Do you dream of a perfect smile? You’re not alone. For many years, orthodontics was limited to traditional metal options – which many professionals declined due to their esthetic. As dentistry evolves, we are coming into a new definition of what ‘braces’ can be! Invisalign® is the new way to straighten your teeth without the esthetic of metal arch wires and brackets.
Invisalign® is an orthodontic alignment system that uses clear plastic trays called aligners. These aligners are custom fit to your teeth, virtually disappearing when they are in place.
Invisalign® therapy requires that trays be worn in succession, changing the aligners every couple of weeks, or as often as recommended by your dental professional. Typically, between 20 and 30 aligners are required for a full course of Invisalign® treatment. Once you have completed Invisalign® therapy, you will require a retainer to wear nightly to maintain the alignment of your teeth. A typical course of treatment is between 12 and 18 months.
It wasn’t very long ago that traditional braces were our best (and only) option to correct bite alignment and the position of the teeth. Traditional braces align the teeth by exerting pressure on the teeth over an extended period of time. Attached to your tooth is a ligament which assists in holding the tooth in its socket in the jawbone. This ligament provides some flexibility to the tooth, and as the tooth is pushed to move in the direction of the pressure, the bone around the tooth itself begins to erode to make room for the tooth to shift. As bone moves to accommodate the change, minerals necessary to rebuild bone are deposited in its wake.
Although severe cases of malocclusion (misalignment) may still require the use of traditional metal braces, Invisalign® uses the same principle to induce a shift in the teeth without all that metal and is suitable for mild to moderate malocclusion.
If you are interested in finding out whether Invisalign® is right for you, it’s as easy as a trip to the dentist! Technology has advanced to the point where you can see what Invisalign® therapy will do for you right in the clinic! Using 3D imaging technology, your dentist will take a 3D image of your teeth as they are now, and moments later we are able to show you what is achievable for you with this exciting treatment. If you are satisfied with the potential for your teeth, getting started is as easy as having your dentist send your 3D images to a certified Invisalign® lab where your custom aligners will be made.
If you are considering embarking on a course of Invisalign® therapy, there are some things you should know. While these aligners are nearly invisible, the treatment does still require commitment and dedication to the maintenance of your teeth when you are using them.
You can think of aligners as a plastic bag around your teeth. It’s damp and warm and sealing bacteria under the aligners is likely to produce plaque, irritated gums and even decay. It is, therefore, important to maintain a rigorous approach to oral hygiene when these appliances are in the mouth. You should never eat with your aligners in the mouth. Rather, teeth should be brushed and flossed after each meal prior to inserting your aligners once again. Because of this rigorous hygiene commitment, you may find the quality of your oral and systemic health improves with a course of Invisalign® therapy. It’s just too much work to snack throughout the day! Drinking water with Invisalign® aligners in place is encouraged, but stay away from hot drinks that could soften and warp your aligners.
While wearing Invisalign®, never set your aligners down on counters or napkins when they are removed for meals. Because of their low visibility profile, it is easy to misplace the aligners, or to throw them out accidentally. Due to the commitment required, Invisalign® is not a suitable treatment for children who have not erupted all their teeth. Users should be able to keep up with the rigour required to keep their teeth healthy and who can commit to 22 hours a day of aligner wear – removing them only to eat or drink.
Many clients are surprised in the difference alignment can make to their social interaction. Our ability to express ourselves more boldly impacts how we feel about ourselves. Now, you can achieve that confident smile discreetly with Invisalign®. If you have questions about these or other services offered by our general dentist, contact our clinic today.