Definition & Overview
A crooked set of teeth does not only make it difficult for patients to smile but it also lowers their self-esteem. Fortunately, crooked teeth can be fixed using a variety of dental technologies. One of the most common is a set of braces that are made of tough wires that force your teeth into alignment. Although braces are definitely effective in aligning teeth, they can be a bit troublesome to wear, are very noticeable, difficult to clean, and take some time getting used to.
Invisalign is one of the most effective alternatives to braces. The custom-made aligner trays are made from transparent materials that are practically invisible so it would hardly be noticeable that you’re wearing them. They don’t allow for any spaces where food can get stuck into so you won’t have to spend so much time cleaning them. Most of all, the aligner trays are comfortable to wear.
Who Should Go and Expected Results
Invisalign is recommended for patients who have minor to moderate alignment issues and those who want an alternative to traditional braces that are often deemed unsightly. How Does the Process Work?
When compared to dental consultations for braces, Invisalign consultations take much more time. This is because the aligner trays, which could be as many as 30, are custom-made. The process begins with a simple interview, otherwise known as the initial consultation. During the interview, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about the procedure and manage your expectations.
Your dentist will then evaluate the condition of your teeth, gums, and your overall oral health to make sure that Invisalign treatment is your best option. This is followed by obtaining a dental impression, bite registration, dental x-ray, and photographs of your teeth.
These records will be converted into digital format and will be used to design the aligner trays. Once the design is complete, the trays will be manufactured according to specifications. The number of trays required during treatment will depend on the condition of your teeth. This can be as little as 10 sets of trays or as much as 30 sets. Invisalign will manufacture all the trays so it can take a while for you to receive them.
Possible Complications and Risks
During the initial consultation, the dentist will evaluate your teeth to determine if Invisalign aligner trays are indeed your best option. This system is not suitable for every type of dental alignment problems.
Unlike braces that dentists can adjust according to the movement of your teeth, Invisalign treatment makes use of trays that have already been manufactured, which means that if your teeth do not move as anticipated, the dentist has no control or option to change the trays.
Invisalign trays are usually not recommended for teeth that are severely rotated, tipped, or have large spaces in between them. Also, it is not for people who have undergone previous dental work, such as dental bridges, crowns, and porcelain veneers.
It’s also important to note that Invisalign treatment relies heavily on the cooperation of the patient. These removable trays must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day. Non-compliance can result in total failure of the treatment. In some cases, the treatment can be adjusted, but doing so would be expensive since new trays will have to be manufactured.
- American Dental Association