Ladera Ranch, CA – Are you in need of orthodontic treatment and love the idea of Invisalign? You’re not alone – Invisalign has taken the orthodontic world by storm since it first became available. But just like anything else, there are pros and cons to that treatment option. Ladera Ranch orthodontists Dr. Robert Gire and Dr. Reza Salmassian explain everything you need to know about Invisalign treatment.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment option that utilizes clear aligners that fit over the teeth, rather than standard brackets and wires, to guide the teeth to their new locations. Aligners are made of a clear, comfortable, and durable plastic and are custom created for each individual patient. Through the series of aligners, teeth are gently moved to their ideal places, creating a beautiful and healthy smile.
Are the aligners really invisible?
The aligners are made of a clear plastic, so they are virtually invisible. What may be seen are the “attachments” that Invisalign uses to help move the teeth in the direction that we want them to move. They are essentially small white or clear “bumps” on the teeth that are used on some front and some side teeth as well. They are placed early in the treatment and they usually remain on for the duration of the treatment. They are simply polished off at the end of treatment.
Is Invisalign right for me?
While Invisalign has come a long way since it was first introduced and can treat a host of issues, only an orthodontist will be able to determine if you are an ideal candidate for Invisalign treatment. If you have a more complex issue, you may benefit more from a different orthodontic treatment. Most orthodontists provide a complimentary consultation to determine whether you’re a candidate for this type of treatment.
Can my child use Invisalign?
Invisalign is a great option for many teenagers. Younger adolescents may benefit from the treatment as well but it is a case by case discussion and decision.
What makes Invisalign different from standard braces?
Invisalign offers patients a way to discreetly straighten their teeth which is often very appealing to older patients. Since there are no brackets or wires, there is nothing to irritate the inside of the mouth. The aligners are made of smooth plastic that generally won’t hurt the inside of your mouth.
Likewise, you won’t have wires that need to be adjusted at each appointment. Instead, you’ll simply switch to a new set of aligners when you’re ready. Each set will be specially calibrated to move your teeth to a specific location, so the end result is a perfectly straight and aligned bite.
You’ll need to visit your orthodontist every six to eight weeks to be sure your treatment is on track and to make any adjustments, if needed. Invisalign aligners are removable so you don’t have to worry about altering your diet or spending extra time brushing and flossing around brackets and wires. Simply pop out the aligners to eat your favorite foods and brush your teeth before placing them back in.
What are the drawbacks to Invisalign?
Just like everything in life, there are pros and cons to Invisalign treatment. One of Invisalign’s greatest strengths can also be a weakness for some. Because the aligners are removable, it can be very tempting to take them out more frequently that you should. In order for this type of treatment to be effective you have to wear the aligners a minimum of 22 hours a day. If you are forgetful, Invisalign may not be the best option for you.
The aligners need to be removed anytime you eat or drink anything other than plain water. Eating or drinking with the aligners in can damage or discolor them. Additionally, if you are a smoker you may notice the aligners can begin to yellow over time.
With any orthodontic treatment option, there is an adjustment period. Because the aligners fit over your teeth, you may find that your speech sounds a bit different in the beginning. The more you wear them, the quicker you’ll adjust.
Invisalign isn’t ideal for every orthodontic patient. If you have a severe case with massive crowding and/or you are a surgical candidate, you might benefit more from traditional metal braces. However, you may still be able to use Invisalign but it may just require the use of additional auxiliaries such as buttons and complex attachments to achieve the movements needed to correct the bite.
How does the cost of Invisalign compare to standard metal braces?
Traditional metal braces are the most cost-effective, but for most patients the cost of Invisalign will only be slightly more than the cost of metal braces.
If you are interested in learning more about Invisalign, contact Ladera Orthodontics today at 949-272-8782.