We often hear this question from our patients, many of whom have had experiences with painful wire and bracket braces.
Let us put your mind at ease by answering your questions about the Invisalign® process, how it can help you, and to what degree it will hurt.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners to move your teeth approximately half a millimeter per month until they are in your ideal placement. Depending on the extent of malocclusions, most patients wear Invisalign for one to two years.
Does it hurt?
Anytime your teeth move, there will be some pain. You will likely experience some tightness or discomfort with each new aligner, as your teeth start to move into their new position. However, the pain with these clear braces is typically far less than what you would experience with metal braces; and there’s no need for those excruciating adjustments that come with metal braces.
The smooth plastic aligners also will not cut or scrape the insides of your mouth like metal wires do. This is especially welcome news to athletes who typically need to wear a special mouthguard to protect their cheeks and tongue from being cut by metal braces during a game or a meet.
What are the other benefits of Invisalign?
In addition to less pain, Invisalign has many benefits over traditional metal braces:
- They’re nearly invisible when you’re wearing them, so no “metal mouth” look.
- You can remove them when you eat, so there are no food restrictions.
- Dental care is easy, since you also remove the aligners to brush and floss.
- You can see the end result before you start. Using a program called ClinCheck, our dentists can show you exactly how your teeth will move over the course of your treatment. This information motivates many of our patients to wear their aligners the required 20 to 22 hours per day.
While Invisalign is appropriate for many patients with crowded, gapped, or misaligned teeth, it won’t work for everybody. To discuss whether Invisalign is right for you, schedule a consultation with our Houston cosmetic dentists.