The Ins and Outs of Invisalign
Invisalign is one of the most popular teeth straightening systems available today. It is used worldwide and utilizes the most advanced technology to precisely straighten teeth into pre-determined positions. If you have recently noticed friends, acquaintances or work colleagues sporting straighter smiles, there is a good chance they might have chosen Invisalign treatment. This is a healthy and discreet way to permanently align teeth, creating a more cosmetically appealing smile without the need for more invasive treatments such as crowns and veneers.
Why Straighten Your Smile?
The benefits of having a beautiful smile are well documented and often you have only a few seconds to make a good first impression, whether it is your dream job or your dream date. However unfair it might seem, people with evenly aligned teeth can be perceived as being healthier, more successful and even more intelligent. If your smile could use a little help or you, or your dentist has consistently encouraged you to consider orthodontic treatment then Invisalign could be a great solution. Here at Ballard Orthodontics, we often see people who feel self-conscious about showing their teeth. With the right orthodontic treatment, we can help you smile with confidence, so you can let your true personality shine through.
Invisalign is worth investigating if you have always had a hankering for beautifully straight teeth but don’t want to have metal braces. This is often the case for people with customer-facing jobs or whose careers require them to meet with clients and who would prefer to keep their treatment a secret. You may also hear Invisalign being referred to as being invisible braces, because once in the mouth, they are virtually invisible.
The Potential Health Benefits of a Straighter Smile
People who have significantly misaligned teeth that do not bite together correctly may also benefit from improved dental health after having their teeth aligned. This could apply to you if you currently find it difficult to thoroughly brush or floss your teeth properly because they are so crowded or crooked. Having teeth that are easy to look after can help to reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, provided of course you have good oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. Orthodontic treatment also aligns your bite correctly reducing the likelihood of your teeth chipping or cracking
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign uses a series of fully removable aligners that are made from thin, strong, clear BPA-free plastic. These are custom-made to fit comfortably over your teeth and to gradually move them into positions predetermined in your treatment plan. This system is incredibly simple to use, as you only need to wear the aligners for approximately 22 hours each day, ideally only removing them for meals and whenever you wish to brush and floss. Every set of aligners is designed to be worn for one or two weeks, after which they are discarded so you can begin wearing the next set in the series. This continues until your treatment is complete.
If you do have an occasional special event and would prefer to leave your aligners out then this is fine, but leaving them out too frequently could slow your treatment progress. In addition to being extremely discreet, removable aligners make it very easy to maintain great oral hygiene all throughout treatment as you can brush and floss as normal. Treatment can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to complete, but this varies according to the complexity of your plan. When you come in for your consultation, Dr. Ballard will be able to provide a more precise timeframe.
Who Can Have Invisalign?
Most anyone who has his or her permanent teeth and has healthy bone and gum tissue can benefit from Invisalign. It is also commonly utilized by many who had orthodontic treatment as a youngster but who have seen their teeth shift position with age. This can happen if retainers are not worn as recommended by your orthodontist. Invisalign can also correct problems with crowding or unevenly spaced teeth, as well as common bite problems including underbites, overbites, and open bites.
When you come to see us at Ballard Orthodontics, your occlusion and the alignment of your teeth will be closely examined by Dr. Ballard to make sure this treatment is suitable for you. You can rest assured Dr. Ballard will not recommend Invisalign if he doesn’t feel it’s quite the right option. If this is the case, he can suggest a more suitable orthodontic treatment approach that will help you achieve the results you desire. This is one of the advantages of visiting an orthodontic practice, as your choice isn’t limited to only Invisalign.
Can Children Have Invisalign?
Certainly! Although it is best if most of the permanent teeth are present. In fact, Invisalign has a proprietary system for adolescents called Invisalign Teen, an aligner approach that provides seamless customization of the aligners to accommodate erupting teeth. Of course as with all Invisalign approaches, good compliance is a must however to the astonishment of many adults . . . the teenagers are often more compliant with aligner wear than their parents
How will I know If Invisalign Is Right for Me?
Deciding to have this sort of treatment can sometimes feel like a leap of faith but one of the advantages of choosing Invisalign is that it utilizes the very latest computerized technology. As part of your treatment, Dr. Ballard will take photographs, x-rays and will scan your teeth. This information is used to create virtual models of your teeth which allow him to precisely plan how each tooth will move during treatment. The beauty of this is that you will get to see these virtual images, showing how treatment will straighten your smile. This makes it easy to immediately see the advantages of treatment, even before you begin to wear your first aligners.
What to Expect When You Begin Treatment?
When you first begin to wear your aligners there might initially be some minor discomfort. This is perfectly normal as your teeth are beginning to move into their new positions. As your teeth settle down however, this discomfort will disappear. And while it might take a few days to become accustomed to the feel of your aligners, they are fairly thin and will eventually feel very natural to have in place.
How Frequently Will I Need to Visit Ballard Orthodontics?
On average we see patients every six to eight weeks, but these appointments should be quite quick as there is no need to adjust brackets or wires. It’s simply a chance for Dr. Ballard to check how treatment is progressing, make any corrections or modifications to your aligners and provide you with more. For those who find themselves out of the area often, Dr. Ballard can provide you with a plan that only requires you to be seen at 4 to 6 month intervals. So, don’t let travel or schooling out of the area discourage you from pursuing Invisalign treatment.
Will I Need Retainers?
It’s always necessary to wear retainers after any orthodontic treatment is complete. This is essential to make sure your teeth don’t drift out of position, returning to their original places. It is common to wear retainers all the time for a few months and then transition to wearing them only at night. There are a few kinds of retainers, and what kind you choose can be discussed with you and Dr. Ballard. Wearing your retainers as recommended is an essential part of your treatment and ensures that you can continue to enjoy a beautifully straight smile.
To discover more about our fully customized teeth straightening choices, schedule your appointment at our comfortable, state-of-the-art Sandpoint Orthodontic Practice today.