Although it was first introduced in 1998, most people think the Invisalign tooth straightening system is new. While it was met with early skepticism, Invisalign is now accepted as a great alternative to traditional braces. While Invisalign cannot handle cases where dramatic movement is required, it is excellent for mild to moderate orthodontic treatment.
Our Edison practice has lots of Invisalign patients, both teens and adults, and they love the clear advantages of this orthodontic system.
Who can have Invisalign?
Because the trays are virtually invisible when worn, this system is a great option for self-conscious teens, of course, but also for adults who don’t want the stigma of metal braces in the workplace and social circles. Wearing the aligners and caring for your teeth is much easier with Invisalign.
Invisalign is not the right solution, however, for more severe orthodontic issues. Invisalign does a good job on mild to moderate cases of crooked teeth. Patients with severe bite problems can’t use Invisalign, as more aggressive movement with braces and possibly headgear could be required.
What can Invisalign work on?
Invisalign can correct these issues:
- Crooked teeth
- Unevenly spaced teeth
- Mild to moderate bite problems
Advantages of Invisalign
The Invisalign system has three obvious advantages over traditional bands and wires. First, the trays are virtually invisible when you wear them. This is because they are made of clear plastic that when worn are very difficult to see, even when a person is close to the wearer. Second, there are no brackets or wires to poke your cheeks or tongue and rub on your lips. Third, the trays are removable when eating and for brushing and flossing. This means that you can eat anything you want (such as corn on the cob) and cleaning is the same as teeth without braces.
How long do the treatments last?
Invisalign treatments usually last from six to 18 months. The process starts with a visual exam and consultation. Then photos, x-rays, and computer imaging are used to create a treatment plan, mapping out the amount each tray will need to move your teeth. Molds of your teeth are sent to the Invisalign lab for creation of your trays.
Once you receive your trays, you simply slip on the first one. The idea is to wear your Invisalign trays at least 22 hours per day. Then every two to three weeks you discard the current trays and replace them with the next trays in succession. Your teeth are gradually moved into the correct, straight position. When this is accomplished, you will then be fitted with a retainer until your teeth no longer try to move back to the original positions.