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Invisalign

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Invisalign

Invisalign is the brand name of a type of thin clear aligner used in orthodontic treatment. The aligner is made from a flexible thermoplastic material named SmartTrack. As the name suggests, this product is designed to make orthodontic treatment “less conspicuous,” as the American Association of Orthodontists puts it. Although Invisalign aligners may not be completely invisible, these clear coverings fit tightly over your teeth and are much less noticeable than the brackets and wires of traditional braces.

What types of dental issues can Invisalign correct?

Invisalign can be used for a variety of purposes, including crowding and spacing issues, as well as some mild and moderate bite issues.

The Invisalign can be used to treat the following dental issues:

  • some types of overbite, underbite, and crossbite issues
  • open bite
  • gap teeth
  • crowded teeth

What’s involved with wearing them?

The first step in the process involves a visit to an orthodontist, who will create a 3-D image of your mouth and jaw. They’ll use this image to put together a plan for moving your teeth into their proper place.

Your orthodontist will then use that plan to create a series of customized plastic aligners. These aligners will apply pressure to your teeth, gradually shifting them and moving them into the desired places.

Depending on your orthodontist’s instructions, you’ll switch out one set of aligners for a new set about once every week or two. Typically, you’ll need to wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day.

What can affect how well Invisalign works?

For Invisalign to work effectively, it’s important to wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day.

The only time you’re supposed to remove the aligners is when you’re:

  • eating or drinking
  • brushing or flossing your teeth
  • cleaning your aligners

You need to be careful when cleaning your aligners. If you use very hot water, it could warp the plastic. This can alter the fit, and affect your progress and the effectiveness of the aligners.

What are the pros and cons?

Pros of Invisalign:

  • The aesthetic factor. This is a very commonly cited reason for choosing Invisalign. These clear aligners are much less noticeable than the wires and brackets of braces.
  • You can remove them. You can physically remove the aligner from your mouth if you need to.
  • Ease of cleaning your teeth. By removing the aligner, you can easily brush and floss your teeth, without having to work around wires and brackets. Also suggests this can improve your periodontal health by reducing the number of bacteria lurking around your teeth and gums.
  • Fewer potential problems. Many people with traditional braces have stories about a bracket that fell off or a wire that broke, leading to an emergency visit to the orthodontist. You won’t have that potential problem with clear aligners.

Cons of Invisalign

  • Less effective for complex issues. while limited, does seem to suggest that Invisalign is more effective for people whose teeth require only certain kinds of movement. Your doctor may suggest another treatment option for more complex issues. Additionally, if you have bridgework on some of your teeth, Invisalign might not be the right option for you.
  • Requires compliance. To get the maximum benefit from Invisalign, you must wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. If you think you’ll be tempted to slip them out more often, it may not be the best choice for you.
  • Removal when eating or drinking. When you’re eating or drinking, you need to take the aligners out. If you don’t, food or drink can get into them. This causes bacteria to grow along with your teeth or gum line, which could lead to cavities. Also, liquid can seep down into them and cause staining of the aligners and your teeth.
  • Food limitations. You may experience tooth soreness when the aligner is removed, which can limit your food choices. Hard foods, especially, should be avoided.

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