One of the most common cases we see here at Cadena Family Dentistry is crooked or misaligned teeth. Traditionally, metal braces were really the only option to straighten teeth, but that is no longer the case thanks to Invisalign. Before we discuss the pros and cons, we need to quickly go over how braces actually work.
The “train track” style braces that many people think of when they imagine braces are a thing of the past. Metal braces today are much more comfortable and less noticeable but still work on the same basic principles. Firstly, a bracket must be attached to each tooth using bonding. Then an arch wire is run through the brackets and gradually adjusted to put pressure on each tooth in the correct way to gradually pull the teeth into alignment.
Invisalign works much the same way that traditional braces do, but without the wires or brackets. The Invisalign system uses a series of clear, removable “aligners” that fit over the teeth almost like the mouth guards you wear while playing sports. These aligners are precision generated by a computer to be able to provide the same gradual pressure on the teeth that braces do, but without the pain and visibility of traditional braces. Each aligner is meant to be worn for a period of a few weeks before moving on to a new one until the teeth are in the correct position.
Because the aligners are removable, they can be taken off for eating, brushing and flossing but should be worn at all other times. While their removability is what makes them convenient for some people, it is part of what makes them an inappropriate choice for other patients. Cadena Family Dentistry finds that younger or more forgetful patients may remove their aligners and neglect to replace them – or may even misplace them. Invisalign must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day and for some patients, the temptation to remove them is just too much. This is why we recommend Invisalign only for patients who can be responsible and committed to not taking them out.
Invisalign aligners are made from a clear smooth plastic that will not irritate the inside of your mouth and are not as visible as metal braces are. In fact, Invisalign aligners are so difficult to detect that they typically don’t show up in photos and are a popular choice among people who are often in the public eye.
While Invisalign is a wonderful option for a patient who needs mild to moderate correction, it may not be an option for patients who require more serious orthodontic correction. These patients may need to start their bite correction journey with traditional braces and may be able to me moved to the Invisalign system after they have reached a certain level of correction.
To schedule a consultation to see if you are a candidate for the Invisalign system, please contact our Orlando Dentist office via telephone.