Invisalign® is the nearly invisible orthodontic treatment that realigns teeth quickly, conveniently and permanently. Long gone are the gleaming metal braces that ruined proms and inspired disparaging references to “train tracks” and “metal mouths” for generations of adolescents. Invisalign has transformed the teen years, while also making orthodontic treatment less socially awkward for adults who never sported braces, or perhaps neglected their retainers and allowed teeth to drift.
With Invisalign treatment, patients receive clear plastic mouth trays, known as aligners, that are custom-designed by proprietary software to gently push misaligned teeth into straight, aesthetically pleasing positions. Incremental changes are based on measurements taken by your orthodontist, and are targeted to achieve your goals within months, rather than years.
Metal braces involve metal bonded to each tooth with cement, occasionally supplemented by extremely noticeable rubber bands or exterior appliances. Regular visits are required, during which the braces are tightened, increasing the tension on the teeth. The process takes years, not months. Invisalign aligners, by contract, are hardly noticeable and easy to remove for eating and cleaning. Patients often forget they are wearing Invisalign.
To start the Invisalign process, Dr. Añonuevo will take an impression of your bite and a set of X-rays. These will be used to create a three-dimensional model that will provide the foundation for the series of aligners that will progressively move your misaligned teeth with gentle pressure.
Every two weeks you will receive a new aligner, which will feature a carefully calibrated spacing for the “bite marks” in the aligner that will hold your teeth and gradually move them. Patients wear aligners at least 20 hours a day. By consistently wearing each aligner, and returning to the dental office for regular monitoring, most patients can reach their goals in 12 to 18 months.
Invisalign has been an effective solution for more than 7 million patients worldwide. Over time the company has added new varieties and innovative features to target specific orthodontic issues. For example, “power ridges” are enlarged areas of plastic along the gum line that “tip” the front teeth in inward or outward directions. SmartForce attachments can be added in more complex cases, to increase the “grip” the aligner can achieve with your teeth. As with the Invisalign tray itself, these tooth-colored attachments are barely noticeable.
A product known as Invisalign Full corrects problems with the bite with aligners for both the upper and lower mouth. Cases of moderate misalignment may benefit from Invisalign Lite, Invisalign Express or Invisalign i7. The latter product can be used to target a single tooth, or a small number of teeth. Invisalign Express is usually worn for six months or less, and includes 10 aligners in its series, rather than the typical number of 20 to 30.
Invisalign Teen is specifically designed for adolescent issues, and even includes a feature that parents can use to check if their son or daughter is wearing the aligner the prescribed amount of time each day. The newest product, Invisalign with mandibular advancement, corrects overbite by gradually moving the lower jaw forward.
If you would like to discuss your specific dental needs with a respected, trustworthy dentist in Charlotte, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Añonuevo. Please call or email Inspire Dentistry of the Carolinas today to make your appointment.