Invisalign is a revolutionary new teeth-straightening method that uses plastic aligners to gradually shape your smile over time. It offers great advantages over the old “metal mouth” braces that so many kids dread. With this treatment, the Invisalign dentist uses computer imaging to create your aligners. Each is worn for a period of two weeks and then discarded for the next one. This treatment method is helping lots of people straighten their teeth, but there are a few slight risks.
If you’ve had an injury on a tooth before, Invisalign can damage or kill its nerves. Nerve damage doesn’t mean the death of your tooth, but it may require more treatment to restore the nerves. It could even mean a root canal! Cases of nerve damage are rare, but you should take a few precautions to make sure. Tell your dentist about all previous dental work that you’ve had done so that they know which areas are at risk. A skilled professional can do their best to make sure there’s no damage. You should also tell them if you’ve had fillings or crowns anywhere because they can be dislodged by the aligners.
Tooth decay is caused by plaque, that white stuff your dentist always told you about that thrives on sugar. During treatment from an Invisalign dentist, you should take extra care to brush and floss regularly. Although it’s not the fault of the treatment, people who get it done are at higher risk for plaque build-up. Keep your teeth clean and, if possible, avoid eating too much sugar while you’re undergoing treatment. It never hurts to have a teeth cleaning done before you get your first set of aligners put in.
It is very rare, but some patients are actually allergic to the aligners put in by the Invisalign dentist! It’s impossible to test this beforehand, but if you know the symptoms you can be on the lookout for them. There may be swelling or pain around the aligners, or in severe cases there might be nausea, sore throat or a persistent cough. The danger is that these symptoms will be mistaken for a cold or flu, so if you understand that they might be allergic reactions to the aligners, you can get treatment. Unfortunately, if you’re allergic to the aligners, you can’t continue with the treatment.
Another risk is that part of the aligner can break off and be swallowed. This presents a choking risk. However, the aligners are made to be strong and this is only a problem for people who clamp or grind their teeth. When you talk to your Invisalign dentist at the consultation they’ll ask you about this and assess your eligibility for the treatment.
It’s always good to know the risks before you choose to start any kind of treatment. The good news is that, unlike traditional braces, there is no pain and discomfort associated with this treatment. Although there is a slight risk of nerve damage or tooth decay, it is still smaller than that of braces. If you have any other questions, talk to your dentist before you begin treatment.