Are you self-conscious about your crooked teeth and how they make you look? Alignment issues can be repaired with orthodontic appliances, and that usually means braces, preferably during childhood. One out of four adults (and a significant number of teenagers) could benefit from orthodontic treatment, but they don’t pursue it. Often, they cite time as a factor, as well as concerns about how braces will look on them.
It used to be that the only option for most “late-in-life” potential orthodonture patients was to simply live with a smile that they may not be proud of. In some cases, people can even be ashamed of misalignment issues, but the time cost and other factors are simply too much. That’s why Edgewood Dental provides its patients with a modern alternative to traditional braces: Invisalign aligners.
Traditional Braces Pose Problems for Adults and Teens
The reason why kids are the most common recipients of traditional braces is because childhood is generally the only period in their lives when they have nearly limitless time available (for the lengthy treatment, as well as the frequent and time-intensive adjustments that braces require) and there isn’t as much pressure on them to have a flawless appearance (or to get as close to flawless as possible).
Adults (and many teenagers, too) usually don’t have those luxuries. Adults and teens are busy, making scheduling and keeping frequent adjustment appointments a considerable challenge. Another time-intensive aspect of braces is the time that must be spent keeping them clean and making sure that your oral health is in the best shape possible, to ensure the speediest possible treatment. Additionally, most adults and teenagers are apprehensive about how those wires and brackets running across their teeth will affect their appearance. It’s somewhat ironic, because braces will improve your appearance, but most treatment plans go for a year, and sometimes more. That’s simply too long to wait for results while your smile is covered up with “scaffolding” like a building undergoing refurbishment!
Invisalign Eliminates Barriers to Treatment
Traditional braces can be inconvenient, and they can even be painful in some instances (if say a wire is a bit longer than it should be – ouch!). The brackets are bonded to the teeth, and the wires pull the teeth tightly into correct alignment. The wires must be changed and adjusted frequently, which is time-consuming (it’s also not very pleasant, either). Traditional braces must be kept meticulously clean, meaning a much greater amount of time spent in front of the mirror. When you’re an adult, that’s a tough thing to keep up!
Invisalign gets rid of all these challenges that have become barriers for people who might otherwise seek orthodontic treatment. Instead of wires and brackets, the Invisalign system uses a series of lightweight, transparent, plastic aligners. These fit over your teeth, and you wear the aligners for about 22 hours a day. They’re removed during meals (which means you don’t have to change your diet) and for when you perform your oral hygiene routine.
Because they’re transparent, the aligners are very difficult to see in your mouth; they’re virtually invisible, hence the name “Invisalign”. Because they’re removable, cleaning (the aligners and your own teeth) is a breeze, and Invisalign imposes no restrictions on what you can and can’t eat. Also, they don’t rely on the tightening and adjusting of wires to do their job (which require frequent and lengthy appointments).
How Do Invisalign Aligners Work?
Invisalign aligners takes an entirely different angle on fixing the alignment of your teeth. Instead of pulling the teeth into place with wires, the aligners are placed over the teeth and gently guide your teeth into proper alignment. Every two weeks, you’ll get a new set of aligners, which are slightly different from the ones you had previously; those slight differences move the teeth into different positions until they reach where they’re supposed to be. You will still need to go to the dentist, but only for quick “progress checks” to make sure that treatment is going well.
Invisalign aligners are made using advanced imaging technology and software. In our Edgewood practice, we use the i-Tero intraoral camera, a hand-held device that is shaped like a wand with a small but powerful camera on the tip. Your dentist will photograph the inside of your mouth with the intraoral camera; these images are then processed into a program of aligners that fit your teeth and alignment needs specifically.
Can I Get Invisalign?
Invisalign is suitable for most alignment problems; however, a minority of alignment cases may be too severe for effective treatment using Invisalign. In these cases, the only therapeutically sound option may be traditional wire and bracket braces. Your dentist will examine your teeth and help you to decide for yourself if Invisalign is your best solution. Teenagers must be at least 16 years of age to get Invisalign treatment.
Make an Appointment Today!
You can have a better smile: straight, beautiful teeth with no compromises during your treatment. Invisalign is more comfortable, more convenient, and much more discrete than traditional wire braces!
At Edgewood Dental, new patients can be seen within the same week that they call, so there’s no reason to put off the orthodontic care you need!
Don’t delay! Reach the Edgewood Dental team by dialing 859-474-7830!