By Dr. John White
Smiles by White
Having personally worn both, there is no comparison in the comfort level of Invisalign versus traditional fixed braces.
When wearing Invisalign clear aligners, the resounding majority of patients will feel no discomfort. They may feel a little pressure on day one of tray one, but even that is negligible.
During treatment with Invisalign, between the first day and the seventh, your teeth only move .2 millimeters in that one-week timeframe. By contrast, with braces your teeth move three times more, thus causing more discomfort because there is a higher force being delivered.
Also with Invisalign trays, which are made with smooth, polished plastic, there are no poking wires or sharp edges like with braces, which sometimes can cause irritation to the mouth.
Invisalign is made with SmartTrack material designed to make them more comfortable, and easy to put on and take off. The trays fit snugly around your teeth, but there is a little more give in this patented plastic as opposed to more rigid plastics.
Just as the plastic materials used to manufacture the clear aligners keep improving, so does the manufacturing process. When first introduced in 2000, the aligners were trimmed and polished by hand, which caused some variation. Then, a couple of years later, robot-guided tools were used to trim the trays and they were tumbled in mesh bags with little ceramic cones to cause a light abrasion and make them smoother. Now, the manufacturer is using lasers to trim the trays to a smooth, polished edge.