There’s no doubt that braces have evolved over the last several years. With so many options, how do you know what is right for your teen or even yourself? Maybe you want to straighten your teeth, but don’t have time to commit to two or more years for traditional braces or you don’t want anyone to know you’re wearing braces. The good news is you have choices and Invisalign® is becoming a very popular way to straighten teeth.
Advantages of Invisalign
When compared to traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are:
- Undetectable – No one will know you’re wearing braces because the clear aligners are virtually invisible
- Faster – Invisalign’s movements are designed by the computer, making them so efficient that they will straighten your teeth in about half of the time of traditional braces (six months to a year vs. two or more years)
- Easy to Clean – Unlike wire brackets that catch food easily and are difficult to clean (causing inflammation of your gums and even white and brown spots on your teeth when you are done), you can remove Invisalign® aligners when you eat, drink, brush and floss
- Comfortable – There are no sharp brackets or wires, so no more sore tongue and cheeks
How Does Invisalign Work?
We start with a thorough dental examination that includes X-rays of all your teeth, their roots, and the surrounding bone. It’s important that we see everything in your mouth so that Dr. Carroll can plan out your tooth movements. We’ll also make models of your teeth and study them.
To begin the actual treatment, we take very detailed impressions of your teeth. These impressions, along with copies of your X-rays and notes are sent to the Invisalign® laboratory. The impressions are scanned by a sophisticated computer, and this computer is used to help plan your tooth movements. The computer then manufactures a series of clear aligners that will snap over your teeth.
When we have the aligners back from the lab, we will see you for an appointment and try the first set in. It will feel like it doesn’t quite fit. This is because it is designed to push your teeth into new positions. After wearing it for three to four days, it will now feel like it fits. After two weeks with that set of aligners, you’ll insert the new set and you’ll go through the same adjustment period.
During the time your teeth are straightening, we will schedule monitoring appointments every few weeks to make sure things are going as planned. At times we may need to make some adjustments to your teeth to help create space so that all of your teeth can be perfectly straight.
Interested in finding out more about Invisalign? Call us or request and appointment online for a consultation.
Common Questions About Invisalign
What are Invisalign® aligners made of?
The aligners are made of a clear medical-grade polymer, or plastic.
How much does it cost?
Costs really vary widely, depending on the complexity of your case. They are close to the cost of traditional braces, maybe a little more, because of the expense of the sophisticated computer technology.
Is Invisalign® right for all patients?
No, while it is effective for a broad range of cases, there are some types of cases for which it doesn’t work well. If your teeth aren’t fully erupted, it doesn’t work well, but if your jaw has finished growing and you have all of your adult teeth fully erupted, this is generally an excellent option. If you want to know if you are a candidate, give us a call and we’ll schedule a complimentary initial consultation for you.
Is this a completely new way to straighten teeth?
The computer technology is new, but the basic concept of straightening teeth with removable appliances has been used by orthodontists for years. The computer technology enables us to create these aligners with greater precision and less work than used to be the case.