What is invisalign?
Invisalign is a plastic based teeth braces system used to correct the alignment of teeth. As Invisalign is made of plastic, it is a transparent and hardly noticeable unlike metallic braces and hence more aesthetic.
Invisible aligners, introduced in 1999, is a series of removable aligners which is an esthetic alternative to fixed labial braces. Each aligner is programmed to move a tooth or small groups of teeth. This unique method of tooth movement has involved more adults with orthodontic therapy.
As the popularity of these aligners grew, questions regarding the efficacy of this system still remain. How well do these aligners move teeth? Studies show that aligners given by an Orthodontist, (an Orthodontist is a specialist in jaws & teeth. An additional 3-years of expertise is required to get this degree after finishing the basic dental education) followed by mid-course correction & conversion to fixed appliances before the end of treatment would give the best possible result to the patient.
The most accurate movement with clear aligners is lingual constriction. This data suggests that greater accuracy is achieved with closure of spaces in anterior teeth. Alleviation of crowding is best done by IPR rather than expansion & proclination. Extrusion of teeth would require attachments like buttons on the teeth. Boyd & Vlaskalic reported that correction of deep bite and overbite is highly possible with aligners.
Greater than 3mm of mesiodistal movement is achievable with anteroposterior mal occlusions. Aligners are highly effective in case of proclination or retraction of teeth up to 3mm.
Orthodontists who prescribe Invisible Aligners/ Invisalign should fully recognize the limitations and advantages of the treatment to give the best possible treatment.
Types of crooked teeth corrected by Invisalign
1. Crowded teeth in the upper and lower jaws.
2. Gaps between teeth
3. Over bite (upper front teeth overlap on lower front teeth)
4. Under bite (lower front teeth overlap on the upper front teeth)
5. Cross bite (A few of the upper teeth are sitting inside the lower teeth)
6. Open bite (when the mouth is closed and the upper and lower teeth do not touch)
7. Straighten teeth
Who are the Target audience for invisalign?
Basically, invisalign treats age groups of teens, adults and elderly people. It cannot be used to treat kids.
Invisalign treatment process
Consultation with an orthodontist
The Invisalign treatment starts with consulting your orthodontist to know if you’re suitable for the treatment or not. Invisalign is a versatile treatment, however it does not work for all orthodontic issues. This consultation is a very important one and it will provide you the opportunity to have a lot of questions answered. Beyond clinical considerations of wearing Invisalign, a patient’s willingness is also to be considered if they would like to wear an Invisalign throughout the day. It is also to know that Invisalign works for teens and Adults. Kids who have baby teeth or adult teeth that still have to grow do not qualify. Cost and payment options can also be discussed.
Invisalign Treatment plan
At the next appointment, impressions, x-rays, and photographs are taken of the teeth. These impressions are sent to the company where invisalign will be prepared for every individual based on the problem and size. The company makes a digital model of the impression of your teeth and discuss with your orthodontist and schedule a treatment plan.
However, Dentist & Dontist clinic offers a single visit Invisalign treatment plan where you can have your x-rays and other photographs taken during your first appointment itself to save time commuting to the clinic for the second. This works best for people who live abroad and cannot afford to travel more than once to the clinic.
Once the orthodontist approves the model, the aligner will be ready within a few weeks and will be handed over to you. All the aligners are different and are meant to worn in a particular order. Each aligner should be used for two weeks. As time passes by each aligner will help bring your teeth into a straighter position. The aligner could be taken off while brushing or eating, however you are supposed to wear this aligner for 24hrs a day.
At Dentist & Dontist clinic, the invisible aligners will be sent to you by post if you live far away from the clinic
Follow up consultations
Orthodontist will give a few aligners at a time and see you every six to eight weeks to check the progress and handover the next set of aligners. This is a usual appointment to check if everything is going according to the process. Occasionally they will be need to make small adjustments to either teeth or invisalign braces. These adjustments are made with the help of attachments which help fit small tooth coloured buttons (known as attachments) to help the aligners move in a particular direction.
The follow up consultations can be done online too. Please contact us to know more about the single-visit Invisalign treatment option
Towards the end of treatment, few refinements might be used to give the very best results. These would be involved in the cost of the treatment itself. Most people need to get one set of refinements trays. It may also involve taking few extra impressions from which Invisalign can make you extra aligners to refine the result.
Once you are done with the final trays, it’s time for retainers. Most invisalign patients choose plastic retainers that look like invisalign trays. Retainers are used before the patient will stop wearing invisalign braces. Few people choose to get a permanent retainer fixed on the inside of the lower front teeth. People often question regarding the retainer use, it’s just a device that helps to keep the teeth in a specific position for a while, as our body doesn’t remain constant, while biting or chewing it can put a lot of pressure on the teeth, and overtime these changes may affect the position of your teeth.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to invisalign.
Advantages of Invisalign
- When compared to the metallic braces invisalign gives so much more comfort physically to wear as there are no wires or brackets. Comfort will be in putting them on and off without worrying about having any cuts in the mouth. These aligners are smoother and will cause less irritation. The aligners are similar to a mouth guard and do not have any sharp edges.
- Since invisalign is clear it doesn’t leave a mouth full of metal. In other words they are more attractive to the eye and most of the times people won’t even recognise that you are wearing an invisalign, which means you can smile whenever you want and be overly conscious about it.
- It has become a form of stable treatment to straighten the teeth that public have been using instead of metal braces. This makes it very convenient as people opting for it and its availability on a large scale.
- These can be removed for eating, brushing, flossing your teeth and when required to remove in any situation. When it comes to braces it’s not so easy as this one. You don’t have to be worried about food particles being stuck and can have a properly maintained oral hygiene because of which gum problems do not develop. It also helps you to eat the food you want, without being worried about getting particles stuck in your teeth.
Invisalign aligners need minimum maintenance. When you wear them they may get dingy every other day. So a solution to this is to just wash them every other day with bleach and water with a toothbrush which will make it fresh and usable again. Also, scrubbing them for like a minute will eliminate any stains present on them.
Disadvantages of Invisalign
- The first main disadvantage is its cost. Invisalign aligners are expensive, which means being on a tight budget.
- The attachments that are used to shape and reform the tooth might increase depending on how critical the situation is, which means if the attachments are more and more increased then the visibility of the invisalign aligner also increases and it might actually appear as a metal brace. Attachments are nothing but the enamel ridges that stick to our teeth in a way that is similar to brackets, so that they fit better and become more effective in shaping your teeth to proper position.
- Invisalign should be worn for 22 hours a day. It can be removed only when your brushing, flossing and eating, in order to shape your teeth you should follow your doctors instructions for effective results.
- There will be a difficulty when there is change in replacing the invisalign aligner trays. There will be a lot if tooth discomfort to get adjusted to the new set. The doctor might refer to the term as pressure but in actual without a pain reliever it might not be possible to get over the pain.
Invisalign has its own advantages and disadvantages. But you need to be careful if you want to opt this treatment as we all know problem is different and every teeth structure differs, what works for one person might not work for another person. Therefore, one must take an opinion before treatment and know if it will suit oneself.
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