When we start hearing our dentist talk about the need to have our teeth straightened, or those of our children, there is one thought that comes to mind… “Braces”. An ungainly and unattractive metal cage adhered to your teeth that you’ll have to live with for years and will live in infamy in their school photos and inevitably lead to some level of teasing. Even adults aren’t huge fans of having their teeth encased in a highly visible metal cage, but what’s the alternative?
Invisalign: The Invisible Braces Of The Future
We’ll be honest, Invisalign isn’t that new, but it is something that isn’t talked about as much as traditional braces. Invisalign is a system designed to help teenagers and adults get beautiful straight smiles using clear aligners without the visual embarrassment or physical discomfort of braces. Classified as a Class II medical device by the FDA, they are made from medical grade polyurethane that is phthalate free.
Is Invisalign More Expensive Than Braces?
Yes, but while Invisalign does have the drawback of being more costly than braces, but with it comes a host of benefits that set them apart from braces. With the Invisalign system you’ll be able to:
- Remove your Invisalign for eating your favorite foods.
- Be able to smile with confidence with no visible braces.
- Let your mouth/teeth rest up to an hour out of the day.
- Experience the comfort of Invisalign while you’re wearing them.
- Be able to clean your Invisalign system and your teeth easily.
Many of the reasons have been mentioned above in brief, but the comfort and invisibility of the clear aligners is a major factor for many patients. Additionally, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite foods while wearing the clear aligners, including coffee, tea, crunchy foods, and those that contain tomato sauce that is typically avoided due to the acidic nature causing damage to traditional braces. While chewing gum is restricted with the clear aligners, you can always enjoy a stick during the period of time you can remove your Invisalign system during the day.
Invisalign has also been shown to cause less discomfort than traditional braces, with most patients indicating that its only present during the first few days of wearing them. Typically the feeling associated with the Invisalign system is a sensation of pressure in the mouth, free of pain.
How Does Invisalign Work?
It starts with your orthodontist taking measurements of your teeth, which may be done using either a putty tray to take a mold or digital imaging. X-rays of your teeth will be used to evaluate the roots, positioning, and overall structure of your mouth, teeth, and gums. This is followed by a series of photographs to help document the progress of your treatment. Payment may be requested at this time, so it’s important that you speak to your insurance company to determine how this procedure will be covered.
Invisalign will then be sent the necessary information from your exam and will produce a set of custom Invisalign clear aligners for your mouth. The aligners will then be worn for a period of a few weeks before moving to the next set, each successive one moving your teeth gradually towards perfect alignment. Following your treatment, a retainer may be necessary to maintain the positioning of your teeth.