Research shows that most people have at least a mild malocclusion. Many times, such as with a small gap, they can live with theirs. However, for some, treatment is critical to avoid additional issues such as tooth decay, damage, uneven wear, and more. Orthodontics is the area of dentistry focused on resolving malocclusions. This is one of our specialties at Capitol Square Dental. One of the most popular treatments for mild to moderate malocclusions is Invisalign.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an alternative to traditional metal braces for treating misaligned teeth. It was introduced in the late 1990s by a patient that had recently undergone orthodontic treatment. It is a series of clear aligners custom-made to fit snugly against the teeth, putting even pressure across the entire arch. This gradually pushes the teeth into alignment.
Benefits of Invisalign
There are several benefits of Invisalign over other treatment methods:
- Easy to clean
- Easy to brush/floss teeth
- No food restrictions
- Appropriate for all ages, as long as the patient is responsible.
How Invisalign Works?
Invisalign clear aligners are custom-made to fit snugly against the teeth. Each aligner is slightly different, which is why the teeth move. During your consultation, the dentist will determine how long you need to wear your aligners and how many you need. This will help determine how often you need to put in a new set.
The aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day. The longer you wear them, the more effective and efficient your treatment will be. If you do not wear them, they will not work at all.
There are two versions of Invisalign: Traditional and Teen. The primary difference is the teen version has blue dots on the aligners, which indicate whether the aligners are being worn or not. If the blue dots are not fading, chances are the aligners are not being worn.
The Invisalign Treatment Process
There are several steps in the treatment process, which takes about 12 to 18 months, on average. The steps are as follows:
The first step to any procedure at Capitol Square Dental is the initial consultation. We will examine your teeth to determine the type and severity of your malocclusion. This will help us determine if it is right for you. We will create an impression of your bite to send to the dental lab.
We will also discuss your current dental and overall health condition, as well as your oral and overall health history.
Development of a Customized Treatment Plan
The above information will be used to create a customized treatment plan. This will define how many aligners you need for treatment, as well as how often you should change them out.
Fabrication of Custom Aligners
We will send the impression of your bite to the dental lab for the fabrication of your Invisalign aligners. Each one will be slightly different, gently realigning teeth into their appropriate position within the mouth.
Throughout your treatment, you'll need to visit the clinic so that we can monitor your progress. This will allow us to make adjustments as needed. If we need to increase the number of aligners or the length of your treatment time, we can do that. However, you will not be required to visit as often as you would with traditional braces.
At the conclusion of your treatment, you will be given a retainer to wear. You will need to wear the retainer like your aligners to start with. However, eventually, you will only need to wear them at night.
You will need to visit the clinic every 6 months for an exam and cleaning, as well as to ensure that your teeth are still in their appropriate positions.
Advantages of Invisalign over Braces
Invisalign offers several advantages over traditional braces, including:
Clear, Discreet Aligners
Many people choose Invisalign because they are virtually invisible. Most people won't notice the aligners, even at close range.
Comfort and Convenience
Invisalign clear aligners are made from smooth plastic, so they are much more comfortable than traditional braces which rely on wires and brackets. Plus, they are removable, which means that eating/drinking and brushing/flossing are easier.
No Food Restrictions
Since the aligners are removable, you can eat anything you want. However, it is very important to at least rinse your mouth out to remove any loose food debris before putting them back in. Ideally, you should brush your teeth.
Improved Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene can be difficult with traditional braces due to the wires and brackets getting in the way. Invisalign aligners can be removed, which means you can brush/floss as usual, so your risk of tooth decay is significantly reduced.
Shorter Treatment Time
On average, treatment with Invisalign takes 12 to 18 months. A very mild malocclusion may be resolved in as little as 6 months, while a more severe one may require up to 24.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign clear aligners are custom-made to fit snugly against the teeth, providing even pressure across the entire arch. This pressure is what pushes the teeth into alignment.
How much does Invisalign cost?
On average, Invisalign treatment ranges in cost from around $1,500 to $8,000, depending on the number of aligners you need and your treatment length. Other factors include the experience/expertise of the dentist as well as the location of the clinic.
Is Invisalign worth it?
The team at Capitol Square Dentistry believes that the cost of Invisalign treatment is well worth it. After all, the cost is comparable to that of traditional braces, but Invisalign offers a variety of benefits.
Who is a Good Candidate for Invisalign?
There are several things that we take into consideration when determining if a patient qualifies for Invisalign treatment:
Adults and Teens with Orthodontic Issues
We recommend Invisalign for adults and teens that are old enough to be responsible. A patient can begin orthodontic treatment around the age of 12. However, we do not recommend Invisalign for these patients because they often lose the aligners or forget to put them back after taking them out.
People with Mild to Moderate Crowding or Spacing
Invisalign clear aligners are designed to treat mild to moderate malocclusions, including crowding or spacing. Significant spacing or severe crowding may require traditional braces.
Patients with Overbites, Underbites, or Crossbites
Invisalign is also recommended for mild to moderate dental overbites, underbites, or crossbites. If the malocclusion is due to a skeletal malformation, other options- such as surgery- may be recommended.
Schedule Your Invisalign Consultation with Capitol Square Dental
If you have a mild to moderate tooth misalignment, schedule your consultation with the team at Capitol Square Dental. We will evaluate your condition and determine if Invisalign treatment is right for you. We are located at 212 South High St in Columbus. Our office hours are Tuesday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Thursday from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. We are available on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at our Dublin location.
Below are some of the questions that many of our patients ask about Invisalign treatment:
How long does Invisalign take?
On average, Invisalign takes 12 to 18 months. However, it may take less time or more time, depending on the type and severity of your malocclusion.
Can you eat with Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners should be removed prior to eating. If you eat with your aligners in, you risk damaging or staining them.
How to clean Invisalign?
Invisalign should be cleaned with a soft-bristled toothbrush and liquid soap to remove bacteria and plaque buildup.
Can Invisalign fix an overbite?
Yes, Invisalign can fix a mild to moderate overbite.
Does Invisalign hurt?
Since Invisalign is pushing your teeth into alignment, you may experience some mild discomfort. However, you should not have significant pain. If you do, chances are that you have a cavity or other dental issue that needs to be addressed.
Can you chew gum with Invisalign?
Chewing gum can damage Invisalign aligners. However, you can chew gum while you have them out.
Can you smoke with Invisalign?
You should not smoke with Invisalign aligners, as it could stain or damage them.