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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the benefits of invisalign?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    Dr Paul Coceancig

    Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

    I am a specialist oral & maxillofacial surgeon based in Sydney and Newcastle, Australia. I graduated in medicine from the University of Otago, and in … View Profile

    The disadvantage of classical orthodontic brackets and wires, is that they are highly visible, as well as uncomfortable to lips and tongues.

    If you have a good natural bite, but only slightly crooked teeth, then going through orthodontics with non-removable brackets and wires can seem like overkill, and a social disaster.

    Invisalign works by computer modelling and assessment of what movements and what positions your individual teeth need in order for them to become aligned. These new teeth positions can be arranged as a sequence of movements that can be inbuilt into several see-through plastic trays… that look and feel like ultra-thin mouth guards.

    The mouth guards are then worn as often as possible, and unlike normal orthodontics, cannot be easily seen by others, and which are more comfortable to wear. By wearing them, the strict series of mouth guards can turn and twist and gradually align your teeth, and all by computer design.

    Each mouth guard can only move a tooth a certain distance. When it has done it's job, it's time to start wearing the new mouth guard, and so on, until the desired result is achieved.

    Invisalign isn't for everyone though. It has it's limitations. You should consult with an orthodontist specialist or jaw correction surgeon before employing Invisalign as a potential solution to your crooked teeth or bad bite.

  • Dr Wijey was born in Sydney, and then moved to the Gold Coast, Queensland, where he graduated from Griffith University in Dentistry in 2009. At … View Profile

    1. Invisalign, being a removable appliance, is better for hygiene.
    2. Removable appliances also impart intermittent forces, as opposed to constant forces, (which most modern braces systems use due to Nickel-Titanium wires). A lot of reserach, especially by the Professor of Orthodontics at Syndey University, has shown that intermittent forces are less likely to result in root resorption. Root resorption is a dissolving of the roots of teeth, than can result in tooth loss.
    3. It is very true that Invisalign does have limitations - some severe cases in adults require braces for picket-fence alignment.
    4. Neither invisalign nor braces correct the causes of malocclusion, so retainers are needed for life.

  • Principal Dentist at Darlinghurst Dental, a high quality, affordable practice located in the heart of Darlinghurst. A high emphasis on customer service and impeccable cross … View Profile

    Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic aligners to move the teeth. Conventional orthodontics uses wires and bracket fixtures on the teeth.

    The main advantage of invisalign is thus, that it is less visible during treatment. It allows for removal at social functions such as weddings etc. Strict compliance with wearing is needed though, so this should be done with care and on the treating doctors advice.

    It also means that the aligners can be removed when cleaning your teeth, which aids with proper cleaning and allows for minor dental treatment to be carried out, as well as better routine x-rays. It is almost impossible to floss properly with conventional braces.

    Another advantage is that invisalign usually uses expansion of the arch to create space, meaning that often teeth do not need to be removed. With conventional braces, teeth are often removed to create space for the desired movements, although this is not always the case.

    Invisalign is particularly effective where the bite for the back teeth is good, but there is a cosmetic problem with crowding of the front teeth. Conventional braces are good for almost all situations, but invisalign has more limitations.

    Another advantage is that the final result can be visualised prior to treatment. Invisalign is based on computer modelling of your teeth and predicting movements based on complex mathematical simulation of the forces needed. This means a 3D model of your start and finish can be viewed prior to starting.

    Remember, with all treatments there are risks and side effects also. With invisalign, sometimes the enamel needs to be shaved to create space, leading to sensitivity. Some movements are not predictable with invisalign, and so conventional braces are needed.

    The aligners need to be worn 22 hours a day and no hot drinks, smoking or snacks can be eaten during this time. The aligners must be fully removed to allow eating or drinking everything except clear cold fluids. (Some see this as an advantage to reduce snacking habit).

    Invisalign requires a deep commitment to comply with the treatment as it requires lifestyle changes to work effectively. The commitment to retainers is also for life, whether that is bonded retainers (a wire behind the teeth) or removable retainers worn at night.

    Dr Frank Farrelly

    Darlinghurst Dental

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