Are your teeth overlapping, twisted, crooked or have wide spaces between them? Do your top teeth stick out more than you would like, or your teeth fail to come together properly when you close your jaw? If you can say ‘yes’ to any of these questions, chances are you have dental misalignment or bite problems. Misalignment refers to the positioning of the teeth while bite refers to the position of the jaw and how your teeth meet when you close it. Our teeth are unique to us, and since our adult teeth erupt over a period of time, it is normal for them to come through askew. Although many patients are focused on disliking the appearance of teeth that are misaligned or do not come together as they should, there is also a range of oral and general health concerns associated with either situation. These include uneven wear on the teeth, erosion, higher risk of dental disease and problems with the temporomandibular joint, also known as the TMJ.
Until fairly recently, patients were limited in regard to their options for dealing with misalignment and bite issues. However, modern dentistry has continued to evolve and today there is a solution that is considered superior to other orthodontic treatments. It is known as Invisalign.
Invisalign is an extremely popular form of orthodontic dentistry that is carried out with the purpose of improving the alignment and bite of your teeth. Its unique design sets it apart from conventional tooth orthodontic treatments and is one of the main reasons it is generally preferred over them.
The Invisalign treatment program uses a series of custom-designed, transparent plastic aligners which are placed over the top of your teeth. The aligners look and feel very similar to a bite guard. However, they actually facilitate microscopic movements of your teeth so that they are slowly and effectively shifted into new, preferred positions that will improve their appearance. Each aligner represents a different stage in the treatment. While with a traditional brace you would need to attend an appointment for your provider to adjust your device, with Invisalign, you simply need to move on to the next aligner in the series. These must be worn in order and as directed to be effective. This includes wearing your aligners for the recommended minimum of 22 hours each day, only removing them for eating and for cleaning your underlying teeth and your device.
The entire Invisalign process shouldn’t take any longer than using traditional braces, with most patients wearing the aligners for a maximum of 24 months to obtain the smile that they have been dreaming of.
The Invisalign treatment program is designed using cutting edge mapping technology that uses images of your teeth in their original position and identifies the way in which they would need to move to get them into improved alignment. This is done with total precision and accuracy, and this plan is then used to create a series of aligners. The key benefit of this technology is that it enables both your provider and you to see a fairly accurate representation of what your teeth and smile will look like at the end of your treatment program.
There is a range of different advantages associated with the Invisalign treatment program and these are responsible for making it the preferred choice of many patients when it comes to correcting problems with the alignment of their teeth or their bite. These include the following:
Although the design of conventional braces has improved dramatically over the last few decades, there is no getting away from the fact that brackets and wires are still needed for it to be successful. Many patients dislike the look of the metal in their mouth and feel that it draws the wrong kind of attention. Fortunately, as Invisalign uses transparent aligners it is almost impossible to see that you are wearing anything over your teeth, eliminating the issue of unsightly braces.
Unsurprisingly, a mouth full of metal, wires, brackets and elastic is by no means comfortable. Occasionally, sharp bits can poke into the soft tissue of your mouth and gums and most patients experience considerable discomfort in the first few days after having their braces adjusted. Invisalign aligners slip over your teeth and while they do exert gentle pressure on them to move them, they are significantly more comfortable than braces.
Negotiating the intricacies of a traditional orthodontic brace when brushing your teeth is no easy feat. You will almost certainly find that you need multiple toothbrushes of different types and the process to get your teeth and gums properly clean will take a long time. Inevitably, areas that are impossible to reach can get missed and this puts you at risk of dental decay and periodontal disease. However, when you choose Invisalign you can simply remove your aligner when it is time to brush your teeth and clean them in the regular way, which is much easier without brackets and wires in the way. You will also need to clean your aligner, which you can do using a soft-bristled brush and some regular toothpaste. Then, simply pop it back in when you’re done.
Although your Invisalign provider will still need to check on the progress of your treatment from time to time, there is no need for lengthy and uncomfortable appointments to adjust your brace on a regular basis. Instead, a short visit every 6-12 weeks (depending on your circumstances) is usually sufficient.
If you are concerned about dental misalignment and bite issues and would like to find out whether you are a suitable candidate for Invisalign, our friendly and experienced staff would be happy to help. Please contact our family and cosmetic dentistry offices in Staten Island, NY today by calling (718) 285-7388.