Most people are familiar with clear dental aligners such as Invisalign, but few people investigate what makes someone a good candidate for them. Before beginning any type of body modification or dental procedure, whether for cosmetic or medical reasons, it is critical to fully understand the process, the risks and benefits, and the exclusion factors.
The Treatment Process of Invisalign
Invisalign uses a series of custom fitted 3-D thin plastic aligners to gently reposition teeth. The aligners are not normally visible. Every week or two, a new aligner is used as the teeth gradually shift into better position. The aligners must be worn day and night except when eating or caring for your teeth (20-22 hours per day). You’ll also need to visit the dentist to check on progress every month or two. After you finish the last aligner, and your smile is perfect, you’ll be fitted with a retainer. Most people will only wear their retainers at night to ensure the teeth don’t shift back to their previous positions.
The Advantages of Invisalign
Invisalign is a great improvement over previous options, like metal braces for several reasons.
Invisalign does not use metal brackets or wires, so most people report far greater comfort than with traditional braces. Keep in mind that repositioning teeth may cause some discomfort, regardless of the method involved; however, with Invisalign, there are no metal parts to irritate tender skin.
Because the aligners are removable, keeping teeth and aligners clean is as easy as brushing. Many patients simply remove and brush their aligners after they brush their teeth. They also offer a custom cleaning kit for even greater convenience.
The name says it all! While not perfectly invisible, Invisalign aligners are barely detectable, even up close! Since many people avoid orthodontic work because they may feel embarrassed by visible metal braces, Invisalign offers a thoughtful, patient-focused alternative.
Who Should Not Use Invisalign?
Are there people who are not good candidates for Invisalign? Actually, no; there are no people who couldn’t make them work; however, there are some dental or medical conditions that would make Invisalign impractical or unsuccessful.
The following conditions are considered to be exclusions for Invisalign:
- Severe malocclusions—severely rotated teeth (greater than 20 degrees), severely tipped teeth (greater than 45 degrees), large spaces (more than 6 mm combined), severe overbites, skeletal malocclusions (the jaw bone is not normally shaped), or open bites
- Tooth issues—short teeth, round teeth, pegged teeth, replacements or restorations scheduled during the treatment, some crowns, some bridges, or some veneers; consult your dentist for an individualized assessment
- Uncooperative patient—everyone means well, but not wearing the aligners consistently will cause problems; in some cases, new aligners will be required for correction
- Risk of tooth decay—They may increase the risk of tooth decay, especially if the recommended hygiene advice is not followed strictly. To avoid new cavities, the teeth, gums, and aligners must be kept meticulously clean
- Cost—In some cases, it may be more expensive than regular braces or corrective retainers, especially for minor adjustments.
Consult our orthodontist in Northeast Tarrant County today, and start working on your new, beautiful smile!