Despite being an advantage cosmetically Invisalign can have some disadvantages. Many of the disadvantages do not have to do with the product themselves but in patients habits and consistency in wearing the product. The fact that patients can remove the aligners means that Invisalign is not continually correcting and moving your teeth. It is up to the patient to be diligent in following proper procedure and keeping the aligners in for the minimum of 20 hours a day. If some of these disadvantages are not overcome in the process than readjustments will have to be made and most often people will have to wear their aligners for much longer. This is unlike traditional braces that do not rely on the patient’s habits to be a successful product.
Another issue is that the aligners must be removed for eating. Eating soft foods or smoothies is doable with the aligners in, however the bottoms of your teeth are not exposed like that of traditional braces, so the aligners must be removed to chew. The aligners and the teeth should be cleaned before re-inserting afterwards, which is simpler than traditional braces. You just brush your teeth with the aligners out, wash them separately and then reinsert the aligners. This can be troublesome for people who are constantly snacking on stuff and would mean the patient would be continuously cleaning their teeth, up to 6 or 7 times a day. However, Invisalign discourages snacking, because of the soreness created by removing the aligners, which some people might like about the treatment. The pain lessens after 2 weeks and eating becomes much easier.
Unlike traditional braces, if you grind or clinch your teeth while sleeping, or during the day, the aligners can be damaged, or worse you may need to repeat a tray because of the movement. In these rare cases new aligners may be required, or it may be suggested that you move to a metal retainer in the night or for an extended period of time. Also, the aligners may cause a slight lisp at the beginning of treatment. In most cases it will, and it may be embarrassing. Most people will salivate less as the mouth gets used to the foreign object and the lisp tends to go away. This lisp also usually comes with the traditional metal braces, so there is no avoiding this problem, except for getting used to the braces or aligners and the lisp disappearing.
Archwired and other forums have patients who have reported sensitivity or allergic reactions to the aligners. Some of the minor symptoms were sore throat and nausea. The FDA have reported a few more serious cases, so it is important to make sure that you do not have a reaction or toxic sensitivity to the Invisalign treatment. These cases are very rare and most patients are fine, but this could be a problem for you and is worth noting. Working through your orthodontist, Invisalign will make the aligners with several different materials to attempt to reduce toxic or allergic sensitivity.
These are some great tips to keep in mind that most people don’t mention as you decide whether or not Invisalign is right for you.