In today’s world, orthodontic technology has evolved to the point where multiple effective treatment options are available for those who need it. Invisalign, a clear retainer-style tooth realignment process, is one such available treatment.
Everyone has different reasons for getting braces or Invisalign. Some want to restore misaligned teeth. Others are interested in enhanced beauty, self-confidence, and better function. But first, learn why keeping your retainers clean is critical in order to keep your smile healthy and your Invisalign trays working well.
While there are many benefits to Invisalign, particularly in comparison to train-track braces, there are also a number of disadvantages you must consider before proceeding with the treatment.
At Dentistry in Canterbury, our team of practitioners are experts in cosmetic dentistry and can help you decide whether Invisalign is right for you via a free consultation. Find out more information about the cons of Invisalign in our article below.
What is Invisalign treatment and how does it work?
Invisalign treatment consists of a clear retainer that you’ll wear for most hours of the day and through the night. Unlike typical train-track braces, you can take your Invisalign retainer out to eat, drink, or simply to look your best for a special occasion.
Many patients have favoured Invisalign as a suitable treatment for them, commending its comfort and aesthetics during the process. Invisalign is growing in popularity in Australia, owing to its effectiveness at treating forms of malocclusion, such as underbites, overbites, crowded teeth, and gapped teeth.
After an initial consultation with our specialist team, we’ll create an x-ray that will show you how your teeth will change during your proposed Invisalign treatment. We’ll then take moulds of your teeth and use this to fashion your state-of-the-art Invisalign retainer.
Most patients will wear their Invisalign retainer for up to a year, but in milder cases, you could be done within 6 months! If you’re still unhappy with your smile after this time, our team will likely recommend further treatment, such as teeth whitening or porcelain veneers.
While there are a number of great benefits to wearing Invisalign, you must also consider the downsides before committing to the treatment.
Common disadvantages of wearing Invisalign
Invisalign isn’t for everyone. Some suffer from allergies or conditions that prevent Invisalign from working effectively, while others simply prefer more traditional treatment methods.
Despite its growing popularity, Invisalign does have some drawbacks. While these may not affect everyone, they’re certainly worth knowing before you make a commitment to the treatment.
Ultimately, it’s down to you to decide if Invisalign is right for you, and this will no doubt depend on your priorities. There’s no right or wrong answer, but our expert practitioners can offer guidance and general dentistry advice as to what your choice should be.
In the meantime, though, check out some of the disadvantages of Invisalign treatment below.
Another downside to consider when choosing Invisalign is that your speech may become affected by the treatment. Some patients experience a slight shift in pronunciation, especially at the start of the treatment, but most don’t experience this at all.
The most common speech problem patients find is related to their ‘s’ sounds; Invisalign may cause you to speak with a slight lisp during the course of your treatment. While this can last for the duration of the process, most find this goes away within the first week or so.
Cheek biting and tongue cuts
While the Invisalign retainer is smooth and comfortable, having an alien object constantly present in your mouth may not sit well with your cheeks and tongue. The insides of your cheeks may become worn and rough, while your tongue may occasionally suffer from small cuts.
It’s not the most painful of possible Invisalign side effects, but it can still be irritable and uncomfortable, particularly when you have to deal with it on a constant basis. Catching the inside of your cheeks when opening and closing your mouth is more common at the start of your treatment, and may fade with time. The same is true for biting or injuring your tongue.
Having an allergic reaction to your Invisalign retainer is a very unlikely scenario. However, it’s not impossible. As a result, you may be worried about paying a lot of money for treatment, only to find out that you’re allergic to the special plastic in the retainer.
If this is the case, you can test out a small bit of plastic on your skin before receiving full treatment. If your skin doesn’t react, you’re all safe to proceed. It’s a good idea to do this, as some people don’t realise they’re allergic until after they begin treatment. That said, many simply continue with treatment, as their reactions are only mild.
Headaches and jaw pain
Like with all tooth realignment treatments, there will inevitably be a certain degree of pain involved. Invisalign is no exception to this, and many patients experience varying levels of tooth and jaw pain.
This pain can, in turn, spread to other areas of the body, including the head and neck. It isn’t uncommon for patients to experience headaches and migraines related to their Invisalign treatment. If you’re a longstanding sufferer of migraines, you might want to reconsider whether Invisalign is the right treatment for you.
Another disadvantage of Invisalign is that it may give you what scientists call ‘xerostomia’: a dry mouth. Keeping your new retainer in for long periods can feel abnormal and cause your mouth’s behaviour to change. This leads to a reduction in saliva production and a swelling of the gums, causing your mouth to dry out.
It’s a very common symptom and not one to be overly worried about, but it’s still a factor worth considering when making your choice of cosmetic dental treatment.
Bleeding and receding gums
In a similar fashion to how Invisalign causes a dry mouth, your gums can become inflamed and sore due to the ‘alien’ retainer in your mouth. Irritation produced by the retainer rubbing on your gums can cause them to recede, swell, and even bleed.
Consult your doctor or dentist if you’re worried about the potential effects on your gums. In most cases, any gum damage can be remedied easily and effectively.
Nausea and dizziness
While uncommon, Invisalign treatment has been known to cause nausea and dizziness in some patients. This is linked with the jaw pain and headaches that some patients experience, as extreme versions of these can cause nausea.
Nausea and dizziness are most common during the initial stages of treatment, as your mouth may not take to the new retainer. Your Invisalign retainer may exert pressure on your mouth and teeth, which can lead to dizzying sensations.
Finally, it’s worth noting that some patients experience weight loss during Invisalign treatment. While it’s not a direct consequence of the Invisalign retainer itself, weight loss can be caused by not eating as much during the course of the treatment.
Since patients must wear their Invisalign for around 20-22 hours every day, they can’t eat as often as they perhaps would do prior to the treatment. Meals are prioritised over snacks, and patients must ensure they remove their Invisalign retainer while eating, thoroughly cleaning both the appliance and their teeth afterwards.
Many patients also eat less due to tooth soreness. This causes them to lose weight, but often not in unhealthy or abnormally large amounts. Still, you must consider this as a possible side effect of Invisalign treatment before committing.
Book a complimentary Invisalign consultation today
Now that you’ve got a broader idea of what Invisalign involves, you’ll realise why it’s not for everyone. That said, there are so many advantages to Invisalign over braces that it remains a popular choice among dental patients.
To find out whether Invisalign is the right treatment for you, book a consultation with us today. You won’t have to commit to anything and we won’t push you into a certain treatment unless it’s medically necessary.
Still unsure whether to book an appointment with us? Why not check out one of our Invisalign open days to take advantage of great discounts and deals for future treatments.