Until the last decade, straightening teeth involved the use of metal braces and wires. It causes inconvenience, and of course, a lot of frustration due to the imperfect metal smile. Now, clear, removable aligners can straighten the tooth without keeping the mouth full of metal.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign also referred to as clear- aligners are devices that have replaced traditional metal braces used as a part of treatment to fix crooked, crowded, overlapping teeth.
Is Invisalign Effective?
Convincing patients to opt for braces as a part of teeth straightening procedure was never so easy for dental care experts in the past. However, these days, people don’t mind wearing custom-made plastic aligners. Most importantly, studies have already proved that they are as effective as their metal counterparts.
It acts as a removable plastic tray made according to the mold of the individual’s mouth. It appears clear, and people don’t even realize if the patient is wearing Invisalign or not. Orthodontists place the trays in such a way that the teeth remain in the selected position for getting the desired result at the end of the treatment.
Different types of Invisalign
Invisalign Full, Lite, i7, Express, and Teen are primary types that are designed for treating different dental conditions.
Invisalign full treatment is preferred by dentists to manage severe, complicated cases. The number of aligners can be easily adjusted during various phases of the procedure.
Invisalign Lite has a limited number of aligners; thus, it is selectively used for cases tagged as moderate, mild (Class 1). It is perfect for cases in which the total number of aligners remains around 14, and the patient’s bite seems reasonable.
Invisalign 7 is as a costlier and perhaps the most effective option for patients with a single crooked tooth to be treated. Specialists use this option to get small aesthetic improvements or minor correction in any of the front eight teeth.
Another lesser recommended option is Invisalign Express that offers ten aligner trays. Its mainly used for straightening a limited number of teeth or correcting orthodontic relapse.
Teeth grow and may even shift while the person is in teenage years. Invisalign Teen proves perfect for such young adults with erupted or erupting permanent dentition. Invisalign Teen option’s tooth eruption tabs are a plus point. The alternative is recommended for teens as it can be worn for 20-22 hours each day without causing inconvenience.
Why is Invisalign better than braces?
Metal braces have been associated with psychological discomfort for several decades. In some cases, patients avoid undergoing alignment procedure due to the fear of being laughed at after wearing metal braces.
Studies also indicate that fixed metal braces can result in accumulation of plaque around them due to food residues. They also increase the possibility of changing the enamel’s color and trigger mouth sores as the patient fails to maintain proper oral health due to the presence of metal. Patients undergoing metal braces based procedure are asked to go for dental x-rays in various stages. Dentists check x-rays to ensure the pressure put on the teeth by metal braces and wires is not causing damage.
At times, patients start experiencing allergic symptoms due to the metal used in braces, and the entire treatment needs to be re-planned with non-metal alternatives.
On the other hand, orthodontist develops an Invisalign based treatment plan for every patient after a proper check-up and examining scans/3D scans. Plastic aligners are then custom-made as per the patient’s dental structure to ensure they fulfill the alignment needs. Aligners are replaced during treatment as the patient’s teeth under procedure start shifting in the desired way. They remain invisible, and of course, gentle compared to metal alternatives.
Here are the crucial benefits offered by Invisalign
They remain almost invisible, and no one can recognize the patient’s braces
- The treatment takes six to eighteen months
- Aligners can be removed and cleaned easily
- Food does not get stuck in clear-aligners like in case of metal braces
- The patient can eat almost everything while wearing the same
- The patient does not experience discomfort like in case of metal braces or wires
How long do you need Invisalign braces?
The time required for the straightening procedure may vary on case to case basis. Usually, the treatment can take any time between six and eighteen months to show visible results.
Cases involving crowded teeth may require as many as 24 months. However, your dentist would be able to suggest the time needed for the procedure after examining your teeth in the first stage itself.
Does Invisalign hurt?
The procedure involves slowly changing the alignment of teeth, moving them in the desired direction with the help of a tray. It happens to be a painless process; however, some patients may experience a little bit of discomfort initially. But, they get used to wear the same within a week or less.
Research suggests most patients do not experience pain. Studies also point out that patients often remain satisfied with progress witnessed during the treatment.
Dental care exerts file down the aligners’ rough edges by applying wax to get rid of the friction and ensure aligners do not rub against the gums.
Invisalign pros and cons
- Overall, the advantages offered by Invisalign overpower the negative aspects.
- The patient requires visiting the dental office once every four weeks to check the progress and ensure the aligners work as planned.
- Users need to brush their teeth after every meal to make sure aligners do not degrade due to stain.
- Invisalign treatment costs more than metal braces based process.
- Invisalign ‘before and after’ treatment case studies available in the public domain prove the treatment’s credibility.
If you need a dental care expert in Roswell (GA) to discuss teeth alignment and Invisalign treatment options, you should consider making an appointment at TruCare Dentistry.