Is Invisalign® For You?
Whether you have slight misalignment of one or two teeth, or you have many teeth out of alignment, it can be hard to overlook. Even if others cannot really see the alignment problems that drive you bonkers when you look in the mirror, it may affect your confidence. For mild misalignment, or malocclusion, the price, aesthetic and process of traditional braces have often been enough to dissuade adults from getting on board with correcting them. Now, there is an option to traditional braces with Invisalign® aligners.
What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® is a game-changing way to achieve straight teeth without the uncomfortable adjustments, metal and soft tissue irritation that can often accompany traditional braces. The Invisalign® system uses clear aligners to coax your teeth into their ideal position along the arches. Aligners look similar to bite guards for nighttime tooth grinding.
They are custom fabricated to fit all of your teeth precisely, and they are thin in order to easily maintain low visibility. The aligners are worn in succession, with incremental changes with each new aligner. Slowly, the pressure exerted on the teeth by the aligners results in the teeth moving away from the outside pressure of the aligners and into their proper position.
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Advantages of Invisalign®
Aligning your teeth can be a lengthy process that can last more than 18 months. Previously, that was enough to turn some patients without significant alignment problems off. The aesthetic offered by traditional braces was just not something that most patients were ready to endure for that long. Now, Invisalign® offers around-the-clock orthodontic support without the distracting appearance of wires and brackets.
Many Invisalign® patients report an overall increase in their oral health and diet, due to the rigorous hygiene required while wearing aligners. When we eat sugars and carbohydrates our teeth come under attack by hungry bacteria. Brushing and flossing is the best way to prevent this attack on your soft tissues and enamel, but saliva and drinking water also helps to flush away harmful bacteria when brushing your teeth is not an option.
While wearing Invisalign®, it is critical not to place aligners in the mouth over the teeth until the teeth have been cleaned thoroughly. This is because plaque and debris will be trapped by the aligner, allowing it to flourish. Neither water nor saliva will have good access to the teeth to rinse the debris away. In order to prevent decay, it is critical to remove the aligners during meals and reinsert after cleaning your teeth.
Removing the aligners to snack between meals, or to drink a can of sugary soda often loses its appeal early in your treatment. Chronic snackers could be constantly drinking and eating throughout the day, and it would be difficult to keep up with brushing. Often, patients find that soda and junk food practically are eliminated once an aligner routine is established. Still water (not carbonated) is safe to consume while wearing your aligners, but avoid drinking it warm as this can affect the fit.
Who is it For?
Invisalign® is quite capable of providing excellent results when the protocol is followed and where alignment concerns are mild to moderate in nature. Teeth that are turned beyond 20 degrees are not suitable for aligners. While it may seem that these aligners should be so easy to wear that anyone can do it, Invisalign® is not recommended for children or teenagers who have not erupted all of their teeth or those who have large gaps or restorations (like implants) to consider.
Because Invisalign® requires a minimum of 22 hours of wear daily, patients need to be able to handle the demands and responsibilities associated with wearing these aligners. They are clear and easily lost, so patients should be diligent about replacing the aligners only in their case when not in use. Because they blend in well to surfaces, placing them on a counter or food tray while eating is a recipe for loss.
What You Can Expect
If you are interested in exploring whether you are a good candidate for the Invisalign® system, we recommend seeing your dentist for a consultation. Your dentist can answer questions, discuss cost and even provide you with a simulation of your best outcome. This is achieved by using a 3D scanner to produce a digital representation of your teeth on a screen that you can review with your dentist. Your dentist can use this image to show what the ideal alignment is for your teeth.
If you think that Invisalign® is the right choice for you, you’re almost done! All your dentist needs to do now is send the 3D image to a certified Invisalign® laboratory where your custom aligners (20-30) will be made and sent back to your dentist.
If you have questions about this or other services offered by our general dentists, contact our clinic today.
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