While there’s no question that conventional orthodontic alignment with metal braces can lead to a beautifully even smile, many patients have an aversion to the appearance of the dental appliances necessary to move their teeth.
Patented in 1997, Invisalign® represented a radical new alternative for straighter smiles. Using a rigid new thermoplastic, Invisalign treatment features a set of progressive aligner trays. Not only are these trays discreet, they’re removable too, adding to the system’s advantages.
Visit Los Altos Family Smiles to learn more about Invisalign and discover if it’s the right teeth alignment system for you. Chances are good that Invisalign can improve your smile, often more quickly than conventional systems.
If your teeth are crowded or have other spacing issues, including gaps, Invisalign can help, working as well or better than conventional braces. Invisalign’s trays also work well on mild-to-moderate bite problems including open bites, overbites, and underbites. Some more complex or severe alignment issues like palette expansion are beyond the scope of both Invisalign and braces.
One of the advantages of Invisalign is their removability. You can take your trays out when you eat, so using Invisalign means there’s no need to alter your diet. You may need to avoid certain foods when you have braces to avoid damaging the bands and wires. With Invisalign, simply brush your teeth and replace your trays.
Note that both Invisalign and conventional braces cause your teeth to ache for a few days when you move to the next tray or have your braces adjusted. You may prefer to choose softer foods for these days.
The removability advantage can turn into a drawback if you have weak oral hygiene habits. Invisalign trays hold in any food residue you miss when brushing, which could accelerate tooth decay. Cleaning the aligners themselves takes some care, since using water that’s too hot could alter the shape of your trays.
Removing your aligners could also be a problem if you’re not replacing them promptly. The Invisalign system works on the expectation that you wear your trays for 20 hours or more per day. Each tray in the series moves your teeth into position for the next tray to continue the job, changing trays about once every two weeks.
Patients who don’t wear their aligners for the expected hours consistently could find that the next tray in the sequence doesn’t yet fit. Your treatment could last longer if you don’t use your trays as instructed.
The dentists at Los Altos Family Smiles can help you decide if Invisalign is right for you. We’ll assess your alignment conditions and discuss the pros and cons of the expected treatment plan with you.