Is It Possible to Use Retainers Rather Than Invisalign®?

Is It Possible to Use Retainers Rather Than Invisalign®?

Nov 09, 2021

Invisalign® treatment comes like a breath of fresh air for most people looking for an alternative method for teeth straightening. They are comfortable, discreet, and effective in correcting a host of orthodontic issues.

However, there is the issue of using retainers. For the most part, using a retainer after Invisalign treatment has always been the way to go. But are you contemplating whether retainers can be a perfect alternative to Invisalign? If you are, read along to know the differences between the two and the best treatment plan.

About Invisalign Clear Aligners

Invisalign is a teeth-straightening orthodontic treatment, which moves teeth in small stages. Just like metal braces, Invisalign applies gentle pressure on the teeth. This causes a small but recognizable shift in the teeth’s position. However, they use customized trays known as aligners rather than metal brackets to shift your teeth.

Once you get to our office, our dentist will take digital x-rays and molds that will aid in the fabrication of your customized trays.

The primary goal of Invisalign clear braces is to align teeth that are not properly aligned. So, our dentist will give you a set of trays that will ensure that your orthodontic issue is resolved. You will be given a series of customized trays that will last you for roughly six weeks. However, you will wear an aligner at a time for at least two weeks.

After two weeks, you can dispose of it and wear the next one in the series. Even though Invisalign aligners are removable, you need to wear them for at least 20-22 hours a day. If you wear them for less than 20 hours a day, you will not get the desired results.

About Retainers

Retainers are also orthodontic devices that are made out of different materials such as metal, strong plastic, and acrylic. Some of them are fashioned from the same material as Invisalign, so you might mistake one for the other.

Just as the name suggests, retainers are used to hold teeth in place after you have completed your orthodontic treatment. When you complete your treatment, your teeth might slowly revert to their original positions. This is why you need to wear retainers for a specific time to ensure that your teeth stay in their new positions.

Unlike Invisalign, which is worn for 22 hours a day, retainers are mostly worn at night. But, some patients may need to wear them for the whole day, each day for four months. They are customized to snugly fit your teeth after they have moved to their new position. However, you will have to wear them consistently for an indefinite period.

When Can a Retainer Be Used Instead of Braces?

The only instance you can use retainers in place of Invisalign is when the orthodontic problem is minor. In other words, a retainer can be used only instead of Invisalign under the following circumstances:

  • When the orthodontic issue affects only a tooth or two teeth
  • One tooth is out of place
  • You have a slight gap between two teeth
    In any case, you may still need to wear the retainer for more than two years for your teeth to maintain their new positions.

When Is a Retainer Considered a Bad Option?

In some scenarios, going for retainers instead of Invisalign will not be an excellent idea. For instance, if you have orthodontic issues that are affecting more than one tooth. So, if you need to solve any of the following issues, always go for Invisalign:

  • Cross-bites
  • Under-bites
  • Overbites
  • Crooked teeth
  • Spaces between multiple teeth

Why Is Invisalign More Effective Than a Retainer?

Orthodontic treatment requires commitment, time, money, and effort for you to get the dream smile. You will have straight teeth, a functional bite, and a stunning smile. However, one way to avoid the commitment that comes with Invisalign is to get retainers.

However, the material used to make Invisalign aligners is strong enough to move teeth. Therefore, expecting retainers to move your teeth will be a long shot. It is critical to note that retainers are only designed to maintain straight teeth, not to straighten teeth.

Therefore, if you have any orthodontic issues, contact us at Braces for All Faces to get Invisalign treatment.

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