These days, when the world puts a lot of weight on physical appearance and how it influences every major event in your life, it is no surprise people try to invest in their looks. Some opt for cosmetic surgeries and then there are the practical ones who opt for less pricey alternatives like getting their teeth straightened via the newest miracle of dental technology known as Invisalign.
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that entails the use of a series of clear, removable teeth aligners in lieu of metal braces. Introduced in 1999 and manufactured by Align Technology, Inc., the plastic molds are meant to gradually move teeth by keeping them in place for 24 hours, to be removed only during brushing, flossing and eating. They are to be changed every two to three weeks as the teeth straighten and for dentists to determine if they are ready to be disposed of completely, a three-dimensional movie of the teeth in varying stages of straightening is made, showing the process from beginning to end as teeth are adjusted.
However, Invisalign is not a process that you get on a whim. Often, people get Invisalign treatment or see an orthodontist if they suffer from malocclusion or a bad bite and also for people with crooked teeth. Having crooked or crowded teeth, as well as overbites or under bites, can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and, in some cases, even tooth loss due to the fact that overhanging teeth can be quite difficult to clean. People who grind or clench their teeth in their sleep can also develop a bad bite.
In the old days, orthodontists used stainless steel brackets and wires to rectify the problem. This soon evolved to the use of porcelain brackets in the 70s until the advent of Invisalign. It is preferred by more and more adults and teens because for one, people don’t have to know you’re getting your teeth straightened. The fact that it is removable is also another advantage because you will be able to maintain better oral health and eat the foods you love without worrying that bits and pieces will stick into your braces, making them difficult to clean. But the best advantage of Invisalign is that they are more comfortable than metal braces, so you can say goodbye to cheek and gum irritations.
If you are considering seeing an orthodontist and getting this treatment, it may be important to note that it has been proven to work in simple cases, those within the moderate to moderate-difficult cases, specifically patients who are required to undergo at least a year of treatment with braces. It is also important to note that children are not qualified to get Invisalign since the process doesn’t work on developing teeth. It is also not the best option for vertical teeth problems, when the teeth are at different heights, or severely rotated. It is also not for those with severely overcrowded teeth.
If you are qualified for Invisalign, the orthodontist will take x-rays, photographs and impressions of your teeth to be able to come up with a suitable treatment plan for you, which, depending on the severity of your problem, can take up to 28 months for adults and 24 months for teens. Next, the dentist will start creating your aligners using 3D technology and again, depending on your situation, you may need between 15-30 aligners. After that, it’s just a matter of follow-up visits to the dentist every 2-6 weeks to see how your treatment is progressing.