by Michelle Janbakhsh DDS
Technology has revolutionized the range of possibilities with orthodontic treatment. State of the art three-dimensional technology developed by Align Technology, Inc has provided dentists with opportunities to treat malaligned dentition. Using advanced 3D computer imaging technology Invisalign depicts the complete treatment plan from the initial position of the teeth to the final desired position incrementally using a number of esthetic and removable aligners.
Advantages of using Invisalign:
1- Esthetic: Many of the adults want straighter teeth. However, the problem that adults face is unaesthetic nature of the traditional braces. Although there are clear fixed brackets but still wire that engage the brackets remains very visible. Invisalign provides completely transparent, highly esthetic removable aligners that are far more difficult to detect than traditional braces and brackets. They are also more comfortable than braces.
2- Oral Hygiene: Since Invisalign does not use any metal wires or brackets it does not trap any food and plaque like traditional braces do. Patients can eat what they wish and maintain a good oral hygiene by frequent brushing and flossing.
3- Metal sensitivity: Some individuals might be sensitive to metals used in brackets or wires used in traditional orthodontics. However, aligners are made of a thermoplastic material that looks similar to whitening trays and is custom made for each individual. It does not contain Bisphenol-A or phthalate plasticizers. Tests have shown that they are biocompatible and pass all requirements for human use.
4- Improved periodontal health: Swollen and redness gums are sometimes due to mal aligned and specially crowded teeth. Clinical studies has shown that when teeth are aligned it is much easier to floss and maintain a better oral hygiene and also properly aligned teeth helps the gums fit tighter around the teeth which leads to better periodontal health. Also since brushing and flossing is much easier then tooth decay and periodontal disease can be prevented.
5- Less pain and discomfort: Invisalign moves teeth without the pain of the conventional braces since it moves teeth very slowly. Patient may experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new aligner and then the discomfort goes away.
The success of Invisalign is based on the patient commitment and their consistency in wearing the aligners. Patients have to wear them a minimum of 20-22 hours a day and only remove them while eating. Also patients have to make sure that they don’t throw away the aligners by mistake (even though it is replaceable).
If you are interested in straightening your teeth the clear way, then you should find a dentist who provides Invisalign treatment. Once you and your doctor determine that Invisalign is right for you, then impressions and pictures of your teeth will be sent to Align Technology. These impressions will be digitized and a virtual representation of your teeth before and after your treatment will be processed. Once you and your doctor agreed on the outcome, then the digitized treatment will be sent to the company to fabricate your custom made aligners. The aligners should be worn at all times and each set of aligners should be worn for 2 weeks. The number of aligners are different with each individual case but usually treatment takes an average of 12 months. You need to go for check ups every 4-6 weeks to monitor your progress and receive your new set of aligners. During your treatment you can observe your teeth movement using the computerized 3D image of your teeth. Gradually your teeth and your smile will change and every one around you cannot help noticing your new beautiful, healthy, confident smile.
Michelle Janbakhsh, DDS is a holistic and biological dentist and Invisalign Preferred Provider at NIHA, an integrative medicine and dental center serving the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia metro region.