If you’re looking to straighten your teeth or compensate for a crowded mouth, you may be wondering about whether you should opt for Invisalign or traditional braces. Here are the key facts you need to know about how Invisalign works and what determines whether a patient might be a suitable candidate.
What is Invisalign?
Inviaslign is a series of clear aligners that straighten your teeth over time. Every 2 weeks, you put new aligners in that will have slightly more of a correction. Invisalign aligners need to be worn 20-22 hours per day, we reccommend that you only remove them when eating and to brush and floss your teeth. It is important to wear your aligners throughout the day and to bed at night in order for it to work effectively. Invisalign is appealing because it is hardly noticable and is removable for eating and cleaning of the teeth.
How does Invisalign differ from traditional braces?
Invisalign involves no wires or brackets. This subtle look allows patients to feel more confident about smiling, as they know that the casual observer is unlikely to even notice the clear aligners. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners can also be easily removed for eating and cleaning, so there are no dietary restrictions (though it is wise to avoid drinking liquids besides water when wearing your aligners to avoid decay).In addition, the fact that they are made from smooth, BPA-free plastic means they are not associated with the soft tissue abrasions that can be caused by the metal components of traditional braces.
How does the process work?
Detailed images of the patient’s mouth allow for the generation of a 3D model that shows the prospective changes in tooth alignment. This model can will be sent to Invisalign, who will produce a set of aligners according to the precise specifications needed to cause optimal shifts in tooth position.
Once your aligners have been fabricated, you will visit your orthodonitst approximately every 6-8 weeks. At this time you will receive your next set of aligners and may be required to have slight adjustments to your teeth. You will continue to wear your next series of trays 20-22 hours per day until your treatment is complete. Your treatment time is assessed on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the complexity of your crowing and bite.
Who is it for?
Invisalign can be used to treat many mild to moderate problems with tooth alignment. For example, Invisalign patients commonly have abnormal gaps between their teeth, or a crowded mouth that promotes tooth decay. Invisalign can be worn by teens and adults, however compliance is necessary to acheive optimal results.
Why would Invisalign not be right for me?
In particular cases, somtimes the position of the teeth and bite are too complicated to guarantee successful treatment with plastic aligners, and for that reason you may be limited to certain orthodontic treatments. For example, Invisalign might not be your best option if your teeth have rotated from their normal position by over 20 degrees, if all of your tooth gaps add up to more than 6mm per arch, if you have a very severe overbite or if your front teeth don’t align when you close your jaw.
Schedule a complimentary consultation at South Surrey Smiles to find out if Inviaslign is the right treatment option for you!
Dr. Lesley Williams is a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics. She grew up in Victoria, BC with her parents and two sisters.
After being awarded her Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree in 1989, Dr. Williams then spent six years as a dentist in general practice before deciding that she wanted to further her education by undertaking three extra years of highly specialized training in orthodontics. With her Masters in Science (Orthodontics) degree under her belt, she went on to sit the Orthodontic Specialty Fellowship exams through the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. To date, her status as an active leader in the orthodontic profession means that she holds the following qualifications and positions:
- Certified Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
- Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada
- Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics
- Examiner for the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and the American Board of Orthodontics.
- Former president of the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (representing 2900 orthodontists from the 4 western Canadian provinces and 8 western American states).
- Active member of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists.