Invisalign is a useful tool in orthodontics and can even be considered the best phase 1 product for alignment. However, those performing phase 1 orthodontic treatment cannot rely on Invisalign alone to handle all of their phase 1 cases. In this way, it’s important not to use Invisalign as a crutch for all of your orthodontic treatments.
Some cases are inappropriate for using Invisalign first due to the nature of the case. Let’s get into some examples where Invisalign is not going to make an impact in correction and what the alternative methods for correction should be.
Unfortunately, no use of Invisalign will help cases that require skeletal expansion in order to improve the bite and the airway. These cases in which the patient’s mouth is constricted by the small side of the palette require the use of a skeletal palette expansion, which cannot be performed by wearing Invisalign. In this case, the palette needs to be physically manipulated rather than just the teeth themselves.
Another example of where Invisalign will not make a big impact in phase 1 is habit correction. Harmful habits such as thumbsucking and pacifier use cannot be corrected with the use of Invisalign without first breaking the habit. Some habits occur when the patient is sleeping, such as mouth breathing or accidental tongue thrusting, which will misalign the teeth regardless of the correct alignment methods. As soon as alignment is over, the habits will once again misalign the structures you attempted to correct.
All in all, Invisalign is an extremely helpful tool for alignment, but when alignment does not solve the underlying issue, Invisalign should not be your first line of defense. In other cases, Invisalign is extremely helpful and should be in your toolkit for phase 1 orthodontics.