Invisalign Invisible Braces

Invisible braces

What is Invisalign®?

Invisalign is the most popular alternative to traditional wire and bracket braces to fix crooked teeth.

Invisalign (often misspelled as Invisaline) is a series of custom invisible (clear) plastic aligners that fit comfortably over your teeth. These ‘invisible braces’ are custom designed by a dentist for the patient based on a whole constellation of measurements and specialized software.  When these aligners are used over time, the patient’s teeth are gradually moved into the desired position.

What the benefits of Invisalign? First and foremost, having straight teeth provides a boost to attractiveness.  Invisalign also has several benefits over teeth braces. Invisalign aligners are much more aesthetically pleasing than traditional braces because Invisalign is difficult to see - Invisalign aligners are less than one millimeter thick. Only Invisalign braces allow you remove everything from your mouth when you wish and allow you to brush and floss normally. If you have a nice dinner or an important event or meeting to attend, you can simply leave your aligners at home for the day.  

Importantly, Invisalign realignment also brings substantive dental health benefits. Invisalign can correct any kind of problems with spacing, crowning or occlusion (position of teeth when bite is closed). This means Invisalign can fix bite problems. Because larger spacing and gapping due to poor orientation of the teeth can greatly contribute to the amount of plaque buildup, alignment also affects oral health.  Similarly, Invisalign can properly orient teeth that are all jammed together, which are more difficult for patients to clean at home and thus accumulate greater amounts of plaque.

The metal and wires of traditional braces also tend to be uncomfortable, irritate your mouth and tongue and can become disconnected requiring emergency trips to the dentist.  Installing metal braces in your mouth also means there are a variety of foods (think anything sticky like gummy bears) that tend to get stuck in the small metal parts of metal braces and thus will likely have to be avoided.  

What is the process for Invisalign?  Dr. Laskis will take digital x-rays, impressions and photographs from which Invisalign will create a 3-D model of your teeth. Using cutting-edge software, Dr. Laskis will map out a sequence of steps in which your teeth will gradually be adjusted.  The software will generate the precise position changes in your teeth, the length of time until proper alignment and the number of aligners required.  The software will also allow show you how your teeth will move on the screen.

Based on Dr. Laskis' treatment plan, Invisalign will manufacture a set of custom-designed aligners. Because these are custom, they will be comfortable and smooth and wont hurt like traditional braces.  Once you receive the aligners, you will change them out once every two weeks, and have periodic checkups with Dr. Laskis to monitor your progress.

Even if you want to make further changes after treatment is finished, “refinement” aligners can be custom created, at no additional cost, to get you to where you want to be.

When considering any kind of teeth straightening, its important to consider the health benefits of straight teeth.

     1. Healthy Gums

If your teeth are crowded, it can cause you gums to swell and look reddish.  Additionally, when teeth are straight, it allows your gums to fit tighter around your individual teeth.  The risk of periodontal disease -- a serious infection that begins in the open “pockets” of your gums and which damages gums, can destroy the jawbone and lead to tooth loss --  is decreased when gums

     2. Good Oral Hygiene

Because the aligning trays can be removed for cleaning, Invisalign patients will be able to keep their teeth cleaner than those fitted with the wires and brackets of traditional braces.  Dirty teeth cause plaque buildup and tooth decay.

     3. Poor Oral Health

Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by bacteria. Left untreated, they can cause mouth sores, tender or bleeding gums, bad breath, and possible tooth loss. Studies by the American Dental Association have shown that such infections can also lead to other more serious ailments such as heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and diabetes. See http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/h/heart-disease-and-oral-health. Invisalign makes daily oral hygiene easier, thus reducing the risk of possible problems. And correctly aligned teeth can also alleviate the issues that can be caused by an improper bite, speech or chewing difficulties, jaw problems, and increased wear on the tooth enamel.  Invisalign effectively addresses all of these orthodontic issues, so you'll have the confidence of a great smile and increase the likelihood of improved oral health.

A Cautionary word on Do-it-at Home Aligners

In this modern era, many people look to DIY solutions to save some money. Many people are undertaking home improvements, assembling computers, and doing their own travel planning.  

Hoping to capitalize on this trend, two companies — SmileCareClub and Crystal Braces —  have launched as mail order orthodontics businesses. The companies sell Invisalign knockoffs.  Sounds like a quick way to save a few bucks, right?

