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Straighter teeth perform chewing, biting and speaking functions more effectively than crooked teeth. In addition, a straight smile boosts confidence, is aesthetically pleasing to look at, and can help stave off a wide variety of dental ailments.
What you should know about Invisalign
Am I a good candidate for Invisalign?
Invisalign can correct a lot of orthodontic problems, especially less severe spacing and alignment issues. The trays are especially good for re-aligning teeth in adults who have had braces as kids but maybe didn’t wear their retainers as long as they should have.
What kind of bite problems can Invisalign® correct?
Invisalign® corrects the same dental problems as traditional metal braces; the only difference is that Invisalign® trays are almost invisible to the naked eye, and can be removed at will.
Here are some problems that are commonly corrected with Invisalign®:
Overcrowding – This occurs when there is too little space for the teeth to align normally in the mouth. Overcrowding can cause tooth decay and increase the likelihood of gum disease.
Large gaps between teeth – This can sometimes occur because teeth are missing or because the jaw continues to grow abnormally.
Crossbite – This common dental problem occurs when one or multiple upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. As a consequence, uneven wear can lead to bone erosion and gum disease.
Overbite – This problem occurs when the upper teeth project further than, or completely cover, the lower teeth. Eventually, jaw pain and TMJ may occur.
Underbite – This is the inverse of the overbite; the lower teeth project further than, or completely cover the upper teeth. Eventually, jaw pain and TMJ can occur.
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What advantages does Invisalign® offer over traditional braces and veneers?
Traditional dental braces, Invisalign® aligning trays, and dental veneers are three different ways to perfect the alignment of the teeth. There are many different considerations to make when deciding which treatment will be best, and each of these options works better in certain situations.
Invisalign® differs from traditional braces in that the aligning trays are fully removable. This means that more discipline and commitment is required from the patient. This is not usually a problem since the trays are comfortable and nearly invisible. Almost identical results can be obtained by using either treatment.
Invisalign® is preferable to veneers in many cases because unlike veneers, Invisalign® actually straightens the teeth. Veneers are thin covers that the dentist permanently affixes to the teeth. Teeth must be etched beforehand, meaning that to remove dental veneers, an alternative covering must be constructed. In addition to being somewhat expensive, veneers can break and often last for less than 20 years.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign uses a clear plastic aligner that snaps over your teeth. You wear the aligner for 18-20 hours a day and take it out when you eat and when you brush and floss your teeth. Every two weeks you get a new aligner with a slightly different shape. Your teeth gradually move to their new position over the course of 20 to 30 aligners.
What is it like to wear Invisalign?
Unlike traditional braces, which require 1-2 hours of chair time, Invisalign trays just pop in. When it’s time to eat, you just pop them out. The same goes for brushing and flossing.