Having crooked or misaligned teeth is one of the biggest factors that can dampen a person’s confidence. According to a New York Times report, having straight teeth ranks second to weight in determining how confident a person would feel about themselves. People who have misaligned or crooked teeth often have to get metal braces to correct the appearance and functionality of their teeth.
Interestingly, people who are told they will be getting braces aren’t always thrilled about the idea. This is because metal braces are considered bulky and awkward. Fortunately, Orthodontic treatment has come a long way since its early days. Now we have clear aligners known as Invisalign that present a discrete and comfortable way to straighten the teeth and achieve the smile you have always wanted. Here’s all you need to know about Invisalign and how it works.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the name of a brand of orthodontic product used to correct teeth alignment issues. Instead of using metal braces, this treatment approach involves using clear removable aligners made from a special thermoplastic resin that gradually adjusts the shape and alignment of the teeth over a period of time.
Invisalign treatment typically consists of a sequence of custom-made aligner trays. A patient switches out these trays at intervals throughout the course of treatment until the teeth are fully aligned. The trays are practically invisible. As its name suggests, this product is designed to be “less conspicuous,” compared to conventional braces and that’s one of its main selling points.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign braces are custom-made from proprietary SmartTrack® material. This special material is a comfortable plastic that is used to make trays that are virtually visible. Since the trays are meant to be custom-made for your mouth, the first step in getting Invisalign is to schedule an appointment. During this initial appointment, the dentist determines if you’re a candidate for Invisalign treatment. Once this has been determined, the process of designing custom-fitting invisible aligners begins.
The orthodontist will take a 3D scan of your mouth including your teeth and gums. This digital scan is used to map out the course of your treatment based on the current situation of your teeth and the level of alignment achievable.
Usually, the treatment plan is broken down into a series of teeth alignments with different trays in the set designed to achieve the movement that you expect. The number of trays usually varies between 10 to 48. Treatment may take between 5 to 18 months depending on the condition. Once the trays are ready, you can wear, remove and replace them on your own at home. Dentists recommend wearing the aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours daily.
What Can Invisalign Treat?
People of all ages including both adults and teenagers can use Invisalign to correct their orthodontic issues. Typically, patients wear this clear aligner tray to straighten crooked or misaligned teeth. However, dentists may also recommend Invisalign for other conditions. These include:
- Gap or spacing issues
- Bite issues (such as overbite, underbite, and crossbite)
- Crowded teeth
It is important to note that Invisalign cannot work for all orthodontic issues. Typically, you may not be a perfect candidate for this type of treatment if you have a more complex case that requires precise tooth control. In this case, traditional metal braces might be a better fit. During your initial consultation at our dental office in London Ontario, our professional orthodontics will be able to tell you if this treatment approach would be a great fit for you.
Pros of Invisalign
People often opt for Invisalign aligners over traditional braces because they’re more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. The following are some of the benefits of Invisible aligners.
They’re removable: once metal braces are installed by a professional, it is permanent and can only be removed by a professional. It is possible to remove invisible aligners at home and replace them on your own.
They’re invisible: Clear aligners are practically invisible. No one will notice if you have one on and this goes a long way in boosting the self-confidence of the wear.
Ease of cleaning your teeth: Since you can remove the aligners when you want to brush or floss your teeth, you get to maintain better hygiene with clear aligners compared to when you have permanent wires and brackets. This reduces the risk of oral health issues after removing the braces which is a common occurrence with regular braces.
No restrictions to your diet or activity: people who wear metal braces have to forgo certain food when they’re undergoing treatment. The fact that you can remove Invisalign anytime means you don’t have to worry about what you eat or drink. You can simply take the braces out and return them after you’re done.
Limitations of Invisalign
It may not work for complex issues: Invisalign is generally effective for a wide range of orthodontic issues. But it might not work for all cases since it may not deliver certain types of movement. Only your dentist can tell if this treatment would work for your specific case.
Requires strict compliance: the success of your Invisalign treatment is highly dependent on your compliance. Since you can remove the braces anytime you want, it’s up to you to determine how often you will wear them. Experts recommend wearing aligners for 20 to 22 hours daily. If you remove the braces too often, it’ll probably not work as intended.
What’s The Cost Of Invisalign Treatment?
The cost of Invisalign treatment in Canada ranges from $2,000 to $8,000. This isn’t remarkably different from the cost of regular braces. The above-stated costs are merely average estimates. The actual amount that you end up paying for Invisalign will depend on several factors such as your current oral health and the extent of work to be done. Some insurance companies provide cover for Invisalign treatment as part of a patient’s dental insurance plan.
Will Invisalign Work For Me?
Whether or not Invisalign will work for you depends on a number of factors. Generally, if you have a fairly straightforward orthodontic issue, invisible aligners would work great. You may begin to see results in as little as 2 weeks and the entire treatment can be completed within 6 to 18 months. As long as you are able to follow the recommended hours of usage per day, it should work just great for you.
Are you self-conscious about wearing braces and would like to know if Invisalign would work great for you? Visit our dental office in London Ontario to speak to a professional orthodontist. They’ll evaluate your case and determine the appropriate treatment options for you. Call now to schedule a consultation with our experts.