Invisalign is an orthodontic set of tooth trays which exert pressure on teeth; this pressure makes the teeth move into their new placement. Patients who have opted for the Invisalign treatment over traditional braces report both negative and positive experiences with their treatment. According to their accounts, some of the issues were a surprise and might have influenced their decision to opt for this form of treatment.
Effect on Speech
When orthodontic patients are wearing their Invisalign trays, they may notice that speech is affected; this is primarily occurs because the edges of the trays interfere with the movement of the lips and tongue as the mouth attempts to form words. This affect on speech might be felt most in the beginning of the Invisalign orthodontic treatment; as patients progress to subsequent treatment trays, they may notice that the trays do not interfere with speech as much as they did in the beginning.
Painful Attachment Buttons
The orthodontist has to have something to attach the trays to in order to promote tooth movement; the attachments (or buttons) are small cement and pumice buttons which are glued onto some of the teeth of the patient. As patients are having their teeth prepared for the buttons, the orthodontist will apply acid to the teeth in order to etch them for the glue. The number of buttons needed depends on the degree of tooth misalignment. At the end of Invisalign treatment, the buttons are ground off; patients could potentially lose some tooth enamel as they are undergoing this part of treatment.
Although the buttons are the same color as the patient’s teeth, they can be visible if they are glued to the front teeth. When patients smile, the buttons will show up. If the buttons are glued to teeth farther to the back, they can rub the inside of the patient’s cheek when they have the orthodontic trays out; while they are out, the buttons can rub against the inner cheeks and small sores may develop.
Because the Invisalign system does not allow saliva to wash over the patient’s teeth, patients often notice they have a very dry mouth and bad breath. The irritation caused by the trays and buttons can also contribute to the halitosis (bad breath). They should also prepare for the possibility that they may develop cavities since the saliva they produce can’t rinse off their teeth and remove any left over substances. They can minimize the bad breath, dry mouth and potential for cavities by drinking plenty of water and brushing teeth faithfully every day.
As the bite changes, patients using Invisalign will bite the inside of their cheek much more frequently. Since they are still used to their old bite, they chew in the manner in which they are used to chewing and don't think to make adjustments to allow for the new placement of the teeth. Thus, as patients are chewing, they bite down on their inner lip or cheek. If this occurs, patients should make sure to rinse right away with a reliable antibacterial mouth wash.