As the demand for aesthetic treatments continues to increase, more adults and teenagers are seeking to use Invisalign instead of fixed orthodontic appliances (Tamer İ et al., 2019).
However, like with any kind of orthodontic medicine, Invisalign has certain things that you need to look out for to make sure that you can avoid any unnecessary complications. Complications can happen with any kind of orthodontic procedure, whether it’s Invisalign or anything else, and so simply being mindful of the types of complications that can occur can help you to avoid them.
This of course leads many people to ask a variety of questions when they start thinking about complications such as does Invisalign hurt? What is the Invisalign treatment and can you use Invisalign with crowns? How some Invisalign hurts my jaws or teeth? Is Invisalign jaw pain normal and can Invisalign loose teeth? What about complex cases of malocclusion or Invisalign cavities?
We will look at these questions individually, but before we continue, it should be stated here that research shows that Invisalign generally is more comfortable and is also rapidly improving technologically (Tamer İ et al., 2019), therefore the risk of these complications is reducing.
Invisalign jaw pain
Let’s start off with the most common question, which is why do you have jaw pain or other mouth pain when using Invisalign? The answer to that is quite simple actually, you are undergoing an orthodontic corrective procedure. Invisalign is designed to help pull your teeth into the correct position. This of course can result in your teeth feeling loose and possibly leading to pain in the jaw or mouth.
This is perfectly normal and is something that happens in every type of orthodontic corrective treatment. Although the pain and the discomfort level will vary from individual to individual, the fact of the matter is that whether you are going with Invisalign aligners or standard bracket and wire braces, almost any type of orthodontic corrective work has the potential to lead to discomfort.
The truth is if you’re going to be pulling teeth into new positions, it will be a little bit uncomfortable at first. And again, since you are pulling the teeth into new positions, they are going to be looser than they were original. This is one of the reasons why Invisalign and other braces methods try to do the corrective work incrementally as this produces the least amount of pain and discomfort.
However, if you are an individual who is more sensitive to the discomfort, then talking with your orthodontic office about things that you can do to alleviate this discomfort and pain can be helpful. Oftentimes it is recommended to utilize something like a cold pack or even a bag of frozen peas on the hurting or aching areas. Applying cold to the area will help to reduce any pain until your body becomes adjusted to it. You may also take an over the counter pain reliever to help with the symptoms.
Invisalign with crowns
The next common set of questions is regarding previous conditions. One is can you use Invisalign if you happen to have crowns on your teeth? The good news is the answer is yes. When your teeth were scanned at your orthodontic office and molds were taken, the crowns were likely included as a part of this initial scan and of course will definitely be noted by your orthodontic office.
This means that your Invisalign aligners are actually going to have your crowns designed in as a part of your treatment plan. This can be important for individuals because of course a crown is an important part of your dental health and well-being and if an individual had to remove it or get it adapted somehow to be able to undergo the Invisalign treatment that would be an incredibly uncomfortable hassle for everybody involved.
Fortunately, crowns pose no issue whatsoever to the Invisalign treatment and many individuals who happen to have crowns have successfully undergone Invisalign orthodontic corrective treatment so they’re able to get the smile they have always wanted.
Invisalign loose teeth
Another question is if Invisalign can be used for some complex cases of malocclusion, and the good news is that it is possible, but you will need to check with your orthodontist for your specific scenario. Orthodontists are now using Invisalign to treat increasingly complex cases because of technological development (Tamer İ et al.,2019). They move the teeth as effectively as braces, and as a result, you may notice your teeth feel slightly looser. You should not be alarmed, however, unless they feel really loose.
Still others may ask about other pre-existing conditions? What about cavities? That is a great question and one that many individuals, especially those who are more prone to cavities, will often ask. Cavities, as the name suggests, are actually holes or areas where your teeth are significantly weakened. If you happen to have cavities, it will definitely be important for you to make sure that those are addressed first with your dentist or orthodontic office and have them taken care of.
Getting cavities fixed before beginning the Invisalign treatment will be essential since, as mentioned above, the Invisalign treatment does pull teeth into new positions and so will be exerting significantly more stress on your teeth than they are used to. Because of this, cavities can be a complicating factor.
However, the good news is any office that is qualified to install Invisalign is likely more than capable of handling your cavities first. Getting your cavities filled and then beginning the Invisalign treatment is the preferred order since it will simply make it more comfortable for you and avoid any potential unnecessary complications.
Does Invisalign hurt?
The last unnecessary complication but the one that we have the most direct control over is ourselves. One complication that most often arises is simply because people do not follow the orthodontic treatment prescribed them by their office. The fact of the matter is that you need to wear your Invisalign orthodontics for a minimum of 22 hours per day. Failure to do so can cause your treatment to stagnate or even revert.
While things like cavities or crowns may be out of your control, whether you actually wear your orthodontics is. Making sure that you wear your aligners for the requisite amount of time, do not lose them, bend them, warp them, or simply put them in a pocket and forget about them are all things that are within your power to do.
The last thing anybody wants is complications that were entirely preventable with a small amount of personal responsibility. That ability to take them in and out is a huge benefit to many individuals but if somebody is not responsible, then it will become a major hindrance and can lead to needing replacement retainers, delayed treatment, and ultimately a prolonging of your orthodontic treatment overall.
It should come as no surprise that when using Invisalign, like with any other medical or technological advancement, you may have an inherent risk of certain side effects or complications. These are generally out of the norm, when the medical technology is correctly used.
Your orthodontist will provide you with guidelines to ensure that you get the best out of your Invisalign treatment, and although some of the guidelines may appear finicky, it is essential that you follow them.
However, in the event that you develop complications or side effects with correct use of your Invisalign technology, you must inform your orthodontist as soon as possible, to prevent it worsening and developing more serious complications.
One of the main side effects Invisalign wearers may experience is discomfort with the initial placement of the Invisalign trays. In most cases, patients are aware of a foreign object in the mouth and may also be aware of the attachments that are used to improve the grip of Invisalign. These can cause some discomfort or irritation against the cheeks, inside the lips, or on the tongue until the body gets used to the Invisalign trays.
Another possibility is that patients may experience some difficulty with speech while wearing the Invisalign trays. As you can see, these are all fairly minor.
Tamer, İ., Öztaş, E., & Marşan, G. (2019). Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners and The Scientific Reality Behind Their Marketing: A Literature Review. Turkish journal of orthodontics, 32(4), 241–246. https://doi.org/10.5152/TurkJOrthod.2019.18083