If you have considered braces but have been turned off by the idea of traditional metal brackets, you may be wondering if Invisalign is the right choice for straightening your teeth. For many patients, the answer is yes. Clear aligner trays like Invisalign have allowed millions of patients to achieve a straighter, more even smile without drawing unwanted attention. Located in Philadelphia, Innovative Dental By Dr. A offers Invisalign as an alternative to traditional braces.
Invisalign orthodontic treatment
The purpose of any orthodontic treatment is to improve the function and appearance of the smile. It is not simply a cosmetic treatment. Straight teeth are properly aligned and easier to clean so there are fewer hard-to-reach areas where bacteria can hide and accumulate. Orthodontic treatments also address functional problems including improper bite, crowding, and misalignment.
Invisalign utilizes clear, removable trays to produce results similar to traditional braces. The design is not noticeable to the general public making it an attractive option to teens and adults who may be self-conscious about wearing metal brackets. Traditional braces are effective but are not discreet and can be more uncomfortable. Invisalign provides patients with an alternative method for smile correction.
Invisalign is appropriate for patients who have mild or moderate orthodontic needs. As technology improves, the trays are capable of treating an increasing number of cases. Often used for gapped, crowded, or poorly aligned teeth, Invisalign may be used for the following reasons:
- Crowding and misalignment – If the jaw is too small, the teeth may not fit properly. This causes the teeth to become crowded and difficult to properly clean.
- Gaps – Spacing issues can occur anywhere in the mouth but are most common in the front teeth. Gaps are problems that need to be addressed because the gums are exposed without protection from the teeth. When there is too much spacing, patients may experience gum disease.
- Overbite – An overbite is when the top teeth extend too far over the bottom. This can lead to gum problems, jaw issues, and wear on the bottom teeth.
- Underbite – An underbite is the opposite. In this case, the bottom teeth extend beyond the top. With an underbite, the front teeth and molars do not function properly. There may be wear on the teeth or jaw problems.
- Open bite – Patients with an open bite have teeth that do not meet when the jaw is closed. This can lead to speech problems or an improper bite and jaw alignment.
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Efficient, effective correction
Invisalign received its FDA approval in 1997. Since then it has been used to successfully treat over 2.4 million people worldwide. The BPA-free plastic aligner trays are created using impressions of the patient’s teeth. The trays fit snugly, but comfortably around the teeth. The clear design is discreet and not immediately noticeable to others.
Unlike traditional braces which rely on tightening wires, Invisalign trays gently apply pressure to the teeth gradually shifting them into proper alignment. A series of trays are used over the course of the treatment. Each set is worn for about two weeks and then discarded so a new set can be used. The pressure is placed differently in each set of trays. The change in pressure placement promotes the continuous movement of the teeth. Progress is monitored through regular dental visits. Although treatment time varies from patient to patient, most are treated in about a year.
When worn as directed by a dentist, Invisalign is a successful straightening option for many patients. Since the aligner trays are removable, patients control their own success. The trays should be taken out to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Generally, the trays must be worn for approximately 20 hours each day. This increases the likelihood of an effective outcome. Adhering to the instructions for use reduces the need for longer treatment times or future orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign trays successfully treat many orthodontic needs. The clear, comfortable trays and ease of use makes Invisalign a popular choice for qualifying teenagers and adults. The ability to remove the trays to eat and drink and to clean the mouth and trays is an added convenience.