When people find themselves in need of braces, their primary concerns center around the physical discomfort of the process and the aesthetic impact of the metalwork on their smile. While the prospect of wearing braces is challenging even for the young, this fear is amplified for adults.
With this in mind, Invisalign® has designed a completely metal-free and almost invisible aligning system that straightens teeth just as quickly and efficiently as traditional metal braces, significantly reducing the negative visual impact on your smile. The Invisalign® treatment consists of a series of custom made aligning trays that the dentist switches out every few weeks as the teeth migrate into their new tooth configuration. Invisalign® trays can even be temporarily removed for important occasions, giving the patient both freedom and responsibility in the application of his or her treatment.
Many patients have reported great satisfaction with both the advantages of the Invisalign® treatment system and the stunning results they achieve.
What can Invisalign® repair?
Invisalign® is used to correct the same dental problems addressed by traditional metal braces with the added advantages of being almost invisible to the naked eye and easily removed at will. Here is a list of some problems commonly corrected with Invisalign®:
- Overcrowding – Too many teeth in too small a space keeps them from aligning correctly, causing higher levels of tooth decay and a greater likelihood of gum disease.
- Gaps – Gaps are created by too few teeth in too large a space, often the result of missing teeth or abnormal jaw growth.
- Crossbite – Crossbites occur when one or more upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth, causing uneven wear that leads to bone erosion and gum disease.
- Overbite – Overbites occur when the upper teeth project out over the lower teeth, eventually leading to jaw pain and TMJ.
- Underbite – An underbite is the inverse of an overbite; the lower teeth project out past the upper teeth, once again leading to jaw pain and TMJ.
What advantages does Invisalign® offer over traditional braces and veneers?
While all three treatments are useful under different circumstances for perfecting teeth alignment, Invisalign® has a number of unique advantages over both traditional dental braces and dental veneers:
- Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign® trays are both nearly invisible and fully removable. While this makes them significantly better for the aesthetic appearance of your smile during treatment, they also require more discipline and commitment from the patient to ensure proper treatment. Used correctly, Invisalign® can achieve results almost identical to those obtained by using traditional braces.
- Veneers are thin ceramic covers designed to permanently affix to the existing dental structure. They are somewhat expensive, can sometimes break, and often last less than twenty years. In addition, the teeth must be etched to achieve a proper fitting, so the dentist has to place alternative coverings should the patient ever want the veneers removed. Invisalign® is preferable to veneers because it corrects the underlying structural problems in the dentition while avoiding damage to the integrity of the individual teeth.
What’s the procedure for the Invisalign® treatment?
Initially, your dentist will take three-dimensional images of the entire jaw. These images are uploaded to a computer where the dentist can move teeth around, view the jaw from different angles, and project what the final results will look like, allowing you and your dentist to see how the Invisalign® treatment will change your facial aesthetics. Through this process your dentist will devise an initial treatment plan.
From this plan a unique set of alignment trays is custom crafted for your teeth. The number of trays required varies, but 20-29 sets per arch over the course of the treatment is typical.
What do I need to consider before deciding on Invisalign®?
For the first few weeks, the use of Invisalign® will take some getting used to. Trays should be worn at all times except when eating or drinking because food can easily get trapped between the tray and the teeth, creating problems with tooth decay. Expect new trays every two weeks or so, and watch for progress between appointments as this can usually be seen with the naked eye.
Invisalign®, known for being both comfortable and effective, has undoubtedly revolutionized orthodontics.
If you have questions about Invisalign®, please ask your dentist.