Many people don’t know that there are other options for straightening teeth aside from braces. Having perfectly straight teeth can be achieved by a cutting edge technology known as Invisalign.
This type of teeth straightener uses clear aligners that can fix:
- Bite imperfections
- Teeth crowding
- Teeth spacing problems
So, if you’re currently considering getting braces, you may want to learn more about Invisalign. It could well be the better option for you.
In this blog post, we will delve deeper into what Invisalign is, how it works, and its benefits. And more importantly, we answer the question of whether or not you should choose Invisalign over the traditional metal braces.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a type of clear aligner device. For decades now, they have become quite popular in dentistry. It’s believed that Invisalign is the oldest out of all clear aligner products out there. It was first introduced back in 1998 by Align Technology.
Invisalign is a brand that has become a household name and has revolutionised teeth straightening appliances since its inception. Before Invisalign was invented, metal braces were the primary option in straightening teeth, if not the only option. The person behind this ground-breaking product was a student at Stanford named Zia Chishti. He was also one of the founders of Align Technology, which started in 1997 and headquartered in San Jose, California, USA.
Here’s a fun fact: Zia Chishti wore metal braces. That’s why he knew how difficult and uncomfortable it could be for some people to have the appliance in the mouth 24/7. After having his braces removed, he had to wear a retainer, which gave him the idea about Invisalign. He thought that a series of retainers could act as braces without wires that could poke the inside of the mouth. Additionally, the “braces” may be removed just like retainers.
Invisalign is made from SmartTrack, a thermoplastic material that can be bent or moulded into the shape of the person’s teeth. The product is now known today as the less conspicuous version of braces. It is an orthodontic treatment that can be worn to straighten teeth without feeling conscious about your smile. That’s because the aligners are clear and barely noticeable, unlike braces with very visible wires and brackets.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign functions just like braces. The aligners are customised orthodontic treatments created from computer-generated impressions and images taken by the dental professional. The goal is to move teeth to their correct position, resulting in a perfectly straight smile.
In traditional braces, wires are connected to the brackets, which are glued to the surface of the teeth. These wires pull the teeth into alignment. Invisalign uses the same concept except that it involves a series of moulds instead of wires. These moulds or trays are changed throughout the treatment to force the teeth to move into their correct position. These trays serve as a guide so that each tooth knows where to go.
Depending on the severity of the dental issue, your treatment can last anywhere from six months to two years. And just like with braces, you will need a retainer after the treatment is complete. This retainer will prevent your teeth from shifting.
What are the Benefits of Invisalign?
Invisalign offers many benefits – and we’re not just talking about the obvious one, which is achieving straight teeth. Here are the advantages of using Invisalign to help with your dental issue:
Invisalign is hard to detect unless another person tries to give your teeth a closer look. Invisibility is one reason why Invisalign has become such a huge hit, especially for teenagers and adults. They are challenging to see while you talk and smile in person or in pictures. Although it’s simply for aesthetic purposes, many people prefer to use Invisalign because they do not have to worry about getting teased with having a metal mouth.
Easier to Clean
Another considerable advantage of Invisalign is that you can brush your teeth as you used to. You cannot do this with traditional braces. Invisalign is removable, which means you can eat without wearing them. You can also brush and floss without wires getting in the way. It’s such a breeze to maintain good oral hygiene.
If you know someone who has braces, you will most likely hear about their complaints relating to the food they eat. Many foods should be avoided. The problem is that some patients tend to ignore what the dentist told them, which quickly leads to damaged brackets or wires.
Chewing gum is one of those things that you’re not allowed to do when wearing braces. You should also avoid anything hard, such as candies, peanuts, and anything chewy. Of course, we’re not saying that you should indulge in sweets when wearing Invisalign. You should still choose what you eat to prevent issues. Nevertheless, Invisalign has no restrictions.
Whatever food and drink that you enjoyed before getting Invisalign can still be consumed even after you start wearing the appliance. However, it is once again crucial that you maintain good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day and flossing once daily.
Because Invisalign is removable and made of innovative plastic technology, it feels more comfortable wearing the aligners. Even if you wear them in your mouth for at least 20 hours and just take them off while eating and cleaning your teeth, the aligners don’t interfere with your activities.
You don’t have to be concerned with sharp edges, which people with braces complain about because of the pointy brackets. You will not have irritated cheeks and mouth sores. You also do not have to go to the dentist for regular tightening or adjustment. Invisalign simply provides you with a new set of aligners every two weeks or so, depending on the progress of your teeth’s positioning. Some patients say that they do feel a little bit of tightness after the new aligners, but it quickly goes away.
