Heard of Invisalign

If you haven’t heard of Invisalign, you or your children could be missing out on getting an awesome smile with a revolutionary method of fixing crooked teeth and associated problems.

Invisalign aligners offer many advantages over traditional braces and are made from clear plastic that’s practically invisible in your mouth. These aligner trays are also removable, which means none of the dietary restrictions that come with fixed braces.

Invisalign can treat a wide range of orthodontic problems across all age ranges.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign aligners are made with medical-grade plastic and customized for a perfect fit, with smooth edges that make them more comfortable than regular braces.

Invisalign applies gentle pressure to create a sequence of precisely regulated movements of teeth into the correct position. Each in a series of aligner trays is worn 20 to 22 hours a day for one or two weeks.

Invisalign treatment usually takes 12 to 18 months, although the benefits can often start to become apparent within weeks. Standard braces may need to be worn two years or more.

The Technology Behind Invisalign

The Invisalign system was developed by U.S.-based global medical appliance outfit Align Technology and introduced to orthodontists and their patients in 1999.

The company says Invisalign boasts the most advanced clear aligner technology in the world, including 3D computer imaging to replace conventional impressions.

Invisalign’s state-of-the-art technology can fix crowded, gapped or crooked teeth, and malocclusion (issues with bite function).

One of the hi-tech features of Invisalign is a unique SmartTrack thermoplastic system for more control over movement of teeth – and greater comfort.

The Invisalign Brand Family

Invisalign offers tailored orthodontic solutions for adults and teens and younger kids.

The main Invisalign brand provides an increasingly popular option for adults embarrassed about crooked teeth – it’s estimated that a quarter of Invisalign patients in the U.S. are adults.

Research suggests adults are just as likely to need orthodontic treatment as youngsters, and many turn to Invisalign because they didn’t get braces when younger or find their teeth have shifted out of alignment over the years.

Invisalign Teen aligners are favored by teens – generally self-conscious about their appearance – because they’re so inconspicuous.

Introduced in 2008, Invisalign Teen is designed specifically for the teenage mouth, taking into account considerations such as ongoing jaw growth. It features a blue dot indicator to gauge whether the aligners are being worn for the recommended time.

Invisalign First became the latest addition to the Invisalign family in 2018, designed for Phase One orthodontic treatment as adult teeth begin to emerge while some primary teeth are still present.

Invisalign First corrects problems such as crowded teeth and narrow dental arches, to ensure enough room for permanent teeth to emerge properly.

Invisalign Vs Fixed Braces

While Invisalign and conventional braces both straighten crooked teeth, they work in different ways.

Fixed braces – with metal brackets threaded with wire – remain in the mouth constantly during the entire treatment process, which can take two to three years.

Invisalign aligners are removable and eliminate the need for wires – crucial to the mechanics of fixed braces.

Treatment time with Invisalign can be as fast as six months but more often takes about a year. With more complex cases, treatment could take up to 24 months.

Benefits of Invisalign

In most cases, Invisalign is as effective in straightening teeth as traditional braces – but in around half the time.

Invisalign also means fewer visits to the dentist. Unlike regular braces, Invisalign aligners require no constant adjustments, so you only need to see your dentist every six weeks or so to make sure your treatment is on track.

Other advantages of Invisalign include:

Less Risk of Oral Health Problems

As the American Dental Association (ADA) points out, straightening teeth can significantly improve oral health. While gapped or crowded teeth can result in gum disease, when teeth are properly positioned the gums fit better around them, creating a barrier against infection.

However, with conventional braces oral hygiene is more difficult during treatment, and food debris can get stuck in the wires and brackets, leading to a build-up of plaque and tartar – a major cause of gum disease and tooth decay. These infections can also spread to other areas of the body.

The removability of Invisalign aligners allows you to brush and floss as normal, maintaining a high standard of oral hygiene.

Better Appearance During Treatment

If crooked teeth are spoiling your smile and undermining your self-confidence, both Invisalign and regular braces can solve the issue.

However, while traditional braces are now more discreet, the brackets and wires still make them far more visible than Invisalign appliances.

The better appearance during treatment that comes with Invisalign avoids the problem of feeling self-conscious throughout your orthodontic therapy.

Convenience of Removability

Being able to take out Invisalign aligners is not only better for your oral health but also gives you the convenience of being able to continue eating your favorite foods.

You can also remove your aligners for selfies and special occasions – although it’s doubtful anyone will notice them.

The removability of Invisalign appliances also comes in handy if you play a brass instrument such as a trumpet – difficult if you’re wearing fixed braces.

What Problems Can Invisalign Fix?

Invisalign aligners provide greater control than standard braces in how teeth are repositioned, with each progressive movement precisely timed.

They can fix many orthodontic problems, including crooked, gapped, crowded and protruding teeth. However, Invisalign isn’t always the best option for more complex orthodontic issues, which may require the greater moving force of traditional fixed braces.

That said, the technology behind Invisalign is advancing all the time to widen its scope of treatments, and more experienced Invisalign providers can treat a broader range of orthodontic problems.

It’s never too late to get Invisalign treatment, although it may take longer for adults than it does for children, whose jaws and teeth are still developing, which makes them more pliable and more responsive to orthodontic treatment.

If you’re thinking about getting orthodontic treatment for yourself or your kids, a dentist specializing in Invisalign can help you decide whether this cutting-edge orthodontic system is your best option.