For patients seeking an alternative to traditional metal braces, Invisalign® is an appealing solution. Not only are the clear plastic aligners used in Invisalign® virtually invisible when worn, they are also much more practical and convenient than traditional braces. The transparent trays can be easily removed when patients need to eat or brush and floss, and since the aligners do not contain any wires or brackets, Invisalign® invisible braces produce far less soft tissue irritation and discomfort.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the new alternative to metal braces, a series of clear trays custom made to gently move your teeth into the correct position. They are almost invisible, but you can remove them for special events, and to eat and brush your teeth. This orthodontic treatment option allows people to get straighter teeth without the need for metal braces. Invisalign is sometimes called clear braces or invisible braces because there are no wires or anchors on your teeth. Instead, clear plastic aligners are used to gently move your teeth to their desired position. Invisalign may not work for everybody, although people who use them are very satisfied with their treatment.
This option offers a wonderful solution for adults and older teens who need orthodontic treatment, but are not interested in traditional braces. With this option, our dentists can address moderate to severe malocclusion without the visual and physical obtrusiveness of braces. What’s more, Invisalign treatment is typically faster than other forms of orthodontics – often capable of shortening treatment periods by one to two years.
WHY SHOULD I STRAIGHTEN MY TEETH?
Straightening your teeth with Invisalign can be a huge boost to your self esteem, and it can also improve your dental health and preserve your teeth.Crooked teeth are susceptible to decay because they are harder to clean. Over time, if they make chewing uncomfortable, you can develop TMD/TMJ from constantly adjusting your bite.
“So friendly! Great office, professional, and do awesome work. They are actually open when other offices are closed. Always a good experience. I highly recommend!” -Amy
candidates for Invisalign Aligners
To be a good candidate, you must be prepared to follow through on the treatment. This means being willing to:
- Wear your aligners most of the day (20+ hours)
- Clean your teeth every time you eat
Wait for full results – Invisalign treatment can take several months, but shorter than traditional orthodontics, averaging 6-12 months in many cases. However, if you are prepared to get your teeth straightened without wires and brackets and are prepared to follow through on the treatment, Invisalign might be right for you.
How Does Invisalign® Work?
In order to guide your teeth back into proper alignment, Invisalign® uses computer technology to develop a series of teeth aligners that are custom-made for your treatment plan. Each individual aligner is shaped to place a specific amount of pressure on your teeth, gradually moving them closer to their final, correct position.
During an examination, Dr. LeSueur and Dr. Dodaro will take x-rays, digital pictures, and special impressions of your teeth. In order to create a computerized model of your upper and lower teeth. The Invisalign invisible braces software will use this model to calculate a treatment sequence. We then are able to review this virtually on the computer screen and approve the proposed therapy or modify it. Once approved, your set of custom aligners will be personally molded.
Your aligner may feel tight when you first put it on; this is normal, and part of how the process works. By applying pressure to your teeth, the aligner forces your teeth to move to fit the mold. Once your teeth have finished moving to fit an aligner, we will provide you with a new one. Invisalign aligners should be switched out every two weeks. Also, several sets of aligners can be given at a time so appointments at the office can be less frequent.
Cases Invisalign can Fix:
Patients with specific dental concerns love the ability to have them corrected without wires and brackets. Invisalign invisible braces can be a very successful treatment for many types of orthodontic problems, such as:
- Crooked teeth
- Teeth with spaces between them (gapped teeth)
- Minor rotations
- Crowded teeth
Invisalign® Tooth Attachments
Sometimes, a more specific kind of tooth movement is required during braces treatment. A tooth may need to be rotated or pulled up or down into place. In order to accomplish this, Invisalign® provides tooth attachments: small dots of tooth-colored bonding material that are designed to fit into a corresponding indentation on your aligner. When you wear your Invisalign® braces, this dot of material will catch on the bump in the aligner, applying the correct amount of force to reposition the tooth.
Advantages of Invisalign
When compared to other forms of orthodontic treatment Invisalign has a number of pros including:
- Virtually invisible
- No wires or brackets
- No tightening appointments
- Can be removed for eating
- Can be removed for cleaning
- Made of soft plastic
Disadvantages of Invisalign
Invisalign is not appropriate for every orthodontic problem. Invisalign cannot correct:
- Severe crowding
- Significant rotation
- Impacted teeth
- Major bite problems, overbite or open bite
- Certain orthodontic needs
HOW LONG DOES INVISALIGN TAKE TO STRAIGHTEN TEETH?
Typically Invisalign takes about a year, but it will depend on how much adjustment you need. Some people have straight teeth in as little as six months. Those who need more straightening can take up to two years.
CAN I TAKE THE TRAYS OUT WHEN I WANT TO?
The trays are almost impossible to see, but you can remove them for special events. You will also be able to take them out while you eat, brush your teeth, and floss. You should wear them at least 22 hours a day.
IS THERE A FASTER WAY TO STRAIGHTEN MY TEETH?
If you want your teeth to appear straight, but can’t or don’t want to take the time to actually straighten them, you may want to consider porcelain veneers, often referred to as “instant orthodontics. Your teeth will not be truly straightened, but they will look straight.
Choosing Invisalign or Braces
The choice of whether to use Invisalign or opt for traditional braces may seem like an obvious one, but not all patients are ideal candidates for Invisalign. Depending on the skill and preferences of your cosmetic dentist, you may be encouraged to undergo treatment with one or the other. Braces may be necessary if you have extreme malocclusions. However, most patients with misaligned teeth are candidates for Invisalign, and our patients who have undergone treatment with Invisalign have been extremely pleased with their results. Invisalign is usually a good option for:
- Adults wishing to avoid attention-drawing braces
- Individuals with major life events planned for the near future
- Individuals without complex alignment problems
Invisalign vs Clear Braces
Invisalign and “clear braces” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Clear braces, like traditional braces, attach to the surface of teeth and strung with arch wire that pull teeth into their optimal position. As with other types of braces, clear options limit food choices and make daily oral care more difficult. In addition, it can take 36 months or more to fully correct malocclusion in adult mouths. They can be clear, but are more noticeable than Invisalign.
Schedule a consultation
This page highlights some of the strengths and limitations of Invisalign invisible braces, but it cannot give you recommendations based on your dental conditions. The only way to learn whether Invisalign is right for you is to talk to a cosmetic dentist in person and them evaluate your teeth. To schedule your consultation, call (480) 834-6991 or email Scott LeSueur and Charles Dodaro Cosmetic Dentists in Phoenix, Arizona today.