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When my teenage daughter was told she might need braces, she came home in tears. When I told her she might qualify for an alternative called Invisalign, she brightened considerably. So I tend to believe the results of a recent nationwide survey conducted by Align Technology, the makers of Invisalign. They asked 510 teens ages 12 to 17 about braces and self image.

Teens are not unlike aging baby boomers — conscious of their looks. A majority of the teen respondents said they would be even more self conscious than they already are if they had to wear metal braces. (Keep in mind that teen years are a highly self conscious period in most lives anyway.) According to the survey, Invisalign changed their attitude when they realized they would be able to wear something nearly invisible.

One teen said, "With Invisalign, it’s cool because your teeth are getting straighter, but people don’t even realize you have them. I don’t worry about wearing my aligners during cheerleading, winter guard or swim practice either. They are safe to wear and they don’t interfere with my life.”

Only 4% of respondents said they would smile more while wearing metal braces, and over one third believe their peers with metal braces are made fun of. By creating Invisalign Teen, it sounds like Align Technology has come up with a viable alternative for image conscious teenagers who need their teeth straightened.

Read the complete results here.

Back on a personal note, we haven't chosen the braces for my daughter yet. What advice would you give us?

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Comment by Meg Kaiser on April 2, 2009 at 8:49am
Sorry to hear your son is fighting the Hawley appliance. Hope that changes soon so you can take a break from nagging. ha ha. But I'm glad to hear you like Invisalign. Most opinions favor it if a person is a good candidate. But like anything else, it has its share of opposition. However, I'm getting mostly positive feedback.
Now about paying for your son's Invisalign....I bet if he bats those big eyes at you sweetly enough, you'll give in. I'd like to see that. :-)
Comment by Rhonda Radford Adams on April 1, 2009 at 10:16pm
Hi Meg,
As an RDH I am loving Invisalign ALLLLL DAY LONG!!!!! Minimizes gingival recession from overagressive brushing; improper removal of bonding material; decalcification; decay under banks and the forbidden attempt to properly deliver an effective prophy!!! However, at the moment. I am struggling with my 8 year old about just simply wearing his Hawley appliance. It seems the novelty of wearing 'braces' for a second grader has unfortunately...worn itself out! Just that quick! If he ask about some invisible braces anytime in this life time that I am expected to pay for them....my answer is NO! So, I have began to advise him that he should start saving his money now because I'm not paying for the bathroom counter to be 'straightened out!"
LOL!
Peace and Smiles:)
Comment by Kirsten Brancheau on February 19, 2009 at 8:58am
The Invisalign bill for my case was $1,000. That's probably what it would cost your dentist, so the other $3,000+ is his overhead and profit. If I had been a real patient, it would have been at least as much as the fee you were given. If I have to finish this whole process with an orthodontist, it will cost me around $5,000 more. I can't do that. I'm not happy with the whole situation.
Comment by Meg Kaiser on February 19, 2009 at 8:26am
"Just" Invisalign costs?! Our estimates were $4,800 for braces, $4,500 for Invisalign, a negligible difference. And of course the Invisalign won't address the malocclusion. And Kirsten, I can imagine that you wouldn't be happy about braces when TWO YEARS of Invisalign should have done the trick! But I truly would like to know who you could blame.
Comment by Kirsten Brancheau on February 18, 2009 at 8:28pm
The thought of braces does not make me happy at all. After paying for Invisalign (yes, my own boss charged me for this, but just Invisalign costs -- I still think that was mighty cheap of him), I really don't want to add the cost of traditional braces. So I guess I'm doomed to going for endless "refinements." Really not happy about the situation and wish I knew who to blame -- my boss or Invisalign. Ha ha! Good thing my boss never comes to this site!
Comment by Meg Kaiser on February 18, 2009 at 8:57am
Thank you very much, you all. Very interesting input. Yes, we've sought a couple of opinions, and one dentist felt my daughter was not a candidate for Invisalign, while the other said she was. I guess a third opinion needs to be sought. I believe the issue here is malocclusion. Kirsten, what a bummer with your results. I can see why you'd hesitate to recommend Invisalign now. Hopefully an orthodontist can help get you back on track. And Adrian, I think control is a huge factor. How interesting that several people end up in braces anyway after using Invisalign! (May be where you're headed, Kirsten.) Based on the above, Invisalign may be best for minor straightening.
Comment by Adrian on February 17, 2009 at 7:16pm
I agree with the above. As an ortho. assistant, I can tell you that Invisaligns advertising and marketing is way ahead of it's technology. Invisalign, if you are even a candidate (which many aren't!) does straighten teeth, however, does not correct malocclusions. Several of our patients even end up in braces to do the finishing alignment even after resubmitting the case to invisalign. While the patient must be compliant with the wearing of the trays, in the end stages, the bite could be corrected by your Dr. adding buttons to wear elastics off of, which sounds like what needs to happen in the above case, but again, there is much more control with traditional braces. One positive I can say about the teen invisalign is that I bet there is much less incidence of decalcification!
Comment by Kirsten Brancheau on February 17, 2009 at 4:21pm
I've had mixed results with Invisalign from personal experience. Over the years my teeth have shifted and I began having spaces between some of my front teeth that I really didn't like. I decided to go the Invisalign route. The positives are: esthetics -- most people don't even know I'm wearing them; comfort; easy to keep my teeth clean; they take the place of my night guard at night so I can't grind my teeth; the spaces closed within four months. So part of me LOVES Invisalign. The negatives: My original 4 1/2 month treatment is now going on close to two years and I have fears that my bite will never be right. While they look great, my occlusion is TERRIBLE! I have developed TMJ problems and have absolutely NO occlusion on the right side. I don't know if the problem is my dentist being clueless or the technology itself. Since my dentist is also my employer, it's hard for me to say, "I think you screwed up." But I'm extremely frustrated with the whole process and no longer enthusiastically recommend Invisalign to my patients. I don't know where to turn but I'm on the verge of asking my employer to please get advice from an orthodontist or from the Invisalign experts.

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