Everyone wants to have a straight, aligned beautiful smile. No one wants the pain, irritation, and inconvenience of traditional metal braces. Between wires poking your cheeks and tongue to metal bands scraping your lips, from painful tightening to impossible flossing and brushing — moving your teeth with braces is anything but pleasant, or easy.
But that has changed with Invisalign. In place of the metal bands, wires, and rubber bands, Invisalign uses clear plastic “aligners” to move the teeth into the desired locations. The aligners are comfortable and are worn like a mouthguard. They are basically invisible and you simply remove them to eat and clean your teeth. The end result is the same, without all hassles of traditional braces! At Implant Dentistry of Florida we offer Invisalign treatment to patients who would like to straighten their teeth without having to wear metal braces.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign presents an ingenious alternative to traditional orthodontics. Whereas traditional braces use metal bands cemented to the teeth with wires running between them to move teeth, Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners. Patients wear the aligners basically all the time, from 20-22 hours per day, but it’s not a problem because the aligners fit snugly onto the teeth and the patient usually forgets they are wearing them. When it’s time for eating, brushing and flossing, you simply take off the aligners.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Traditional braces achieve tooth movement by tightening the wires connecting the metals bands and creating extra pressure with rubber bands. This can create one or two days of pretty sore teeth once a month.
Invisalign uses the aligners to move the teeth. Each aligner is designed using the system’s 3D computer imaging software. At Implant Dentistry of Florida, Dr. Brown or Dr. Vaughn plots the optimal end location for the patient’s teeth. Then the Invisalign software breaks down the necessary movement into a series of aligners. When worn, the aligners put gentle pressure on the teeth, moving them. Each set of the upper and lower aligners gently move the teeth closer and closer to the end position. After wearing a set of aligners for two weeks, the pair is discarded and replaced by the next pair. This process continues until the teeth are aligned and in position.
In stark contrast to the pain and irritation of metal bands and wires, the Invisalign aligners fit snugly on the teeth and are comfortable. They achieve movement without the immediate soreness caused by tightening wires and changing rubber bands.
Am I a Candidate for Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are for patients who are 14 and older who are looking to:
- Align crooked teeth
- Close large gaps in between teeth
- Get rid of teeth crowding
- Fix an overbite, underbite or crossbite
Not all patients are candidates for Invisalign. Successful treatment is dependent upon patient compliance with wearing of the aligners. Severe malocclusions may not be appropriate for Invisalign treatment. In these cases, Dr. Brown works with some of the best orthodontists in Brevard.
Am I A Candidate If I Have Had Previous Orthodontic Work?
Invisalign starts from where your teeth are today and gently moves them into the correct, straight, aligned final positions. It doesn’t make any difference if you’ve had prior orthodontic work that either moved back or wasn’t completed.
What Issues Can Invisalign Fix?
It’s easy to assume these plastic aligners couldn’t do the hard work of metal bands and wires, but Invisalign can handle most orthodontic needs. Invisalign can’t be used in cases where complex or severe movement is required, but most mild to moderate orthodontic needs can be handled easily. At Implant Dentistry of Florida, we use Invisalign to correct these orthodontic problems with our patients:
- Gaps between teeth
- Crowded teeth
Advantages of Invisalign
Invisalign® has many advantages over traditional braces:
- Cosmetic appeal — Aligners are virtually invisible, even from close up.
- Less discomfort — Invisalign® doesn’t have wires to poke your cheeks or bands to rub on your lips.
- Easy Hygiene — For brushing and flossing, simply remove the aligners.
- Eat whatever you want — No more need to cut off corn on the cob or avoid chewy foods.
- Greater flexibility — Play trumpet in the band? Simply remove your aligner when practicing.
- No tightening sessions — Simply switch to the next aligner in the series every two weeks.
- Little or no impact on daily life — Invisalign® basically allows the patient to eat, brush, and live normally, all the while straightening his or her teeth.
Importance Af Wearing Aligners For 20-22 Hours
When we’re discussing the Invisalign system with a patient, we stress the importance of wearing the aligners for 20-22 hours every day. This may seem like a long time, but once a person is used to wearing the aligners, they usually forget they are even on their teeth. Plus, consider that traditional braces are on your teeth 24 hours a day. You remove the aligners to eat and for brushing and flossing (and maybe if you play trumpet or French horn in the band), but otherwise they need to be on your teeth. Each aligner needs to keep the subtle pressure on the teeth to move them, and this requires 20-22 hours a day.
How Long Will I Need Invisalign?
At Implant Dentistry of Florida, we’ve found that the average treatment time for our Invisalign patients is about one year. Of course, every patient’s situation is unique, so this is just a rough average. The minor movement could take less time; more involved movement could take more time. Another nice thing about this system is that if at the end of your proposed treatment, we feel you could still use a little more adjustment, we can simply order more aligners.
How To Care For Invisalign Aligners
Keeping your aligners clean is easy. Here’s what you do:
- When you remove them, immediately rinse them in water to remove the saliva.
- Soak your aligners once a day for 30 minutes in denture cleaner, Retainer Brite, a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and water, or in the Invisalign cleaning crystals.
- Clean your aligners with clear anti-bacterial soap. This gets rid of bacteria and is easy and inexpensive. But don’t use colored soaps, as they can tint your aligners.
- Gently brush your aligners with your toothbrush, but don’t use toothpaste, as toothpaste have abrasives in them that can scratch and create pits in your aligners.
Will I Need A Retainer After Invisalign?
After moving teeth with orthodontics, whether traditional or Invisalign, the new positions need to be stabilized to keep the teeth from drifting back to their former locations. Traditional braces use retainers that click uncomfortably into the roof of the mouth. Invisalign® uses Vivera® retainers made of the same material as Invisalign® aligners. The retainers are similar to the aligners but are thicker and more durable because they need to be worn for longer periods than the two-week aligners. Patients receive four Vivera® retainers, as well, so they replace them over the course of their retention to keep them from becoming less-than-hygienically appealing.
The cost of Invisalign depends on the degree of movement that is required, as this will dictate the number of aligners needed. The overall costs are similar to those with traditional braces but are unique to each patient. We’ll discuss what we think it will cost during your consultation with Dr. Brown or Dr. Vaughn.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like more information about Invisalign, contact our office today! Call (321) 372-7700 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Clark Brown today! Our practice serves Melbourne, FL, and the surrounding areas.