Can you switch from braces to Invisalign?

Invisalign has a very high patient satisfaction rating. So, it is not uncommon for patients who started with the more affordable traditional braces to decide to switch to invisalign at the middle of their treatment. But is this possible? 

According to Dr. Marianna Evans of HealthTap, a patient with braces can almost always switch to Invisalign. However, they should be prepared to pay a lot more, prolong time of treatment, and deviate slightly from the originally expected final outcome of bite correction. 

This is because your orthodontist probably recommended braces the first time – and not Invisalign – for a reason. 

If you still want to switch in a situation where Invisalign cannot deliver satisfactory results, your orthodontist may recommend “Incognito” invisible braces; but it’s still recommended to start with this orthodontic treatment option from the beginning rather than switching.

Can you switch from braces to Invisalign

Can i switch from braces to Invisalign?

Yes. It is possible for patients to transfer from wearing traditional braces to finish their orthodontic treatment using Invisalign, but you must take your orthodontist’s advice into consideration and weigh it against your personal circumstances. 

Dr. Anthony Cost of HealthTap recommends the combination treatment approach (you do half braces half Invisalign), where the patient starts with braces and then switches to Invisalign after certain gains have been achieved, or vice versa. This not only reduces the time spent wearing fixed appliances (braces), but also improves the results obtained with Invisalign.

Can i remove my braces and get Invisalign?

Removing your braces and making the switch allows you to enjoy the benefits of Invisalign, including the convenience of removable appliances for easier cleaning and enjoying your favorite meals, while correcting your malocclusion invisibly.

Signs that it’s time to remove your braces and get Invisalign

1. You feel self-conscious because of your braces.

You should think about how your orthodontic treatment has affected your emotions when deciding whether to convert from braces to Invisalign. It goes without saying that wearing braces might make you feel self-conscious. However, there is no justification for why straightening your teeth should cause your unpleasant feelings to grow.

Check if you experience:

  • Embarrassment whenever you grin, smile, or laugh
  • Hesitation and become reserve in social settings
  • A lack of confidence at work

It might be time to think about using Invisalign clear aligners if your metal braces are interfering with your social relationships. You can enjoy how the clear plastic material of Invisalign’s aligners conceals your orthodontic treatment to retain your confidence, rather than having to put up with the shame of brackets and archwires.

2. You’d like to spend less time on oral hygiene

Cleaning your teeth with lingual or buccal braces can be quite challenging. To prevent deterioration, you must make sure that food is not stuck to your braces. So you need to brush your brackets and wiring carefully, and also clean in between your teeth by passing dental floss for braces through your archwires. You may grow weary of the amount of time that brushing your teeth requires after months of a laborious routine.

Consider transitioning from braces to Invisalign if you notice that the effort required has caused you to become less diligent about maintaining good dental hygiene.

3. You want to get back to your regular diet

Putting some foods on hold is necessary when wearing metal braces. Eating requires additional attention because your brackets and wiring may potentially break. For instance, Dental Associates advises avoiding popcorn and nuts, and claims that you should make sure the following meals are consumed in lesser portions: fruits, raw vegetables, French or Italian bread, burgers and meat, steamed corn, etc.

The removable aligners from Invisalign can be your best choice if eating has turned into a chore.

4. You are tired of the inconvenience of metal braces

If you find that metal braces are inconvenient for your lifestyle, switching to Invisalign can make your orthodontic treatment easier. You could unintentionally break an archwire or have a rubber band come free when using fixed orthodontic appliances. You might worry a lot about food becoming stuck to your braces when you eat.

Consider clear, removable orthodontic treatment with Invisalign if having braces has complicated your life.

5. You’re suffering from teeth demineralization

It is a known truth that wearing braces increases your risk of developing demineralization, a dental ailment that causes the appearance of white spots on your teeth. You must take action to stop your demineralization from getting worse if your teeth are starting to get white patches. You should think about converting from metal braces to Invisalign in addition to seeing your orthodontist to lower your risk.

Making the switch to Invisalign will help you get a beautiful smile and make your orthodontic treatment more enjoyable while also decreasing your inconvenience and boosting your confidence.

Does it cost money to switch from braces to Invisalign?

Although switching from braces to Invisalign is not quite “starting over’, it can be very expensive for two key reasons. First, the cost associated with removing braces is quite high; and second, ordering invisalign aligners for the different treatment stages is also quite expensive.

Higher switching costs 

Compared to starting with Invisalign, it will cost you more to switch treatments. If you are on a budget, it may be better to stick with the braces until the treatment is complete and your teeth look perfect. 

Invisalign requires you to get new impressions, after which the orthodontist needs to study models and photographs afresh, before fabricating the complete series of aligners, which your insurance company may not be willing to contribute towards. If you don’t mind paying out-of-pocket, you can proceed.

Removing traditional braces 

If you are planning on switching to Invisalign for a special event, you may get your orthodontist to remove the metal braces for a day. This process is costly, so you should consider switching completely to invisalign. Invisalign should not be removed very often. But since these clear plastic braces are nearly invisible, you can leave them on when attending events and still not look like you are wearing braces.

If you have braces, it will cost you a lot to start over with invisalign. So, speak with your orthodontist or dentist and ask him/her to be straight with you on what can be done if you are dissatisfied with the results of braces, or if the irritation is worsening. Some braces are very hard to take off, and your orthodontist may not agree to remove the braces anyway.

Switch from braces to Invisalign

The switch process from braces to Invisalign usually involves the following steps:

  1. Discussing your treatment options with a qualified invisalign provider
  2. Creating a customized treatment plan, whereby your orthodontist takes x-rays, pictures, and impressions to help create your customized treatment plan
  3. Receiving aligners and starting your treatment plan
  4. Changing your aligner after every two weeks as your teeth get fixed
  5. Completion of treatment. There is no recovery time, so you can go on with your activities after the treatment with a bright smile.

The fee to switch is usually between $2,000 and $5,000. If your case is not too intricate, and you have the money, there should be no problem. Switching can dramatically improve your quality of life.

What if I can’t switch from braces to Invisalign?

There is a possibility that you won’t be qualified for Invisalign treatment if your orthodontic case is particularly severe, so your dentist insisted on using fixed braces over alternative solutions. Although Invisalign technology has come a long way, it may not be able to treat severe cases of malocclusion with the same level of satisfaction as achieved with braces. Don’t let this deter you, though; Invisalign therapy is constantly improving, so you might still be eligible. The best way to find out if you can make the switch is by having your teeth examined and speaking with an Invisalign professional.

References

Authors

  • Editorial team

    A team comprising oral health care professionals, researchers, and professional Writers, striving to impart you with the knowledge to improve your oral health, and that of your loved ones. 

  • Lilly

    Lilly, aka, Liza Lee, is a passionate community oral health officer and our lead writer. She's not only well-versed in performing a multitude of dental procedures, including preventive, restorative, and cosmetic, but also an avid writer. Driven by the significant oral health burden all around her, Lilly strives to build capacity and promote oral health. She envisions making a lasting impact by advancing research, prevention, and promotion efforts to alleviate oral health disparities. Please share your views and opinions on my posts.

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