Misaligned or crooked teeth can have a serious impact on your quality of life. Not only do they affect your smile, but they can also have a significant effect on your oral health. Misaligned teeth can cause uneven wear on the enamel of your teeth, as well as severe jaw and temporomandibular joint pain. Misaligned teeth are typically remedied by metal braces, but “metal mouth” can cause just as much, if not more, embarrassment than crooked teeth. At National Dental Oakland Gardens, we offer an alternative to traditional braces.
Metal braces have been in use for decades. They are a very effective treatment method and are still a popular treatment option for misaligned teeth today. They consist of three main components – brackets, metal bands and archwires. Brackets are bonded to each tooth during your first appointment and stay on your teeth throughout your treatment. Metal bands are attached to your back teeth and act as an anchor for your archwires. The archwire is a metal wire that attaches to each bracket and is responsible for the movement and stability of your teeth. You typically see metal braces on young teens, between the ages of 11 and 13. They are an effective treatment for older teens and adults as well, but because the metal is so visible, many of these patients tend to shy away from them.
WHAT IS INVISALIGN®?
Invisalign® is an alternative to traditional braces. Rather than metal brackets and wires, Invisalign® is a series of clear, rigid plastic aligners. These aligners are created from a 3-dimensional image of your mouth. They are a unique treatment method, as aligners are removable (traditional braces are not). To provide you with the best possible results, however, they should be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours each day. The only time they should be removed is when you are eating, or when you need to brush your teeth.
HOW INVISALIGN® WORK?
Invisalign® involves the use of a series of aligners. The exact number varies from patient to patient, depending upon your treatment. Most patients use anywhere from 18 to 30 aligners. Each aligner is worn for two weeks at a time. Each one is slightly different from the one before. The rigid plastic puts pressure on your teeth, which puts pressure on your periodontal ligaments. They gradually guide your teeth into proper alignment.
The treatment time varies from patient to patient. Typically, results are achieved in anywhere from 9 to 15 months. Most Invisalign® patients will see their desired results in less than a year. In rare instances, some patients will need up to two years of treatment to see the desired results.
Invisalign® offers numerous benefits:
- No embarrassing metal mouth. Invisalign® aligners are clear. No one will be able to tell you are wearing them.
- You can enjoy all of your favorite foods. Braces limit what you can eat. For instance, you need to avoid such foods as corn on the cob and whole apples. These foods might cause your brackets to become dislodged or your wires to bend. Invisalign® aligners are removed when you eat, so you are not limited in your food choices.
- You can care for your teeth better. With traditional braces, you have to take extra care around brackets and between the wires. Because aligners are removed when you brush and floss, you can care for your teeth as you normally would.
- Aligners are more comfortable.
- There are fewer dental visits.
- Treatment time with aligners is shorter than treatment with traditional braces.
If the thought of traditional braces to fix your tooth alignment issues fills you with dread, call National Dental Oakland Gardens today at (718) 407-0574 and find out if Invisalign® is right for you.