Are you conscious of your smile? Do you find yourself covering your mouth every time you laugh? You’re not alone. A gap between teeth, teeth that are crowded together or misaligned teeth are some of the most common reasons for people to want to hide their smile. Thankfully, you can correct this without having unsightly braces. Invisalign is the perfect alternative to traditional braces. Read on to find out everything you need to know about this dental wonder.
What is Invisalign?
As the name suggests, Invisalign is a virtually invisible way to correct the alignment of your teeth. These can be described as clear, custom molded aligners that can be placed over your teeth. Over time they can move your teeth horizontally, vertically and even rotate them if needed. These aligners can be removed and replaced easily when you need to brush your teeth or eat.
How does Invisalign Work?
It can take anywhere between 20 weeks to a year for Invisalign to correct the alignment of your teeth. During this time, you will need to meet your dentist frequently. Hence, it is important to work with a doctor you are comfortable with. To begin your treatment an Invisalign specialist will create a 3 dimensional image of your teeth. This could be done by taking a physical impression of your teeth or with a digital scanner. This will be used to map your treatment and determine how long it will last. Your dentist will also be able to show you how your teeth will move during this time.
Multiple sets of aligners will be custom made according to this map. Each set of aligners will need to be worn for one or two weeks before being changed to the next set. These should ideally be worn for 20-22 hours a day. You will need to visit your dentist once a month or once in 6 weeks to review your treatment and make any changes if required. Once your treatment is complete, you may need to wear a retainer to maintain your smile. This will keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions.
Is Invisalign Right for You?
Invisalign can be sued to treat most cases of misaligned teeth. However, for severe spacing and straightening issues, traditional braces may be preferred. Some common concerns that can be treated with Invisalign are:
● Gaps between teeth
● Open bite
● Teeth crowding
Addressing these issues not only makes your teeth look better but also improves your dental health. This is because a number of dental issues such as plaque, periodontal disease, wear and tear of the teeth and speech impairment can be caused by the above conditions.
You will also need to factor in costs and lifestyle choices. Invisalign does cost more than traditional braces. They may also be less effective if you drink a lot of coffee or red wine or smoke regularly. This is because these elements can stain the adhesive holding the aligners in place and make them look unappealing.
In most cases Invisalign costs 10% to 25% more than traditional braces. That’s because your dentist is required to pay “lab fees” to the makers of Invisalign, and that extra cost gets passed along to you. However, if you’re willing to do some research, you can often find Invisalign deals, which can bring down the cost substantially.
In rare cases, some people may find themselves allergic to the plastic being used in Invisalign aligners. This allergic reaction is usually mild and only causes slight gum irritation. If it does not relieve itself within a few days, consult your dentist and he may want to adjust your treatment plan.
Advantages of Invisalign
The best part about Invisalign is a beautiful smile and a new found confidence. However, you can get this with traditional braces as well. Some of the factors that make Invisalign a better choice than traditional braces are:
● Their Virtual Invisibility
Though many attempts have been made to make traditional braces look more aesthetic, they are still hard to ignore. For this reason, many people let their teeth be as they are instead of correcting them. Invisalign is virtually invisible. Unless you tell them, no one will realize that you are undergoing treatment to correct your smile.
● They are Comfortable
Traditional braces can cut into the patient’s gums and cheeks as they correct teeth alignment. However, with Invisalign, there is no such fear. Invisalign aligners may cause slight discomfort in the beginning but are much more comfortable to wear in the long run.
● They can be Removed
Invisalign aligners can be removed and replaced from time to time. This allows you to clean your teeth thoroughly. It also makes eating more comfortable and negates the need to avoid eating certain foods. You can also take them out if you’re attending a wedding or any other important function. Like traditional braces, Invisalign can be worn while you sleep.
Invisalign can be worn by teenagers and adults of all ages. Even if you do currently wear braces, you can easily switch to Invisalign. Hence, it is never too late to get the smile you dream of.