Most people with crooked and uneven teeth feel embarrassed about their smile. For decades, braces have helped patients enjoy straight smiles, but the wires, brackets, and metal can turn many off. A perfect orthodontic dentistry option is Invisalign that uses aligners to straighten teeth discreetly without altering their appearance. The aligners are transparent and almost impossible to see. The treatment is also gentle to your gums and mouth, ensuring it is abrasion-free during your treatment. The skilled dentists at La Puente Advanced Dentistry offer this innovative treatment that can assist you in achieving your goals.
What are Invisalign Aligners?
Invisalign is a form of clear removable aligner that gradually straightens teeth. Unlike many conventional metal braces, Invisalign is made of clear plastic and is almost invisible. Their transparent appearance makes it an ideal option for patients who prefer modifying their teeth more discreetly.
Determining Invisalign Candidacy
Many people desiring to have straight teeth are ideal candidates for this orthodontic treatment. The treatment option could treat mild to complicated cases.
To get Invisalign, you need to first consult with a skilled dentist. They will analyze your smile, oral health, and overall health and then determine whether you qualify for the procedure. The dentist will also use numerous specialized imaging software and techniques like x-rays to determine whether the option is effective and safe. On top of that, they will show you images of how your smile will look following the treatment.
Some of the issues treated with Invisalign aligners include the below:
- Open bites — It happens when some teeth fail to touch your teeth on your opposing jaw. An open bite can result in challenges with speech and TMJ pain.
- Crossbites — It occurs when one of the teeth bites against the inside of the opposing teeth. It can result in premature bone loss and tooth wear, making it crucial to treat the condition early.
- Crowded teeth — If your teeth are big or have a tiny jaw, your teeth might look crooked and overcrowded. The orthodontist might require removing a couple of teeth before using the aligners to straighten your remaining teeth.
An underbite happens when your bottom teeth protrude more than your upper teeth. On the other hand, overbites occur when your upper teeth protrude more than your bottom teeth. In severe cases, the dentist can endorse another treatment such as jaw expanders. Nevertheless, you might use Invisalign aligners in your treatment's final stages.
People who have had braces but their teeth shifted frequently became Invisalign patients with treatment success.
How Invisalign Works
Once the dentist determines you're a perfect fit, they will create personalized trays for the teeth. When your aligners are ready, you'll receive them from the dentist, and they will demonstrate how to insert and remove them.
To achieve optimal results, you should use your trays for twenty to twenty-two hours daily. You should remove your trays when brushing your teeth. You can also take them off when eating and enjoying your meal without limitations. You can drink water with Invisalign on, but you should remove them before drinking beverages to prevent exposing the teeth to a lot of sugar or staining your aligners.
Every set of your aligners gradually pushes the teeth into your desired position. You will change to new Invisalign approximately two (2) weeks throughout the treatment. And after about six months, you'll have a check-up with the dentist.
Each case is unique, and your dental expert will advise you on the duration you should wear the Invisalign during the initial consultation. While most adults require to wear aligners for approximately twelve months, a teen should have their Invisalign longer. If you have had braces and need a touchup to re-straighten the smile, you should put on your Invisalign for a maximum of six months.
Advantages of Your Clear Aligners
Here are several benefits of putting on transparent aligners over conventional braces:
- Aesthetics — You will not have a metallic appearance in your mouth.
- Removable — You could remove your clear aligners at any time, allowing you to eat, brush, floss, and change your teeth’ alignment.
- Comfort — Their texture feels more like your natural teeth. On the contrary, conventional braces could rub on the cheeks, making them feel raw.
- Fewer dental appointments — Braces wires require tightening approximately every six (6) weeks. That is several orthodontic appointments. If you do not have dental insurance to cover your visits, the treatment can be high-end.
- You do not require any repair — Sometimes, wires or brackets might become loose with braces. When it comes to Invisalign, you may change to your next aligner in the series if there isn't damage.
- Easier to practice oral hygiene — You can remove the aligners and practice proper oral hygiene.
Common Challenges Related to Invisalign Treatment
While putting on Invisalign is convenient and comfortable, it might take time to become used to them. Sometimes new patients have challenges remembering to remove their aligners before eating their meal and replace them after that. You can assist yourself in removing them by setting alarms before the meal and others a couple of minutes following your meal.
Likewise, you could set a reminder or alarm, so you do not fail to recall to change to another set of Invisalign after two weeks.
