Dentists everywhere have been working hard to provide solutions for their patients who have crooked teeth or misaligned bites, but do not exactly need or want to go down the traditional bracket braces route.
Although traditional braces are still in common use and are highly thought of by many dentists, there are many situations that do not entirely need all of the features that this treatment provides. With traditional braces, dentists are able to have maximum control over the realignment of teeth and jaw, so for patients who have severe misalignments, this treatment option is still favoured.
There are many adults and teenagers who are unhappy with the cosmetic look of their teeth, but are not willing to wear fixed braces to straighten them. By finding alternative solutions and treatments, dentists are ensuring the concerns of their patients are being met by improving their smiles, but without using traditional methods.
One such way that this has been achieved is with Invisalign. This treatment consists of clear, plastic removable aligners which are discrete and almost impossible to see when worn. This gives patients that added confidence, where before they may have been hesitant to wear braces for fear of their un-professional appearance.
Who is this treatment for?
This treatment is best designed for teenagers and adults who have mild to moderate misalignments to their teeth or jaw. The aligners need to be worn approximately 22 hours per day and only removed when brushing the teeth, eating or drinking anything other than water. After eating, the patient should brush their teeth before re-inserting their aligners, to ensure good oral hygiene is adhered too during the duration of the treatment.
How does the treatment work?
Invisalign differs from traditional braces in the way that it moves the teeth. Traditional fixed braces consist of brackets that are attached to teeth and wires that are attached to these wires. A dentist will tighten these wires periodically and this pulls teeth into their correct alignment over time.
Invisalign aligners fit tightly over the teeth and are moulded in a digitally processed and perfected way that is optimally designed for results. Teeth are rather pushed into their correct alignment over time, rather than pulled. Every 7 to 10 days, the patient changes into a new aligner. Each aligner gradually moves the teeth and brings the patient closer to their new and improved smile. Most Invisalign treatments can last anywhere from 6 months to 24 months. The length of time of the treatment depends on how much the teeth or jaw needs to move, so it varies from patient to patient.
Although the method is different, the results are the same and patients can enjoy having healthier, straight teeth for the rest of their lives.
At the end of treatment, the patient will need to wear a retainer at night time to keep the teeth in this final correct position. This allows for the ligaments to relax into their new alignment. Failing to do this will only result in teeth shifting back to their original position as ligaments simply snap back to how they were.