Malocclusion, or teeth misalignment, is very common. In fact, there is some research that indicates that everyone has some level of malocclusion. Many people can live with theirs and never have any problems at all. Others have difficulties speaking, eating, etc and desire to resolve theirs.
Traditional metal braces were the most common option for a long time. However, Invisalign clear aligners were introduced in the late 1990s and have become a popular choice, especially among adults that need braces.
Invisalign is an alternative to traditional metal braces for treating mild to moderate malocclusions. This is a system of clear aligners designed to be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day. The aligners put even pressure on the teeth, gradually shifting them into their appropriate positions in the jawbone.
The treatment timeline for Invisalign is different from one patient to another. There are several factors that can impact treatment time, including:
The first factor in determining your treatment timeline is the type and severity of your malocclusion. There are several types of malocclusion:
The milder your malocclusion, the fewer aligners will be recommended but the more severe your malocclusion, the more aligners you'll need.
Invisalign can be used for mild to moderate gaps between teeth. However, Invisalign is not effective for gaps larger than 6 mm.
Invisalign can resolve most cases of mild to moderate crowding. However, if teeth are severely crowded and you have one or more teeth that is severely rotated, Invisalign is not the most appropriate option.
Invisalign clear aligners are an appropriate treatment for malocclusion at any age. Adult patients typically require more time because their jawbone is fully developed, and teeth are harder to move. Pediatric patients, on the other hand, are still developing, which means their teeth are easier to shift.
Invisalign aligners are designed to be worn 20 to 22 hours a day. If the aligners are not worn as directed, they will not work as expected.
The number of aligners required to resolve your malocclusion impacts your treatment time. The more aligners you need, the longer treatment will take.
The average time frame for traditional braces is 12 to 24 months. However, like Invisalign, mild cases of malocclusion may take less time, while more complex ones may take longer.
There are a few things that you can do to improve the effectiveness of Invisalign:
Wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day- or more. The longer you wear them, the more effective they can be.
Switch to a new set as directed. Your personalized treatment plan will outline how often your aligners should be switched out, usually every 2 to 3 weeks.
Consider getting attachments. If your malocclusion is on the moderate to severe end of the spectrum, consider attachments, which are "buttons" that are put on your teeth to hold the aligners in place.
Brush teeth before putting aligners in. This will reduce your risk of tooth decay, which can slow down treatment.
Clean aligners with clear liquid soap and rinse with cold water. Toothpaste can damage your aligners and hot water can warp them.
Visit the dentist as directed. You won't have to visit as often as you would with traditional metal braces, but you do need to keep your appointments to allow the dentist to track your progress and make any necessary adjustments.
The cost of Invisalign is comparable to that of traditional braces. The team at Calm Dental believes that for patients who wish to discreetly resolve their mild to moderate malocclusion, Invisalign is worth the investment.
There are several factors to consider when deciding if Invisalign is right for you:
We are located at 525 S. Olive Street in Los Angeles. Our office hours are Monday through Friday 8:40 AM to 6:00 PM. We are a boutique dental practice that provides high-quality dental care in a comfortable environment.
The team at Calm Dental knows that you have questions when it comes to your dental and orthodontic treatment options. We have the knowledge and experience to answer any questions or concerns that you have. Below are some of the most common questions we have gotten regarding Invisalign treatment.
Invisalign clear aligners are designed to treat a variety of mild to moderate malocclusions, including overbite.
Invisalign puts pressure on the teeth to shift them into their appropriate position. While you may have some discomfort when just starting treatment and after switching to a new set of aligners, you should never experience pain. If you are experiencing pain, you should speak with your dentist to find out why.
Invisalign clear aligners should be taken out any time you eat or drink, including when you chew gum.
Invisalign clear aligners are transparent, which means most people won't notice them when you are wearing them, even close up. However, smoking can cause the aligners to become stained, which means they will be visible.
Invisalign clear aligners should be removed when eating. If you eat while wearing the aligners, you could stain or damage them- which would impact your overall treatment timeline.
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