You should know what you’re getting into.  A big piece of the cost of Invisalign is the dentists’ evaluation, expertise and numerous follow up visits to make sure your teeth are moving into the right positions and are not causing problems such as periodontal disease, de-mineralization of the teeth, shorter root lengths or relapsing.  The discount you are getting is that the in-person dental expertise is being cut out.  Unlike Invisalign, where your progress will be examined every four to six weeks by a dentist to check your progress and order curative trays if necessary, you will get no examinations from the do-it-yourself route.

Unsuprisingly then, the American Association of Orthodontists, has warned consumers against moving teeth without an initial exam and continuing supervision by an orthodontist. “Our concern is that patients who don’t see an orthodontist for regular checkups and/or for a complete diagnosis are more likely to be harmed,” said Dr. Rolf Behrents, a spokesman for the association. See this article.  See also this article.

Some additional questions and answers about Invisalign.

Q: Are there any other side-effects of Invisalign?

A: Some people report having a slight lisp when the aligners are in.  However, keeping the aligners in is crucial to finishing treatment. Some patients initially report some pain with the aligners but this can be fixed by the dentist filing the tray down a bit or applying wax to the offending edge.

Q: When will I notice results?

A: It usually takes two to three months for most patients to notice results from clear aligners

Q: Do I have to keep brushing?

A: Keep brushing! One of the advantages of Invisalign over braces is better hygiene. Without caring for the teeth before placing the aligners, it becomes a moot point

Q: How do I maintain the aligners?

A: Its easy to care for the aligners. Simply brush your tray with toothpaste or sometimes just water.  Nothing special is needed.

Q: Will I still be able to kiss with Invisalign?

A: Yes! You can still kiss!

Q: Am I too old for Invisalign?

A: Nope. Many of my older patients in the 50s and 60s are excellent candidates for Invisalign.  Being older may make the commitment to using the trays regularly easier than when you were younger.

Q: Can I whiten my teeth while doing Invisalign?

A: As part of an overall smile makeover, people often ask me this question or should they wait until after Invisalign treatment is completed, or can you do both? You can get whitening immediately and throughout treatment – there is no issue.

Q: When should I change Invisalign trays?

A: I tell patients to change trays at night. The first day or two of a new tray is the uncomfortable part.  By changing trays at night, you will be sleeping through the bulk of this time. Also, be sure to wear your trays for 22 hours a day.

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Invisalign is also available for Teens.

Are you a teen?  Invisalign has a special program for teenagers interested in straightening their smile, called “Invisalign Teen” 

Below are the key points:

The most attractive way to fix your smile.

Invisalign Teen is similar to Invisalign, where the aligners are clear trays that are almost impossible for people to see.

A little reminder.

Invisalign Teen aligners also have small indicators that show whether they are being worn sufficiently so you’ll know if you are falling behind or making the right kind of progress to get the best results.

Protection from a busy lifestyle.

Invisalign Teen offers up to six free replacement trays in case one (or three) of them gets lost.  At a party or whatever. Or swimming.  They are cool and aren’t nosy about it.

Super-convenient.

Compared to wearing traditional braces, Invisalign teen requires far fewer visits to the dentist. There are no wires or brackets that can get disconnected/swallowed or broken and thus no need for emergency visits and waiting.

No Hassles.

You like eating snickers? Gummy bears? Of course.  Do you like remembering NOT to eat certain foods because they will get stuck in your wire brackets? (that’s a rhetorical question).  The Invisalign teen aligners can be removed at any time.  Pretty sweet, right? (that’s mom humor).

No Death Breath.

Because you can remove the aligners any time you wish, its easy to maintain good brushing and flossing.  

Comparable Cost.

The cost of Invisalign Teen is equivalent to traditional braces. And thanks to flexible payment plans, correcting alignment issues doesn’t have to put stress on the family budget.

Safety.

Because Invisalign doesn’t use metal brackets, there’s little risk of the kids of repeating chafing and cuts that lead to problematic infections.  

New Developments

Invisalign has introducted SmartTrack which delivers a gentle, more constant force over the two-week aligner wear period to improve tracking. A pilot patient study of 1015 patients showed significant improvement in control of tooth movements, plus a 99.9% confidence level. See Invisalign’s brochure on smarttrack

 

Invisalign® has awarded Dr. Laskis as a Preferred Provider in Fountain Hills AZ.  See her profile on Invisalign's website.  Call us today for a complementary consultation to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for Invisalign®!