Adolescent and adult patients often do not care to receive orthodontic treatment or forego orthodontic treatment for esthetic reasons since treatment with conventional braces is unsightly and often bothersome.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one of the most advanced orthodontic treatments in the world that uses a modern technological system is invisible aligners or Invisalign. This treatment is currently in great demand by patients due to aesthetic issues and the desire for more immediate results. Thanks to these new methods and devices, it is now possible to correct even complex dental malpositions.
HOW DO INVISALIGN ALIGNERS WORK?
The Invisalign aligners system consists of removable transparent splints that cover all the teeth of both arches, exerting a slight pressure that produces movement at the dental level to correct malocclusions. These aligners will be designed digitally, using advanced 3D imaging technology, and made to your needs. The aligner will need to be changed from time to time, as your teeth move to achieve the desired position.
Patients should wear one aligner for a period of approximately 2 weeks and then change to the next one since each is programmed for precise movement.
ADVANTAGES OF INVISALIGN ALIGNERS
Because of various features, Invisalign aligners have a number of advantages that make them ideal for patients considering orthodontic treatment who do not want conventional brackets.
- Maximum aesthetics: being transparent, they easily blend in with the color of the teeth. They are practically invisible, making them more esthetic than brackets while allowing for orthodontic treatment without anyone noticing.
- Removable: the patient can take them off to eat or for special events, and thus they will have no difficulty cleaning them.
- Comfort: it is only necessary to take an impression at the beginning of the treatment. Plus, they do not cause discomfort or rubbing in the mouth.
- Improved oral hygiene: brushing and oral hygiene can be done in the normal way. It is only necessary to remove the splint, and at the end of the hygiene routine, it will be replaced.
- Visualization of the objectives: Thanks to 3D software, you can see the virtual development of the treatment until the desired objectives are achieved.
- Treatment time: although the aligners will be worn by the patient for two weeks, we will gauge an approximate treatment time as it may vary. For example, if the treatment consists of 20 aligners, and the patient will wear them every 2 weeks, the total duration of the treatment will be approximately 10 months.
- Ideal for metal allergies: thanks to its composition, it is ideal for patients with metal allergies.
- Quality of life: according to a study published in the Latin American Journal of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, when comparing the impact on the quality of life of patients wearing invisible aligners with those with physical appliances, the adults treated with Invisalign aligners experienced less pain and fewer negative impacts on their lives during the first week of orthodontic treatment.
DISADVANTAGES OF INVISALIGN ALIGNERS
- Limitation of movement: Although the system is constantly evolving, it is currently limited for certain types of malpositions and movements, with case selection being key.
- Pre-treatment planning: Once we have determined and accepted the treatment plan, the laboratory will send all the aligners. If you want to make a modification, there would be an additional cost.
- Price: Currently, the price is higher compared to a conventional metal braces treatment, but it will be similar to lingual orthodontics or aesthetic self-ligating braces.
- Collaboration: Being a removable system implies both an advantage and a disadvantage. If the patient does not collaborate and use the aligners, the treatment may fail. This is especially important in adolescents.
HOW TO HAVE AN INVISALIGN ALIGNER?
Invisalign aligners are a completely digital system, so at the first appointment, impressions of the upper and lower teeth will be accurately taken. Alternatively, by scanning your teeth three-dimensionally using special software, advanced computer-assisted 3D technology will transform the impressions of your mouth into a series of clear, removable, custom-made retainers.
After a thorough analysis of the final position, and movement and adjustments to be made, the treatment is approved. Depending upon the approved plan, you will start receiving about 12 to 48 different aligners in total.
On the second visit, you will receive your aligners to wear one pair for approximately 2 weeks, taking them out only to eat, drink, brush and floss. For check-ups, you will need to visit us once a month or every 2 months; we will give you new retainers at each appointment.
DIFFERENCES WITH CONVENTIONAL BRACES
The main feature of Invisalign aligners, unlike conventional braces, is that this appliance is removable and transparent. Plus, it is based on a 3D scan of the patient’s teeth. Another difference is the time of use of between 22 hours a day and that they must be changed every 10 to 15 days. The conventional system is permanent with certain adjustments every 15 days to 1 month until removal. Hygiene and eating will not be affected or limited with aligners. It is difficult for anyone to notice you are wearing an aligner as with fixed braces. Finally, Invisalign is gentler on gum tissue than fixed appliances due to simpler oral hygiene.
Despite all these advantages, this treatment requires the patient’s cooperation and perseverance. Before starting the treatment with Invisalign, you should know that the minimum use of 22 hours a day is required for visible effects in the planned time. Hygiene will be fundamental: the teeth must be clean before placing them and they must be removed to eat.
The hygiene routine is exactly the same as that used before the use of aligners. There is no need for additional special care since oral hygiene is performed without the aligners in place or any device that could affect the routine. It is not advisable to smoke with the aligners in place as they could be damaged.
Our specialists at Channel Island Family Dental seek to give you back a more harmonious smile and determine the best treatment for your individual case.
If you have any questions about this or other topics, contact us at Channel Island Family Dental and on our Facebook page. At Channel Island Family Dental, we will be attentive to your needs and make a timely diagnosis. In addition, our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, and Port Hueneme will guide you to the best treatment to give you back your best smile.
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