Can Invisalign® Aligners Cause Problems Speaking?
By Kellyn Hodges on December 06, 2016
At Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics, we proudly offer our patients a comprehensive range of orthodontic solutions, including the revolutionary Invisalign® clear orthodontic aligner system. Comprised of a series of custom-crafted, virtually undetectable plastic aligners, the Invisalign® system gradually guides the teeth into their proper positions in the mouth without the need for cumbersome, conspicuous wires and brackets. For suitable candidates, they offer many advantages over traditional metal braces, including their aesthetic appeal and the fact that they can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing.
However, Invisalign® does require an adjustment period, during which patients may find certain tasks such as speaking difficult. Dr. Hodges discusses the issue of Invisalign® and problems speaking during consultations at her Philadelphia, PA orthodontics practice so that patients know precisely what to expect from treatment. She wants her patients to be able to make the most informed and confident decisions possible regarding their orthodontic care.
Is Invisalign® the right treatment method for you? To find out, schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Kellyn Hodges today.
How Can Invisalign® Affect Speech?
First, it is important to note that any orthodontic appliance is likely to affect a patient’s speech to some degree. Because Invisalign® aligners are made of a very thin, smooth plastic material, they are less likely to interfere with speech than traditional metal braces, which are much thicker and more abrasive. However, given that one of the primary selling points of Invisalign® is that treatment is so discreet, it is understandable that patients would be concerned about any effects on speaking whatsoever.
The most common speech impediment caused by Invisalign® aligners is a slight lisp. Often, this lisp subsides after a couple of weeks. As with any orthodontic appliance, patients must become accustomed to wearing Invisalign® aligners; during the first few days of treatment, the aligners will feel foreign in the mouth no matter how comfortable they are.
In general, however, difficulties with speaking are not that usual among Invisalign® patients. According to a study published as “Motivation, acceptance and problems of Invisalign patients”:
- 46 percent of Invisalign® patients studied experienced no effect on their speech whatsoever.
- 93 percent of Invisalign® patients studied “felt so secure with their aligners that they felt not at all inhibited about speaking.”
If you are among those patients who experiences speech problems in the first few days of your Invisalign® treatment, it is important that you do not become immediately discouraged. If you feel self-conscious about your difficulties speaking, try to practice when you are alone by reading aloud or when you are among close friends or family members by focusing on sounds you are having problems with. Most likely, you will start to improve in your speaking quite rapidly. If not, your aligners may require further polishing, which Dr. Hodges can perform for you.
Learn More about Invisalign® and Problems Speaking
If you would like to learn more about Invisalign® and problems speaking, or if you want to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Hodges, please contact Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics today.