Additionally, some people find their speech abnormal when they first get the aligner. They might have challenges pronouncing sounds like "s" and "th." Fortunately, with time you'll become used to it and can speak eloquently again.
Finally, it would be best if you got used to carrying your Invisalign case. Consider having cases in the bag, car, and at work, so you can have one if you need to remove the aligners at one point.
Inserting the Invisalign
When inserting the aligners, always begin with the front teeth before working your way to the back. Then gently push your Invisalign over all your teeth. After the tray covers the teeth, push harder to ensure it is well-seated. You can use the chew stick your dentist offers to be sure of proper seating.
Avoid biting the Invisalign in place since it can cause your tray to break or bend.
If your aligners fail to seat completely, don't force them in. It occurs when the Invisalign is folded. Gently unfold the area back outward and fit it again.
Sometimes you might discover that the aligner's back doesn't fit snug against your last molar. It happens when the Invisalign end is temporarily distorted when your aligner is removed from the cast upon which it was manufactured. In this case, all you have to do is hold your Invisalign with one hand and use the other to pinch your last molar section together and then downwards.
Removing Your Invisalign
Here are great tips you can use to remove your aligners.
- Ensure the mouth is warm — Trying to take off your aligners following a cold drink is challenging, and the plastic is less pliable. Moreover, ensure your mouth and fingers are drier. It would be best if you opened your mouth for a couple of seconds before trying to take them off. Do not drink a warm beverage with the Invisalign in to assist. It can destroy them instead.
- Start at your back — Lift your Invisalign off the back on every side first and gradually work on the front. You can also choose to work on one side of the mouth before moving to the other. The dodgier your tooth, the more challenging that section is to remove. Begin with lifting the more straightforward bit and move to these bits later. The same is true for sections with many attachments. In these areas, hook the fingernails under your aligner's edge and lift your Invisalign above the problematic area or the attachment.
- Use your paper towel — A thick paper towel increases your aligner's grip. Place your paper towel over your tooth, grasp your Invisalign firmly and pull off your molars. Repeat the same on the opposite side and front section.
- Use surgical gloves — Surgical gloves function similarly to a paper towel by increasing the grip on your aligners. Please note that using thick gloves will not do the hack.
- Use your aligner hook — An aligner looks like a crochet hook, and it hooks under your aligner's edge, lifting it from your tooth. It is mainly instrumental to patients with attachments.
- Give it time — Taking off your aligners becomes easier with time. If you want to remove the set of Invisalign immediately after you have them for the first time, it might not be easy. You might be very hungry, but waiting for a while might make it easier.
- Change the aligners at night — Inserting Invisalign at night comes with two benefits. First, you want to sleep, and at this point, they feel most uncomfortable and tightest. Second, by morning the teeth will have shifted, and your aligners will be easier to move.
- Talk to your orthodontist — Some dentists do not insert attachments until six weeks are over. It gives you time to perfect the removal method before your attachments are inserted. Additionally, when attachments are inserted, inquire whether you could put on a template for a few days to get used to taking them off before changing to your Invisalign. The template is easier to take away and softer than your aligners.
- Relax — Panicking can make aligners hard to remove. Relax and take a deep breath before beginning again.
How to Maintain Your Aligners
To realize your desired dental result goes beyond wearing your Invisalign. You should ensure they are clean and free from germs to avoid suffering from oral health challenges during your treatment. Fortunately, since the aligners are detachable, maintaining them is easy. Here are practical tips to keep the mouth healthy while straightening the teeth.
Always Put Your Aligners in Their Case
You should remove your aligners when eating or brushing. Nonetheless, it would be best if you stored them properly to avoid infecting them with germs. Aligners come with a protective case that you must always keep dry. Always put the case in a cool, dry place. Humid and wet places are ideal areas for germs growth.
Do Not Clean the Invisalign With Toothpaste
While toothpaste is great for your teeth, it is coarse to use to scrub the Invisalign. It can make them have a dull sheen or scratch and discolor, making them more noticeable. In its place, gently brush the aligners with a denture brush or soft-bristled toothbrush and clear antibacterial soap.
Soak the Invisalign Daily
It would help if you sanitized the aligners by soaking them in an Invisalign cleaning solution or a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. Place the aligners in a mug and pour the solution into the cup until the aligners are completely covered. Soak them for about fifteen minutes, and then rinse them with lukewarm or cool water before inserting them into your mouth. Never rinse them with hot water since it can affect the fit.
