There is a common misconception that straightening teeth is only done during adolescence. That’s not the case. Adults who did not have their teeth straightened when they were younger still have the opportunity to achieve the look they want. While there are a number of ways to improve teeth alignment, there’s one you should consider carefully: Invisalign. Here are some things you should know about Invisalign below.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a teeth-straightening solution consisting of clear aligners made using a proprietary thermoplastic material. Unlike other options, there are no wires or metal pieces that can cause irritation to your mouth and gums. The aligner is also much harder to detect since it is clear. Adults who would be uncomfortable wearing traditional metal braces find that the look of these clear aligners alone is enough to make them worthwhile.
How Do These Aligners Work?
The treatment process involves carefully crafting a series of aligners for you to move through to change your smile and bite. Anyone who has ever had professional teeth whitening will notice they look a lot like the trays dentists fit directly over the teeth. In some ways, the concept is the same. The only difference is that the goal is to straighten the teeth rather than remove stains.
The road to perfect teeth includes wearing these aligners over a period of time. The time it takes will depend on how much your teeth need to move. As your teeth adjust to the contours of the first aligner, you move on to the second one that brings the teeth closer to perfect alignment, and so forth. As the series progresses, you will see how the teeth straighten gradually. At the end of the series, you will have the straight teeth that you’ve always wanted.
Keep in mind that your aligners are designed using computer technology. This is important, since it ensures each aligner is perfectly scaled to match the dimensions of your teeth. The precision offered by this approach ensures that each succeeding aligner will gently move the teeth closer to the ideal alignment.
How is this Different from Other Options for Straightening Teeth?
Clear aligners are similar to other approaches for straightening teeth, in that the goal is to improve the appearance of your smile. They differ in how this is accomplished and what is expected of the patient.
One major difference is that you do not wear the aligners around the clock. Unlike metal braces, you are expected to remove the aligner for short periods of time. That means you can remove them while you eat. or while you brush and floss. They are perfectly safe to wear while you sleep. Most dentists recommend that patients wear the aligners for 22 out of every 24-hour period.
Another difference involves appearance. The material is clear, so it’s harder for others to notice that you are wearing anything over your teeth. That’s important if you prefer to not draw attention to the mouth while the teeth are being straightened. Many people, especially adults, enjoy this feature the most about Invisalign – that the aligners are nearly undetectable.
Comfort is also a factor to consider. You don’t have to worry about wires or metal components brushing against the inside of the mouth and causing irritation. Many people who opt for invisible aligners even report that any discomfort when switching to new aligners quickly subsides. The same is not always true when a dentist adjusts metal braces.
How Long Does it Take to Straighten the Teeth?
The amount of time it takes to correct issues like gaps, crooked teeth, misaligned bites, and crowding depends on the severity of the condition. After a full examination, your doctor will talk with you about how many aligners you will need to wear and project the amount of time it will take to achieve the desired results. While there are exceptions, you can plan on wearing the aligners for an average of 12-24 months.
Is the Process Expensive?
The cost of Invisalign is comparable to other orthodontic options, such as braces. The cost is still affordable, especially if you have dental insurance that covers orthodontia. Your dentist may even offer financing, Invisalign specials, or you can go through a third-party financing company like CareCredit. Over the long-term, your investment in these aligners will be similar to the expense associated with any other teeth-straightening process.
The value of Invisalign is in the simplicity of the treatments, the relative comfort you enjoy while your teeth straighten, and the fact that they aligners are less noticeable. When you factor in the ease of removing them to brush, floss, or eat, the cost is worth every penny.
Why Choose this Solution Over Metal Braces?
Patients will cite different reasons why they prefer clear aligners over any type of braces. Many adults simply do not want to go about their days with teeth bound in metal. The idea of an undetectable solution to straightening teeth is very attractive. Additionally, patients report that they experience less soreness overall as the aligners move the teeth into their proper positions.
The ability to brush and floss without feeling encumbered by metal fittings is also a huge plus. By being able to manage oral hygiene with greater ease, patients feel their mouths are cleaner and they feel more confident showing them off.
Are there Specific Benefits to Using Clear Aligners?
There are other benefits associated with clear aligners that you should consider. One has to do with restrictions on what you can eat and drink. Many of the things you may normally consume must be avoided when you wear metal braces. Such as popcorn, apples, celery, sticky foods, gum, candy, etc. That’s because the residue can be almost impossible to remove from the metal components. Or, biting into hard foods can break or bend the wires or brackets. If that happens, you would need to make an extra visit to the dentist or orthodontist. Since you remove the Invisalign aligners when you eat, it’s possible to enjoy all those foods without guilt or any complications.
The average treatment time compares favorably with other orthodontic solutions like retainers or braces. Depending on the nature of your problem, you could even end up wearing the aligners for less time than other solutions. Your dentist can tell you more about how long those other solutions would take versus choosing the clear aligners.
The safety factor is also something to consider. Metal rubbing against the inside of the cheek or irritating the gums is more than just uncomfortable. It can also lead to sores and impact the mineral content of the teeth proper. Clear aligners reduce the risk of damage and possible complications that come with wearing metal braces.
The Bottom Line
If your dentist believes that clear aligners are the best way to achieve straight teeth, we suggest that you seriously consider that recommendation. Your dental team is taking into consideration the severity of your the misalignment as well as your desires to straighten the teeth in the most discreet manner. Feel free to ask any questions that come to mind and learn all you can before proceeding. You will find that this solution offers you many advantages that simply don’t come with other teeth-straightening options.
To learn more about Invisalign and explore this convenient teeth straightening options, make sure to visit Twin Dental. We can answer all of your questions and come up with the treatment plan that is right for you!