Dr. McDonald Talks About Invisalign
Invisalign is the digital revolution come to orthodontics. The age of information has touched all our lives in many ways, and in dentistry it has been through the revolution of clear aligners systems for tooth straightening. Invisalign founded this concept in 2004. It was not widely accepted by consumers or orthodontists for the first 8-10 years of its existence. But gradually, the company improved the technology and materials so that Invisalign became a viable treatment for a vast number of cases.
Invisalign and similar systems use a series of custom-made, clear plastic aligners to gradually and incrementally move crooked teeth into a position we would call “straight teeth.” Each aligner is worn for 7-14 days, depending on the individual and the type of tooth movement desired. Over a period of months, crooked teeth are gradually shifted into the ideal esthetic and occlusal position.
It is important to note that Invisalign only makes the aligner. The doctor designing the case specifies the final tooth positions. Aligners are much like traditional braces in that the experience and a passion for excellence in the orthodontist can make a difference between an okay result1 and a dazzling smile. Not all doctors who provide clear aligner therapy, like Invisalign, have the same level of experience, expertise, knowledge about tooth movements and smile design. It is important to choose your Invisalign provider wisely.
A WORD ABOUT
Do-It-Yourself Clear Aligner Treatments
The recent introduction of online, unsupervised DIY clear aligner treatment has caused many to wonder if it’s a viable treatment alternative for them. The websites of these companies show before and after pictures of simple but dramatic orthodontic cases. For example, many of the before photos show reasonably straight teeth with spaces between them, and the after photos show the spaces closed and the recipient smiling broadly.
There are two problems with this. First, if you look closely at the after picture, most of the spaces are not tightly closed. Small spaces between teeth trap food and contribute to both tooth decay and gum disease. It’s also irritating, sometimes embarrassing, to have food stuck between your teeth!
Second, cases that involve only closing wide spaces between the teeth are rare compared to cases involving repositioning crooked teeth. Crooked or overlapping teeth are 10-20 times harder to fix. It is essentially a bait-and-switch situation, leading many people to believe that DIY orthodontic treatment is equally effective for all kinds of orthodontic problems.
The bottom line is, Invisalign (or clear aligner treatment) is nothing more than a tool for moving teeth. Getting teeth in the proper place for a great smile and good bite requires a knowledgeable, trained orthodontist and supervised monitoring through regular visits.
Don’t risk your smile. See an orthodontist for the best possible result. See Dr. McDonald!
Clear Aligner Orthodontics
- You can’t see them (clear – kind of obvious 😉).
- They’re removable, which is convenient when you’re attending special social occasions, eating meals, or brushing your teeth.
- Individual aligners can be replaced quickly, should they be lost or broken.
- No band or wires are necessary.
- Adjustment visits can be spaced further apart.
- Some cases are better treated with Invisalign, due to individually programmable tooth positions.
- Technological advances have made clear aligner treatment able to tackle a wider and wider variety of cases.
- Combination cases are possible with braces on the lower jaw (which is usually more difficult to treat than the upper) and a clear aligner for the upper jaw.
- Treatment can be limited to certain areas of concern, ie: front teeth only, to enable shorter, more specific treatment.
- Less discomfort can be programmed into treatment, either in the digital planning process or by lengthening intervals between aligners.
- Because aligners make snacking more difficult, people report that it’s much easier to follow a weight-loss program.
Clear Aligner Orthodontics
- Aligners must be worn 22 hours a day, 7 days a week, without fail to achieve timely and acceptable results.
- Wearing of aligners makes snacking difficult, and some people find this unacceptable.
- Drinking sugary beverages, ie: coffee or sports drinks, is discouraged when undergoing Invisalign treatment (sugar trapped within the aligners can accelerate cavity formation). Luckily, non-sugar sweeteners exist for your time in aligners.
- Aligners are just another thing to keep track of, like your car keys, cell phone, grocery list, and youngest child 😉, but that said, most people manage.
They make you talk funny
Most people adjust and speak normally after two days, at most.
People will notice them.
Most people just don’t pay that much attention to your teeth.
Kids will lose them.
Invisalign Teen® offers free replacement aligners, but surprisingly, it has not been a big problem experienced by orthodontists throughout the nation.
They cost a lot more than braces.
Truth is, Invisalign is usually similar in cost to traditional orthodontic treatment.
It doesn’t matter whether I get Invisalign from my general dentist or an orthodontist.
Orthodontists bring years of specialist training and thousands of finished cases of all kinds of treatment to every Invisalign case. Experience counts in every aspect of dental care. Clear aligner therapy is no different.
Call today for your complimentary orthodontic evaluation from an orthodontist with over 20 years’ experience and find out if clear aligner treatment is right for you.
1855 West Nob Hill St, Suite 300
Salem, OR 97302
Wednesday: 8:00am to 4:30pm
Thursday: 8:00am to 4:30pm
164 Chemawa Rd N Keizer, OR 97303
Monday: 8:00am to 4:30pm
Tuesday: 8:00am to 4:30pm