Meanwhile, wearing braces can cause you to feel sore. Some wearers can’t eat properly after an adjustment. It’s like getting new braces all over again.
Note, though, that it all depends on a person’s pain tolerance. If you have very low tolerance, you will probably feel some minor discomfort that is noticeable for a day or two with Invisalign.
Tightening of braces is typically performed every month. If you have the option to wear Invisalign, you may be thankful that you do not have to keep going back to the dentist for a new set of aligners. You will receive several kits, which you can change on your own.
Of course, if your orthodontist or dentist tells you to come back for a routine appointment, you should be ready for it. The appointment is for checking your progress. However, it will not be as often as braces adjustments.
After removing the brackets, people notice spots or slightly discoloured teeth. That’s because they consume lots of sugar, including soft drinks. If you are an avid coffee or tea drinker, expect that you will find some discolouration on your teeth once your braces are removed. This issue will not happen with Invisalign unless you don’t brush and floss often. The aligners are not installed or glued to your teeth. You can remove them and clean your teeth, so you don’t have to be concerned about stains.
Apart from the benefits listed above, we will give you more reasons why you should wear Invisalign. These advantages are associated with straight teeth and your health. When you have correctly aligned teeth, your gums are healthier. You may have noticed your friends or family members with straight teeth whose gums are pink and healthy. That’s because their teeth fit more closely to their gums.
Misalignment means that there are spaces in the teeth due to crowding or overlapping. It’s difficult to clean between those spaces because toothbrushes are not truly designed for those dental issues. As a result, plaque builds up since your brush cannot reach those hidden pockets you may have. You know that you have such a problem if you notice that your gums are often or easily inflamed. If you have tooth decay, even if you brush your teeth regularly, it may also be due to misalignment.
Better oral hygiene is achieved by properly brushing and flossing. It’s not enough that you do it on schedule. Since Invisalign trays are removable, you can brush and floss while you slowly have straighter teeth. You will soon find that it has become much easier to maintain your oral hygiene.
Having a clean mouth is not just having less plaque and bacteria, which prevents cavities. It’s also for helping you stay healthy. Did you know that plaque build-up and bacteria overgrowth in the mouth can lead to poor heart health? With bacteria continuing to multiply in the mouth, your blood could pick them up and carry them in the bloodstream that leads to your heart. Some bacteria could attach themselves to the wall of your heart, which then creates a more sinister problem like heart disease.
In other words, Invisalign gives you reasons that go beyond aesthetics. The aligners allow you to smile with more confidence even with your ongoing treatment. But the process also extends its benefits from your oral health to your overall health.
Essential Things to Know Before Getting Invisalign
We have talked about all the good things about Invisalign. However, it does have certain limitations. The most important detail that you should know about it is that it is not for everyone. You cannot decide that Invisalign is for you unless you have talked to a dental professional. Many people are eligible for Invisalign, but you may be one of those whose dental issues cannot be fixed by clear appliances.
So, before you even think about getting Invisalign, it’s more appropriate to question whether or not it is the right option for you. How do you know if you’re a candidate for clear aligners? If you have crooked or misaligned teeth, there is a massive chance that Invisalign will work for your case. However, if you have severe malocclusion or rotated or tipped teeth, you’re better off with braces.
Invisalign will push your teeth backwards or forward, but it does not pull with greater force, just like with metal braces. Nevertheless, if the dentist confirms that you are a good candidate for this appliance, you will be happy to know that the results are on par with metal braces. Treatment time is also faster, but it may also be due to your dental issue, which is less severe than those who wear the traditional appliance. If you have few misaligned teeth, your treatment can be completed in just a few months.
Here are other facts that you may want to know about Invisalign:
- In most cases, Invisalign is more expensive than metal braces. That’s because the laboratory fees cost more, and those fees are generally given directly to Align Technology.
- The duration of the treatment all depends on your efforts. If you work with your dentist by following hygiene rules and wear time, you can have the smile you have been dreaming of.
- You’re required to wear Invisalign for most of the day. Your dentist will tell you the exact number of hours, but the standard range is between 20 to 22 hours each day.
- Part of the success of the Invisalign treatment depends on the skill of the dentist. The dental professional should be trained in Invisalign technology and the process of the treatment. The training ensures that it is a positive outcome.
- The aligners have to be changed once every two weeks. If the movement is complex, you may have to wait three weeks, but you may only have to wear your current aligners for 10 days for a simpler case.
If you’re looking to improve your smile, remember that braces are not your only option. Invisalign offers several benefits if you’re the right candidate for it. To know if you are, schedule an appointment with Chelmsford Dental. We’ll help you figure out the best treatment that will soon give you a beautifully straight smile.