• Dr. Tanner

Is Invisalign Treatment Worth It?

Risk vs Reward



When deciding to undergo an elective medical or dental procedure, it is important to weigh both the benefits and drawbacks. Sometimes the advantages are so clear and/or the long-term health benefits so apparent, that the decision is an obvious “yes”. There are times however when the pros and cons of treatment seem to carry equal weight. A lot of people feel that orthodontic care falls into this category–until one takes a deeper look.


Before getting into the benefits of improving one’s smile and bite, let’s play the devil’s advocate and look at some of the downsides of embarking upon orthodontic treatment. The most obvious negative factors include the cost of care, the commitment of time, the associated discomfort and lifestyle modifications. Let’s take a little closer look at each of these, and specifically how each relates to Invisalign.

The average cost of Invisalign treatment today is between $5000 and $6000–which is the same fee for braces in most orthodontic offices. Interestingly, the average cost of orthodontic treatment in 1970 was $2000. If orthodontic treatment kept pace with inflation, then Invisalign/braces would cost over $15,000 in 2022! Amazingly, orthodontic treatment is a bargain compared to most consumer items. And, when you factor in orthodontic insurance benefits (which did not exist in the 70’s), it is an incredible value by today’s standards!


The next area that gives most people pause for starting orthodontic treatment is the time commitment:

  • Most adults and many teens dread the idea of undergoing 2 to 2.5 years of treatment—which is typical with a round of braces.

  • On the other hand, Invisalign is highly efficient. The prescribed precision tooth movements of the system allow for much shorter treatment. As a result, the majority of Invisalign cases can be completed in under a year. Furthermore, even the most difficult orthodontic Invisalign cases will treat out at least 6 months faster than similar cases treated with traditional braces.

  • In the grand scheme of things, most of us would agree that a 12-month obligation to straighten our teeth is a very doable goal.

The final and perhaps biggest negative issues to pursuing orthodontic care are the discomfort factor and lifestyle changes associated with treatment. Let’s face it—braces can be very uncomfortable. Each adjustment appointment results in sore teeth for 3 to 4 days. Not to mention the unsightly metal, the challenges keeping teeth clean, the food limitations and potential irritation from brackets and wires.The good news is that Invisalign circumvents these issues. The forces are lighter resulting in less tooth discomfort, there are no food restrictions, the aligners are virtually invisible and the regimen for keeping your teeth clean is unchanged!


HOW ABOUT THE PROS of orthodontic tooth movement—both the obvious and the not so obvious. Let’s face it, everyone loves a beautiful smile. An attractive smile lights up a room, puts people at ease, gives off a good first impression, radiates self-confidence, boosts self-esteem, and makes us feel younger. In addition, when you feel good about your teeth, you smile more! And the more you smile, the happier you FEEL—all of which boosts your immune system and improves overall health!! What a winning combination!!!

But there are so many underlying health benefits from having straight teeth that function properly and occlude in an ideal manner. Straight teeth are easier to clean—contacts are less tight and there are fewer places for food to hide making brushing and flossing more effective. In addition, when teeth fit properly both in a front to back and side to side relationship, there is reduced damage to the teeth resulting in less fractures to the crowns and wear to the enamel. Finally, the gingival tissue and underlying bone support are more healthy when teeth are in their proper axial angulation and the opposing dentition interlocks harmoniously.


So, when you put the pros and cons of orthodontic treatment on an imaginary scale—guess what? Invisalign treatment really does make sense—not only from a social/emotional perspective, but also from a big health benefit for your teeth and mouth. Invisalign treatment is easier than you think—AND WORTH IT!


If you have questions about the benefits of Invisalign treatment, please call Visage Orthodontics to schedule a visit with Dr. Tanner, your Santa Fe Invisalign specialist. Dr. Tanner will review everything in detail and develop a customized treatment plan to fit your lifestyle and budget.


A confident and beautiful smile is right around the corner!