Invisalign® speech problems. / How to cure an Invisalign® lisp. -
Speech difficulties with dental appliances - Background.
Wearing any type of dental appliance has the potential to affect the way that you speak. This typically has to do with the extra thickness it adds to the roof of your mouth in the region right behind your upper front teeth (anterior palate).
A) How likely is Invisalign® to interfere with talking?
Because Invisalign® aligners are made out of very thin sheets of plastic, for most people any speech effects that they notice are usually just minor. But of course for those for whom this is a problem, it can be one of the tip-offs that they're wearing invisible braces.
a) What's normal?
Probably everyone notices at least some difference or awkwardness in the way they talk when they put in their first set of aligners for the very first time.
- It's not unusual to notice a slight lisp or slur.
- These difficulties are usually most obvious when trying to pronounce words that contain "s" and "th" sounds.
To quantify this issue, Nedwed (2005) [page references] reported that 93% of Invisalign® patients reported no difficulties with speech impediments during the first 3 to 6 months of their treatment.
This does, however, suggest that 7% did, which isn't necessarily a small percentage.
b) How long will the speech difficulties persist?
Probably the bigger issue is, if you do experience problems talking, how long will they last?
As an answer, Nedwed (2005) reported that 46% of Invisalign® patients had no lasting difficulty with speaking.
Extrapolating from the two findings we've reported from this same study, it seems that possibly 3% or so of all Invisalign® patients may have a persistent speech impairment associated with wearing their aligners.
B) How to cure Invisalign® speech problems.
If you do detect a change in the way you speak, the question then becomes how quickly can you adapt to and overcome this problem before anyone else notices?
a) If you do have a problem, expect it to resolve quickly.
The Nedwed study mentioned above found that in those cases where some type of speech impediment was noticed, the person typically adapted and their ability to talk returned to normal within a short period of time, usually no longer than just a few days.
It's even possible for a person's adaptation to take as little as just a few hours.
b) The remedy for an Invisalign® lisp is practice.
The solution for overcoming aligner speech problems is simply rehearsing the enunciation of words.
That means you just need a lot of practice. And the more you do, the quicker you'll adapt. Read aloud to yourself or have extended conversations with a sympathetic friend. Before you know it, the way you talk should return to normal.
c) You may always feel that your lisp is still there.
Some patients never totally overcome their Invisalign®-induced slur. And, in fact, the Nedwed study mentioned above found that only 93% of its participants had never had any inhibitions about speaking when wearing their aligners during the first 3 to 6 months of their treatment.
However, don't overlook the fact that your insecurity may simply be that you're overly self-conscious. Our perception of things isn't always accurate. So, ask a friend that you trust about the way that you talk when your aligners are in place, and believe them if they say everything sounds fine.
d) Switching to a new set of aligners shouldn't pose a problem.
Since each Invisalign® aligner is so similar in shape and thickness to the one worn immediately before it, the new one's potential to trigger speech problems should be essentially nonexistent.
Menu for topic Dental Braces -
- Removable aligners (Invisalign®)
- Lingual systems (Incognito®).
- Ceramic (clear) dental braces.
- Conventional (metal) braces.
- Orthodontic retainers.