Invisalign, Braces, & Orthodontics

What is Orthodontics?

The American Association of Orthodontists has stated that perhaps 75% of all Americans suffer from some degree of “irregular contact of opposing teeth in the upper and lower jaws (malocclusion).”  Orthodontics was developed to improve the situation of patients with crooked or misplaced teeth.

The development of orthodontics has had the following positive impact on those with malocclusions:

  • Beautified many smiles!
  • Simplified the chewing of food.
  • Protected teeth. Biting or chewing with a misaligned tooth can cause cracking or breaking in the visible part of the tooth.
  • Protected jawbones. Long-term chewing with misaligned teeth can ultimately destroy the bone structure of the jaw.
  • Simplified oral hygiene. The straighter your teeth are, the fewer places there are for food and plaque to hide.

What is Invisalign?

If your orthodontic challenges are moderate in nature, you will find Invisalign to be simple and effective. Rather than the metal wires that are used with braces, Invisalign employs a series of smooth, clear trays that will straighten your teeth a little at a time over several months. There are five main characteristics of Invisalign that cause them to be preferred over braces by many dental patients.

  • Shorter Treatment Time – The Invisalign procedure will often take half of the time that braces will take. It is generally a 9-15 month process.
  • Simpler Oral Hygiene – Because the plastic trays slide off easily, they can readily come off every time you need to eat, brush, or floss.
  • Fewer Food Restrictions – You will be able to take off the trays whenever you eat. This means that there will be almost no food restrictions while you are in this process.
  • Better Aesthetics – These trays are made of clear plastic and are basically impossible to be spotted by others are you go through your daily routine.
  • Better Comfort Level – The plastic trays are very smooth in contrast to the annoying wires that are part of braces.

If our staff determines that Invisalign is appropriate for you, the following process will be employed:

  • The first appointment will be for the purpose of making “bite impressions” so that a series of custom-fabricated aligner trays can be made for you.
  • The custom-made trays will be shipped to our office.
  • You will need to wear each tray for approximately 20 hours per day for 2-3 weeks. Each tray in the series will bring your teeth a little more into alignment. Of course, the trays will be removed during your daily meals, brushing, and flossing.

More severe orthodontic cases will still require metal or clear braces. Your dentist will be able to help you determine which will work in your case. Clear braces function similarly to metal braces, but the brackets are tooth colored rather than metal. This can improve the aesthetics of braces by making them harder to see.