If you find the idea of wearing complex metal hardware for several years at a time quite difficult to digest, you’re not alone. Many people avoid orthodontics altogether because they don’t want to deal with changing their appearance, especially for the 18 to 36 months traditional braces require to shift teeth. However, advancements in orthodontic technology allow dentists to provide patients a more discrete solution to misalignment and poor bites.
If you’re trying to fix your crooked teeth without dramatically changing your daily habits or appearance, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Justin J. Gonzalez and his team. They can help you build a treatment plan from start to finish as well as a straighter, healthier and more beautiful smile overall!
Invisalign is a product that works to straighten teeth through a series of removable clear aligners. These aligners are made from durable, medical-grade and FDA-approved plastic, strong enough to withstand daily use and shift teeth more independently than traditional means. They use no metal hardware and no elastics, so they’re ideal for patients with allergies to certain metals. They’re also designed to shift teeth in much less time than metal braces, averaging between 6 and 18 months.
Because Invisalign provides an entire series of aligners from the beginning, you’re able to observe your realignment in real-time. Each pair of aligners is meant to represent a different stage of your treatment. They all use gentle force to push not just the visible crown, but the root and alveolar bone holding your tooth into a new permanent position.
When you’ve worn a pair long enough, typically around two weeks, you switch on to the next pair. The more complex your treatment is, the more pairs of aligners you’ll have. If your teeth aren’t shifting as planned, Dr. Gonzalez will make adjustments as needed to ensure your treatment is as smooth and quick as possible.
Keep in mind that you must wear the aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours a day for the most efficient treatment possible. You should only be removing them to eat, drink and practice routine oral care. However, you can also briefly remove them for pictures or at social events if preferred, but the amount of time spent wearing them is directly indicative to your treatment time. Furthermore, you’ll also need to wear a retainer after treatment to prevent your teeth from shifting back. For the first year, you’ll wear it as much as possible and after your dentist determines your teeth have permanently set, you’ll only wear them while sleeping from then on.
When you choose Invisalign over traditional fixed orthodontic methods, you can expect many added benefits. These include:
When it comes to obtaining a straighter and more attractive smile, you shouldn’t have to settle for a single method. Schedule an appointment to speak with a cosmetic dentist in San Antonio today and get started!
While Invisalign has become more well-known over the years, that doesn’t mean our office doesn’t receive a fair share of questions as well. In many cases, people are not sure if they need traditional braces or if Invisalign clear aligners are enough to address their unique issue. That’s why San Pedro Smiles has included a Frequently Asked Questions section to help keep patients informed. Below are the most common questions we get from patients. We hope that you find them useful as you consider your orthodontic options.
There are many reasons why Invisalign may be more ideal for your case over traditional metal braces. For one, your smile’s imperfections may not be severe, therefore Invisalign can effectively resolve them in less time on average. Most mild to moderate cases of gapped, rotated or crooked teeth can be straightened in 8 to 12 months. In comparison, metal braces require a minimum of two years to generate results. Furthermore, if your gum tissue is sensitive to metal, it could cause an allergic reaction. This makes it impossible to complete treatment comfortably. Luckily, Invisalign uses clear, medical-grade plastic to shift teeth and no metal components.
It depends on how far along your child’s teeth have developed. Invisalign has its own product line specifically for teenagers called Invisalign Teen. This line comes with blue lines that act as indicators for whether or not your child is wearing the aligners for long enough. It is not recommended that children wear Invisalign because their teeth have likely not developed enough yet. They are also less likely to wear the aligners for as long as they should be, further complicating the treatment process. Without proper compliance, their teeth would not shift properly anyway.
In the beginning, it will take a few days to adjust the new aligners. Just like when tightening orthodontic hardware, your first set will feel extra tight on your teeth for the first 24 hours. However, once you’ve worn them for the first couple of days and practiced speaking in them, you’ll likely forget that you’re wearing them over the next couple of weeks. When you need to eat, you should always brush your teeth and rinse the aligners before wearing them again. This will prevent stains from settling on the aligners and keep them transparent. Plus, food debris can easily interfere with your alignment if not removed.
The cost of Invisalign treatment can vary from patient to patient. This is because some patients have more significant issues to resolve and therefore need additional pairs of aligners to complete treatment. Thankfully, most Invisalign cases are comparable to traditional braces in terms of cost. Keep in mind that you are not visiting the dentist as often for tightenings and exams because your entire realignment is planned from the start. You also do not need to buy a substantial amount of oral care equipment specifically for cleaning the hardware, however you will need cleaning crystals from Invisalign or denture cleanser tablets to remove excess plaque from them during your oral care routine.