Invisalign Clear Aligners
Having crooked or crowded teeth can have a decidedly negative impact on a person’s self-confidence and oral health. Wearing orthodontic braces has become a standard life experience for most of the population not lucky enough to have naturally straight teeth. Traditional braces are the most common form of orthodontic treatment, but for some, Invisalign can be a great option. These aligners offer those in need of braces another treatment option, one with many advantages over traditional braces.
How it Works
With Invisalign, an orthodontist will make a mold of a patient’s teeth and then use a computer program to create a sequence of plastic aligners that will slowly move teeth to their ideal positions. These aligners are made of clear plastic and are worn over the teeth, much like a mouth guard. Clear aligners are essentially transparent, making them very discreet. The aligners are also completely removable, so patients can remove the aligners before eating or brushing and flossing. Each aligner is worn for 22 hours a day with a new aligner being used every two to three weeks to progressively move each tooth to its ideal position.
Advantages over Traditional Braces
Invisalign has several advantages over traditional wire-and-bracket braces. They are generally more comfortable for the wearer and are nearly invisible, a great option for patients, especially in their adult years, who might be a little embarrassed to wear traditional braces. Invisalign can offer similar results as traditional braces, but is so discreet that many people will not even be aware that a patient is wearing them. Clear aligners aren’t an option for everyone, but while those who wear traditional braces may find the wire brackets to be initially relatively uncomfortable, Invisalign aligners are made of smooth plastic that hug the contours of your teeth eliminating this type of discomfort. Often, those who wear traditional braces have to use specialized techniques or products to maintain their oral hygiene regimen, using things like floss threaders or water picks, and also have some restrictions on what they can eat. Invisalign wearers can simply remove their aligners, eat, brush and floss normally, and put the aligners back on.
The Downside to Invisalign
Invisalign is not an option for everyone. This type of aligner requires more discipline from a patient than traditional braces do because they are removable. Anyone who has had traditional braces knows that when they have been tightened or adjusted, the pressure put on the teeth can cause soreness for a day or two afterwards. The same is true for Invisalign in that a new aligner is likely to be uncomfortable for the first day or two and the patient will have to resist the temptation to remove the aligner to alleviate discomfort. Traditional braces do not pose this risk and there are ways to ease irritations from traditionals braces while gums and teeth adjust to new additions and adjustments. Invisalign may also not be well suited for patients requiring complex or intensive correction. An individual consultation and assessment is necessary.
If you are thinking of Invisalign, and would like to find out if they are the right choice for your orthodontics needs, call The Wright Center for Orthodontics at one of our locations in Santa Barbara, Camarillo, and Buellton.