Also, do not soak your Invisalign in mouthwash. It can damage your aligner's plastic surface, making it inefficient.
Rinse the Trays Every Evening and Morning
Every time after brushing your teeth, be sure you remove the aligners and clean them. Bacteria and dried saliva are likely to build up on the trays.
Floss and Brush Before Re-Inserting Your Invisalign
Always floss and brush your teeth after eating and before putting on your trays. Otherwise, food particles could get trapped between your teeth and trays, increasing the risk of developing oral health challenges like cavities.
While Invisalign might be a household name for clear aligners, there are alternatives, including:
If you are more concerned with your appearance, you can consider lingual braces. They are installed behind your teeth and are invisible whenever you smile.
They use clear, ceramic, or metallic brackets and are more pocket-friendly than Invisalign. Their price ranges between two thousand dollars and eight thousand dollars before insurance, and the dental insurance might cover approximately one thousand dollars to three thousand dollars of the treatment.
The treatment duration is identical to that of Invisalign. Generally, the treatment time and cost depend on your case's complexity.
Both ClearCorrect and Invisalign are brands of aligners, and neither is a dentist. Therefore, it is essential to speak with your dentist about the best appliance for your case.
Smile Direct Club
Smile Direct Club has few locations, but you can receive an at-home impression kit. All you have to do is make your mouth's mold at home and then mail it to Smile Direct Club. You will receive the aligners in your mail and use them as directed.
It is a cost-effective option and ideal for patients who fear dental offices. Nonetheless, you will miss out on professional dental consultation, which is essential when it comes to teeth that last a lifetime.
They are identical to Invisalign in that the treatment requires regular orthodontist visits. Only a trained dentist specialized in clear aligners employs them, reducing the treating duration by fifty percent. The treatment duration is about six months.
Uniform teeth can also treat severe cases of malocclusion.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are new to this orthodontic treatment, you might have a lot of questions. The section below discusses some of the most common questions to assist you in determining if Invisalign is right for you.
How Soon Will a Patient See Invisalign Results?
Many people become aware of their teeth movements immediately they begin using aligners, and most report that they can see changes from the beginning.
Well, every case is unique. While some people notice differences in two weeks, others will require six (6) months to see results.
How Long Do Invisalign Aligners Results Last?
The results will last, provided the teeth do not shift.
When you and the physician are satisfied with your teeth’ position, you will get retainers to prevent your teeth from shifting. If the position of the teeth matches the last set of Invisalign, the retainers could be made from them without making new impressions of the teeth. While there is a wide range of retainers, your dentist should recommend what suits you the best.
What are Invisalign Attachments?
They act as handles for your Invisalign to engage your teeth for specific movements. Most patients have attachment throughout their treatment. They are tiny, difficult to see, and tooth-colored, but they are more noticeable when you put on aligners because the plastic accentuates them.
How Much Does Invisalign Cost?
The average cost of Invisalign treatment ranges between three thousand dollars and five thousand dollars. However, only a dentist could determine the actual price based on factors like:
- Your needs, including the intensity of your dental problem, the amount of work required, and treatment duration
- The dental office location
- How much your insurance plan will cover
Financing and payment options might be available through the dental office. If the skilled dentist does not provide financing, you can enlist third-party financing firms such as Capital One or CareCredit.
Finally, dental insurance can cover your treatment the same way conventional orthodontic procedures are covered. Be sure to consult with your dental insurer to determine whether you qualify or not.
You Smoke While Putting on Aligners?
Smoking can discolor or stain your aligners.
I'm Currently Using Braces. Can I Switch to Invisalign?
A significant number of patients are treated with a combination of Invisalign and braces. Consult your dentist to determine your best treatment option.
Contact a Skilled Orthodontist Near Me
Invisalign is a popular orthodontic dentistry option. Thanks to its numerous benefits. The aligners are clear and almost impossible to notice, and they straighten teeth without the metallic mouth look. Unlike other types of orthodontics, Invisalign fits into your mouth comfortably and does not irritate your tissues and mouth. They are also removable, allowing you to practice your daily oral hygiene routine and eat your food.
La Puente Advanced Dentistry can help you or your loved ones get a smile that benefits your dental health, overall health and boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Please get in touch with us at 626-626-7075 to book your initial no-obligation appointment or ask your questions.