Modern orthodontics have come along in leaps and bounds in recent years. Improvements in technology combined with new innovative techniques have produced a wide variety of orthodontic treatment options to suit every patient. Not only are we now able to offer a bigger selection of treatments to patients, many of them are more attractive and far more comfortable than ever before.
In spite of all these advances, however, there are still those who worry about the impact traditional metal braces may have on their appearance and lifestyle. Although today’s braces are sleeker and lighter than any previous designs, they are a fixed orthodontic appliance. As such, they have a little bit less freedom than a removable one. If you have been considering orthodontic treatment but just are not sure if you are ready for the kind of commitment traditional braces require, Sawgrass Orthodontics is proud to offer the Invisalign clear aligner system!
Invisalign is currently the most popular alternative to traditional braces, allowing us to produce the same results but without any brackets, metal, and wires. For teens and adults who prefer a more subtle look with fewer restrictions, it is a fantastic option. We believe in this system so much that Dr. Penny and Dr. Kristen are both Invisalign specialists! But what is exactly isInvisalign, and how does it work? Keep reading to find out more.
What is the Invisalign clear aligner system?
Invisalign works by using a series of clear, customized aligners to straighten your smile and improve your overall oral health. These removable aligners are made by creating a precise 3D image of the teeth using x-rays and digital impressions. They may look like nothing more than simple plastic trays, but they are constructed of a special thermoplastic resin that is strong enough to move your teeth into alignment as they are switched out at weekly intervals. When worn as directed, Invisalign has been proven to be just as effective as traditional braces, particularly in mild or moderate cases.
How does the Invisalign treatment process work?
When you are exploring any type of orthodontic treatment, your first step should be an initial consultation with an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Kristen and Dr. Penny. We are so confident that you will love everything about Invisalign that we offer this consultation for free!
During this first appointment, one of our doctors will perform a complete examination, discuss any orthodontic issues found, and help you decide if Invisalign is the right treatment choice for you. We will map out a precise treatment plan for you, customized according to your orthodontic needs, your preferences, and your desired goals. This plan includes all the movements we want your teeth to make and an estimate of how long we expect treatment to take. Sometimes we are even able to offer you a sneak peek of what your new smile will look like before we even begin treatment!
If you appear to be a good fit for the system, we can begin the process of custom designing aligners for you using a highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums as our guide. Invisalign aligners are made with a special material they call SmartTrack, which helps to keep the plastic trays comfortable and almost invisible. Every case is different and every patient responds to treatment in their own way, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how long treatment will take. The average total treatment time is between 9 and 15 months, and the average number of aligners tends to be anywhere from 18 to 30, but this will vary from case to case.
In order for the Invisalign treatment to work, you must wear the aligners as recommended by Dr. Kristen and Dr. Penny. Your aligners should be kept in for 20-22 hours every day, throughout the course of treatment, only removing them to eat, drink anything other than water, or when you are brushing and flossing. Invisalign depends on patient compliance to work, and if you are not wearing your aligners as directed, you will not achieve the desired results.
During the treatment process, we will switch you to a new set of aligners weekly, or at another interval based on your particular treatment plan. We will also schedule you for regular check-ups in our Sunrise office about every six weeks.
What advantages does Invisalign have over traditional braces treatment?
While patients love the discreet clear aligners, Invisalign also has a number of advantages to patients thanks to their removability, such as:
No food restrictions
For patients undergoing traditional braces treatment, the food restrictions can be one of the biggest learning curves. Because of the potential damage to wires and brackets, patients must steer clear of any treats that are crunchy or chewy, like popcorn, some raw fruits and veggies, and many chips and candies. Since so many social situations are centered around food, having to forego your favorites can sometimes be a little frustrating, even if the payoff is worth it in the end! Because Invisalign aligners are removable orthodontic appliances, not fixed, you are able to take them out anytime you want to eat. Not having to worry about food restrictions gives patients a little more freedom as they work towards a straighter smile.
Oral hygiene is easier to maintain
A good dental hygiene routine is important to every smile, but it becomes even more imperative when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Brushing and flossing effectively can sometimes be tricky with braces, since the wires, brackets, and bands can trap food particles and bacteria in hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. With Invisalign, it could not be easier to keep your teeth free of bacteria and plaque, since the aligners are designed to be removed before you begin brushing and flossing. Cleaning your aligner is also a simple process. There are special kits available that are designed specifically to clean Invisalign aligners, or you can gently clean them using denture crystals and a soft toothbrush.
Added convenience and flexibility
For patients who play contact sports, whether in school or in the community, Invisalign aligners can be beneficial. They can be removed prior to practice or a game and replaced with a regular mouthguard to keep the mouth and teeth safe. They are also helpful for musicians, since there is nothing to get in between the patient and their instrument. When it comes to special occasions like weddings, prom, homecoming dances, and senior pictures, Invisalign allows your natural smile to show through and be the only thing people remember.
Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?
The Invisalign clear aligner system is designed to be used by adult and teen patients with mild to moderate cases of the most common orthodontic issues. Although many issues can be successfully treated with Invisalign, there are some cases that are complicated enough that more precise tooth control than a removable aligner can achieve is required. Once your complimentary consultation with Sawgrass Orthodontics is complete, our doctors can determine if Invisalign would be a good fit for your specific orthodontic issues, or if more traditional orthodontic treatment is indicated.
Invisalign is the clear winner with Sawgrass Orthodontics
Invisalign gets more and more popular as time goes by, and is currently the most recommended alternative to traditional braces treatment. It has changed and continues to change, the way both orthodontists and patients view orthodontic treatment, and we are happy to be able to offer this technology to families in our community!
If you are in the Davie, Weston, Plantation, Cooper City, or Sunrise areas, and want to know more about what Invisalign can do for you, why not get in touch with us today? We would love to schedule a free consultation for you so we can walk you through the process. With two Invisalign specialists and a skilled staff behind them, you can expect nothing but the best in clear aligner therapy from our team. Your best smile is waiting for you at Sawgrass Orthodontics!
- Dr. LangfordBack to Blog