Has your dentist recommended straightening teeth for you or your teenager? Are you wondering why it is necessary? After all, you’re happy with your appearance, and what about these new braces called Invisalign; how do they work?
Before plunging right into the topic of Invisalign, I’d like to explain a little bit about the importance of properly aligned teeth. Our teeth have many important functions. The most obvious of course is they allow us to chew our food effectively. They help hold the shape of the lips and face. They even help us shape our words. A healthy smile gives us confidence being in social settings. When teeth are not in proper alignment, food can become trapped and can cause cavities. If a cavity is left untreated it can progress to the point of infection and pain, and the tooth may need to be removed.
Missing teeth make chewing and talking more difficult. When too many teeth become missing, the shape of the face changes and gives an “aged” appearance. Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that can address a number of alignment cases, such as closing spaces, correcting crowding, and closing an open bite, without metal brackets and wires.
The technology involves a series of clear plastic “aligners” designed to move the teeth comfortably into position. They can be removed for eating, brushing and flossing. The esthetics of clear braces and ease of daily oral hygiene practices make Invisalign a good option for correcting dental misalignment. Each aligner is designed to be worn for 23 hours a day for two week intervals. Small, tooth colored attachments, called buttons, are placed on some teeth, and act like handles that engage into the aligner, and help the teeth to move.
Treatment begins with a records appointment where the beginning bite is recorded and x-rays are taken. Invisalign patients have the opportunity to see a preview of the expected outcome of treatment with a Clincheck movie. The dentist will be able to tell you the estimated length of treatment, as well as how many buttons will need to be placed. As a patient, you will need to be seen by your dentist approximately every six weeks during the course of treatment to monitor your progress and give you new sets of aligners.
At the end of treatment, the buttons will be polished off the teeth and your new smile can be proudly worn. As with any orthodontic treatment, nighttime retainers are necessary to prevent the teeth from shifting back into their previous position.
Talk to your dentist about your options for a healthier smile with orthodontics. For a free consultation contact Jeff R. Van Treese, DDS Smiles For A Lifetime, at our Sidney, OH office at 937-492- 6984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.