If you were like many teenagers, you had orthodontic braces during your time in middle school or high school. Even those lucky few who had teeth straight enough to avoid braces back then might have suffered some movement and misalignment in the ensuing years, due to incoming wisdom teeth or other issues.
Those who never had braces aren’t keen to get them as adults, and are probably pleased as punch that systems like Invisalign now offer alignment via practically invisible plastic trays. What if you had braces but failed to wear your retainers as advised? What if your teeth once again became misaligned over time? Do you have to go back to braces or can you opt for Invisalign this time around?
Invisalign is Ideal for Relapse
When the concept for Invisalign was first being explored and tested, many of the test cases were patients that had relapsed long after wearing traditional orthodontic braces. Relapse is a common occurrence because realigning jaws and teeth doesn’t necessarily create a permanent fix.
The ligaments that connect teeth to the jaw bones want to snap back after being stretched, which is why patients must consistently wear retainers as instructed in order to maintain the results of years wearing braces. If this step is neglected, teeth will certainly start to shift back to their old positions, although it will take time.
While Invisalign may not be the right solution for severe misalignment and it isn’t suited to correcting serious bite issues, it’s often a great solution for patients that have experienced some amount of relapse after having braces. With minor gaps, overlaps, or bite issues, Invisalign is generally the ideal solution.
Invisalign versus Braces
You’ll need to see your dentist and/or orthodontist for assessment before you can determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. In some relapse cases, misalignment may be too serious for Invisalign to be effective, or other issues like overbite or underbite could make a second go with orthodontic braces a more effective treatment option.
If, however, you are deemed a good candidate for Invisalign, as many relapse patients are, you’ll enjoy several benefits in the process. Not only are invisible aligners less noticeable and obtrusive than braces, but you can take them out when you eat or clean your teeth. In addition, they’re considered far more comfortable. Plus, patients could see results in as little as 6-12 months, as opposed to years of wearing braces. If you’ve had braces and relapsed, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment and find out if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign.