/was only 10% in her case. That’s pure payout from us, no insurance or discount or anything. The orthodontist does have a no-interest spread payment plan, so we’re paying half up front and the other half as we go.
Appearance: They’re truly invisible when they’re in. If you have real big teeth and a very open-mouth style they might be detectable, but for 90% of folks, no. When she talks I can detect a very slight lisp, but most folks who don’t know her voice as well can’t tell whether she’s wearing them or not.
Comfort. You wear each disposable unit for 2 or 3 weeks. For the first 2 or 3 days with a new one your teeth are distinctly sore, but the rest of the time it’s almost imperceptable. Because you get a new set every couple of weeks, unlike traditional metal units where you get adjusted only every 4 or 6 weeks, the incremental change is much smaller and hence easier to take.
You can also take them out completely for a couple of days if necessary, such as when you’re already miserable from the flu or a wicked hangover. progress depends on total hours of wear, so the idea is to wear them 22 hours a day and only remove them for meals.
A handy side effect is they reduce snacking since you really need to take them out to eat. You can chew just fine with them in, but food particles gets under them and dig into your gums and that’s uncomfortable. They pop in and out readily, but now you’ve got these spit-soaked things to store someplace while you snack. For planned meals it’s not such a big deal, just pop 'em out, rinse 'em off and put 'em in their case.
Overall, she’s very happy with the experience. For her at least, the cost difference is modest and the results are, so far, better than the alternative. One of our similar-aged neighbors has the old fashioned kind and they look pretty silly on an late 40’s woman. Wife hasn’t had the heart to tell her she’s doing the same thing without the appearance hit.
I was too much of a jerk as a kid to accept braces, so I’ve got very non-straight teeth too. Once she’s done I’m definitely going to get them too. The only reason I’m waiting even now is budgetary.