One of the best things people can do to improve their lives is to correct crooked dentition. In the past, metal braces were the most effective option, a prospect that has steered many patients away from treatment. Using Invisalign clear braces, our clients have access to a method that dramatically changes how they view corrective orthodontics. Because of the many advantages of the Invisalign system, you can have the smile you’ve always wanted without the drawbacks of metal braces!
At the offices of Meredith G. Davis, DDS, we know how important self-confidence is. Having crooked or misaligned teeth can make smiling awkward and speaking difficult. If you’re looking for a dentist in Richardson, TX, call us to make an appointment today. Our expert staff is on hand to help you determine if Invisalign is the best fit for your lifestyle.
There are many methods dentists can use to help adjust the appearance of your teeth, but the Invisalign system is the most effective non-invasive option available. Traditional braces adjust teeth by mounting brackets directly onto the enamel, held fast with strong dental glues, and strung together with unsightly wires. The orthodontist uses those wires and brackets along with rubber bands to shift teeth in your mouth, pushing and pulling them into proper positions.
Conversely, Invisalign adjustment trays don’t attach to the teeth at all. Instead, they slide into place, firmly pushing against your teeth to nudge them into their proper positions. As your teeth shift in their place, the tray will become loose, signaling the need for the next one in the series. Using this treatment, each clear alignment tray moves teeth in subtle increments as you wear them throughout the day!
Using adjustment trays wouldn’t be a reliable alternative to braces if they didn’t handle similar problems. Traditional braces have been developed to handle most alignment problems, and the clear plastic trays have a lot of work to do to fill those metallic shoes. Invisalign can help treat a host of dental issues, including:
- Overcrowded mouth
- Crooked/Misaligned teeth
- Open bite
- Gaps between teeth
Unless dental problems are exceptionally severe, it is likely that the Invisalign™ system will help resolve most issues. Your dental professional will be able to help determine how well aligners will work in your specific situation.
Adjusting With You
The biggest benefits of the Invisalign treatment are clear to see. The trays are removable, meaning patients can eat what they want to when they wish without needing to worry about damaging their braces. In addition, the transparent trays make them difficult to see when compared to metal braces. Instead of thick brackets and silver wires, patients go through their day with clear trays that few people will even notice.
Invisalign trays are designed to be removed while eating, but they still need to be worn throughout the day. Orthodontists suggest having them inserted between 20 and 22 hours each day. This gives the trays enough time to apply constant pressure to your teeth, shortening treatment time overall. This gives you plenty of time to enjoy all of your favorite foods, including dishes and snacks that are shunned by users with traditional braces.
Depending on the intensity of needed treatment, Invisalign™ can save you some time in the doctor’s chair as well! Metal braces need to be inspected regularly for a number of reasons. Wires can become loose and brackets may even get dislodged by accident. Even if things go well, patients must still come to the orthodontist’s office for required checkups and tightenings. While these are usually short visits, various adjustments, measurements, and installations may take additional time.
Invisalign adopters have much more freedom when it comes to their schedule. Trays come in multiple sets, and each visit means you’ll receive several aligners to use over the coming months. Once a tray has been used for a few weeks, you’ll set it aside and progress to the next one. All of the adjustments take place by switching trays, and if one is lost or damaged you’ll have a previous one to use as a backup. This means fewer visits and a more flexible schedule to work with!
Cleaning around braces is a chore. It’s difficult enough to get around and between teeth effectively using traditional floss and a toothbrush. Things get even more complicated when you add wires and brackets into the mix. While there are special tools that allow patients to dig away all of the remaining food particles leftover from a meal, improper attention to hygiene can lead to more problems later on, including:
- Damage to wires and brackets
- Pain and irritation
Invisalign treatments don’t have that problem. In fact, a patient’s hygienic habits may actually improve using these trays. During the care plan, you’ll be required to brush after every meal to keep food and plaque out of the trays and away from your teeth. This keeps your pearly whites safe from the bacteria that would otherwise become trapped in between them and the adjusters. Cleaning trays is also a snap with diluted soap and water!
As an alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign™ has another advantage when it comes to comfort. Metal brackets and filaments are rough on the inside of a patient’s mouth. Constant friction can create painful sores while wires may poke into gums and cheeks. If your doctor can’t adjust these components just right, the only way to alleviate discomfort is with dental wax. This can make the solution more cumbersome than the initial problem!
The plastic trays used in Invisalign treatments are worlds apart. With rounded sides and softer edges, there’s nothing to poke or prod while they are inserted. There are no wires of any kind, and removing the trays at mealtimes also gives patients a brief respite from their constant use. Traditional braces off no such relief!
It’s not just the material that makes metal braces uncomfortable. The constant pressure that moves your teeth into their proper positions can be quite harsh. Some patients come to dread their next orthodontist visit because of the ache associated with tightening braces. Though this pain dissipates after some time, the initial shock can be quite uncomfortable.
Adjustment trays do cause some pain when first inserted, but many patients consider it as more of a “pressure.” Because you receive several trays at once to be used over a longer period of time, an Invisalign™ treatment attempts to move teeth much more slowly. This means a lot less discomfort which fades faster than with traditional braces. However, it’s important to note that every patient is unique and will feel the effects of the trays differently depending on how intense the treatment plan will be.
Is Invisalign Right for Me?
While there are a lot of advantages to using Invisalign to correct crooked dentition, it might not be the best treatment option for your issues. Most straightforward cases are perfect for using clear alignment trays, though there are some situations where traditional braces or veneers may be a better fit. A good candidate for Invisalign should meet some specific requirements, including:
- Uncomplicated Corrections: Invisalign works best for more basic adjustments. If you require extensive treatment, traditional braces are likely more appropriate.
- Developed Dentition: Because it’s difficult to predict how teeth will erupt, many dentists prefer that you have a full set of teeth before work begins.
- Responsibility: It’s important to wear adjustment trays for the recommended 20-22 hours every day, and to keep track of them while eating. Younger or absent-minded patients may get more benefit from a different treatment plan.
- Non-Smoker: Because your trays are in all day, smoking or chewing tobacco can cause a lot of damage to the aligners and your teeth as well. Most dentists won’t offer Invisalign as an option for tobacco users.
- Good Oral Health: Not only does a healthy mouth help with your treatment, it shows your dentist that you’re attentive enough to clean your teeth effectively after each meal and keep your trays spotless too!
Most patients are fully capable of handling the responsibilities that Invisalign treatments demand, especially when the results are so life-changing. There are some minor inconveniences such as only being able to drink water while the trays are inserted, or how it can affect speech until your mouth becomes used to their presence. These downsides are mitigated by a shortened treatment and the convenience that Invisalign provides.
When you’ve decided to correct your crooked dentition, consider the clear benefits of an Invisalign treatment plan. Our staff at Meredith G. Davis Dental knows how great a renewed smile can feel, but we also understand that how you get there is just as important. If you have any questions about Invisalign™ and how it can help bring out a better you, call us to schedule a consultation today. We want to help show off your fantastic smile instead of the tools you used to get it!