Straightening your teeth is a great idea. Not only will it improve the appearance of your smile, it will improve its health and efficiency, too. Straight teeth are easier to clean and they are more effective at chewing. But metal braces are not as good an idea. Although they are effective, introducing metal into your mouth for a year or more, and bonding brackets to your teeth is not an optimal solution.
Thankfully, there’s a better approach to straightening your teeth that we can offer you. Invisalign uses clear, BPA-free plastic aligners to push your teeth into position. These aligners are not only nearly invisible, they’re removable, so you can enjoy all your favorite foods, and don’t have to worry about cleaning around braces. And they’re more comfortable than metal braces, too.
Invisalign isn’t right for everyone, but if you want to learn whether it’s right for you, please call (408) 354-5600 for an appointment to discuss Invisalign with San Jose cosmetic dentist Nancy Nehawandian at Top Down Dental in Los Gatos.
Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign is becoming the preferred orthodontic treatment because it offers many advantages over traditional braces. This includes:
- Nearly invisible
- Greater comfort
- Removable aligners
- No diet restrictions
- No special cleaning
- Fewer dental visits
- Treats most orthodontic concerns
Of course, the main reason why people consider Invisalign is because the clear plastic aligners are much less visible than metal wires and brackets. But it’s also good to avoid brackets and wires because these can be very uncomfortable, they can poke and scrape your cheeks. Tightening visits can also lead to more discomfort than simply switching aligners.
Removable aligners are great. If you have a close-up photo shoot or a special occasion where you want the aligners out, you can remove them. For example, some people have a slight lisp with Invisalign (as they might with braces), so if you’re giving a speech or a major presentation, you might want to take your aligners out.
Removable aligners also mean that you can enjoy all the foods you eat now–you don’t have to worry about them getting caught in your braces. And there’s no worry about having to clean foods out of your braces, though you will have to brush and floss more often to make sure your teeth stay clean.
You can often get away with fewer dental visits. Once you settle into the routine, we may only recall you every six to eight weeks, compared to the standard of monthly tightening visits.
Most importantly, Invisalign is effective at treating most orthodontic problems, including:
- Gapped teeth
- Open bite
Of course, we can only determine if your case is treatable with a consultation.
How Invisalign Works
All orthodontic treatment relies on the same principles. Your body naturally reshapes bones under pressure, and the jaws are the most dynamic bones in the body. By applying constant pressure to your teeth, we are able to control how the body reshapes the bone, allowing teeth to move while remaining anchored in the bone.
Traditional braces use brackets and wires to apply this force. Invisalign works with clear plastic aligners that apply the force. By moving through a series of aligners, each causing a slight movement in your teeth, you will move your teeth into their desired positions.
The Invisalign process starts with a digital scan of your teeth. Once we have charted the current positions of your teeth, we can design a sequence of steps that will move them into the desired configuration: a beautiful, straight smile. This sequence is sent to the Invisalign lab, where a series of aligners is manufactured for you.
When the aligners are ready, you will come to our office to have the first aligner fitted. It’s a clear plastic piece that fits over your teeth similar to a sports mouthguard. You can have aligners on both the top and bottom simultaneously.
You’ll feel the aligner putting pressure on your teeth. It can cause a little discomfort, but it’s usually controllable with over-the-counter pain relievers.
You have to wear your aligner for 20-22 hours a day to get optimal results. After two weeks, you’ll switch to the next aligner. After you go through a few aligners, you’ll come back to our office for an evaluation and your next set of aligners. Once we’ve finished all the aligners, you’ll have the beautiful, straight smile you desire.
Then you can switch to your retainer to help stabilize your teeth in their new position. At first, you might wear your retainer as much as your aligners. Then you will only wear it at night. Finally, you’ll only wear it some nights to help keep your teeth in place.
Limitations of Invisalign
Although Invisalign treats most cases very well, there are some things it is not as good at treating. Rotated teeth are a challenge for Invisalign. Also, because Invisalign mostly pushes, it’s not as good at pulling teeth up that are recessed down into the jaw. There are a few other cases where we might not recommend Invisalign.
To learn whether your case is right for Invisalign in San Jose, please call (408) 354-5600 for an appointment at Top Down Dental in Los Gatos.