Orthodontic treatment is sometimes necessary for optimal oral health. Still, you may not want to commit to months of metal in your mouth, difficult oral hygiene, and constant poking and scraping against your cheeks. Thankfully, with modern technological advances, you may be a candidate for Invisalign, a clear solution for mild to moderate orthodontic issues.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign technology is quite advanced. Each treatment plan is custom-made to fit your unique dental structure and move your teeth in specific ways. It is wise to go to a trusted dental professional to get started with your treatment. Most dentists use digital technology so your teeth can be scanned without the need for sticky putty.
From there, your scans go to the Invisalign lab, where your trays are custom-made to fit your smile. Your dentist reviews your digital treatment plan with you and show you how your teeth move and what the result will look like. When your aligners are ready, your dentist ensures everything fits correctly. They may be a bit tight at first, but that passes as your teeth move into position.
Every two weeks, you get a new set of trays that gradually move your teeth into ideal alignment. Some will include composite “buttons” on essential teeth to help your aligners distribute pressure to specific areas. At your scheduled appointments your dentist can verify your treatment is proceeding as expected.
Who is Invisalign For?
Because the Invisalign trays are removable, you must be able to commit to wearing them at least 22 hours a day. Invisalign is recommended for responsible teens and adults who can comply with the requirements.
The technology has come a long way over the years. It was initially used for only minor crowding but can now handle a variety of mild and moderate issues. These include:
Overbite: Upper teeth in front of the lower teeth
Underbite: lower teeth project past upper front teeth
Crossbite: Upper and lower jaws are misaligned
Gaps Between Teeth: Unwanted spaces between teeth
Open Bite: Top and bottom teeth don’t meet
Crowded Teeth: Insufficient room in the jaw for teeth to fit normally
If you need any fillings or crowns, those should be done before starting your Invisalign treatment. Gum disease must also be under control so that your risk for complications is minimized. Talk to your dentist about your specific case to see if you are a candidate for Invisalign.
Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces
Invisalign eliminates many obstacles in your daily life. Your teeth look normal, with no metal to be seen, and you can easily brush and floss your teeth. There are no diet restrictions, but you need to remove them before consuming anything except water.
Invisalign’s most significant advantage, its removability, can make it a challenge to stick to a routine of removing and replacing aligners at the appropriate times. If you take out your aligners for lunch, forget to wear them for the rest of the day, and pop them back in at bedtime, you are less likely to see the results you want. Getting in the practice of wearing your aligners at every moment other than meal times helps you achieve the straight smile you desire.
With traditional braces, brushing and flossing take more time and precision as you navigate the brackets and wires. You also need to avoid hard or sticky foods as these may damage your braces and require additional visits to your dentist. Invisalign allows you to brush and floss as normal, without the need for special tools or tricks.
Will My Insurance Cover Invisalign?
Orthodontic treatment isn’t cheap, no matter which option you choose. Thankfully, most insurance policies have a separate allowance for orthodontics, and more plans are starting to cover Invisalign.
Your overall treatment cost will depend on the complexity of your case and your insurance coverage. Talk to your dentist about any payment options that split up your payments and make the treatment easier on your budget.
How Do I Take Care of Invisalign Aligners?
Invisalign trays can be stained or damaged while eating food, which is why they require extra diligence. During meals, they should also be kept safe in a container and stored in a personal bag to avoid being tossed out with your leftovers or forgotten at the table.
After each meal, be sure to give your teeth a quick brush and rinse to avoid trapping food particles on your teeth. Your trays can be cleaned with lukewarm water and gentle scrubbing with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Avoid using toothpaste on your aligners, as it is too abrasive and may cloud or discolor the trays.
If you have been thinking about straightening your teeth, Invisalign could be the right option for you. For more information, contact your dental provider today!