Is Invisalign Painful?

A common question patients often have regarding Invisalign treatments is if they cause pain. For patients who have had traditional metal braces, while the pain may not be intense, it does involve a certain level of pain. As with most types of orthodontic treatments, adjusting the teeth typically results in some level of discomfort. Many Invisalign advertisements claim that the treatment is pain-free, or results in less pain than traditional braces.

When the teeth are being adjust and the bite is being straightened, there will be some level of pain associated. Even when Invisalign is being used. This article will review what to expect from a pain perspective with Invisalign treatments.

Generally speaking, Invisalign is less painful than traditional metal braces. Similar to other types of orthodontic treatments, the pain should fade over time once the teeth adjust to the new set of aligners. In regards to Invisalign, there can be a few sources of pain. Initially, there is some soreness which is from the aligners pressing against the teeth. In addition, there can be pain which comes from the aligners being present in the mouth.

When traditional metal braces are used, some of the pain patients experience is from the brackets that rub against the mouth or tongue. The placement of the wire can also cause some discomfort. This discomfort can be especially prevalent during the first few weeks of treatment. Over time, the mouth will develop callouses which helps alleviate some of the pain. In many ways, Invisalign aligners are quite similar, just on a smaller scale. While the edges of the aligners are not sharp, they can cause irritation to the gums, lips and tongue. It typically takes a few weeks for the mouth to adjust to the aligners and develop the necessary callouses.

While the pain is typically minimal with Invisalign, it does exist. Because Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment, and the goal is to adjust the teeth and bite, the aligners will place a certain amount of pressure on the teeth. This pressure on the teeth and jaws, can result in some sensitivity and soreness. The increased soreness and sensitivity may be especially noticeable during the first few days of a new set of aligners. Fortunately, the teeth with adjust and this discomfort will eventually lessen. Expect this process to continue with each new set of aligners. The sensation associated with new aligners is not typically described as pain. In most cases, the sensation is a nuisance and slight discomfort that patients will get used to and will go away over time. For patients with an especially low paint tolerance, however, the sensation can be quite uncomfortable and may even be described as painful.

Another type of pain that some Invisalign patients may experience, is actually quite easy to resolve. This specific pain is caused by the sharp or rough edges of the aligners. Patients will naturally run their tongue along the edges of the aligners. If this results in a cut or the edge of the aligner feels rough against the tongue, this can be resolved by the orthodontist or dentist who is able to adjust the aligners. Patients should not experience pain from a poor finish of the aligners, and the problem can be easily resolved.

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