Invisalign is an alternative to traditional orthodontic treatments, such as braces, available for many patients including adults. In traditional orthodontic treatments with braces, brackets are bonded to the surfaces of teeth and connected by a wire that is replaced and adjusted regularly to achieve the desired movement and results. In contrast, Invisalign uses custom-made aligners that fit snuggly over teeth, gradually shifting teeth to a more functional position without the need for traditional hardware.
Adults that meet criteria for orthodontic treatment can discuss options with a dentist or orthodontist. In many cases, the dentist refers the adult patient to orthodontists for consultation and to learn about the options available for the individual case. When Invisalign is a possibility, the process is explained during the consultation to ensure the adult patient fully understands the process, options, and predicted timeline.
With Invisalign, impressions are taken of the top and bottom teeth to assess current positions and alignments. Custom-made aligners are created using clear plastic, with gradual adjustments to the positions and orientations of teeth for a more functional and aesthetic alignment. The clear aligners provide a virtually invisible treatment option that many adult patients prefer to traditional hardware braces, and the aligners provide a host of benefits and conveniences for only minimal additional effort.
Dentists instruct patients to remove the Invisalign aligners when eating, to prevent damage from pressure and impact, as well as protect the clear aligners from staining. This also protects teeth from staining as food and deeply pigmented beverages can become trapped within the aligners, maintaining contact with teeth. After eating or drinking, teeth are cleaned and aligners are cleaned, then the aligners are replaced over the teeth for continued treatment progress. The ability to remove the Invisalign aligners also enables better oral hygiene and self-care throughout the treatment process.
Unlike traditional braces that come with restrictions regarding certain foods, the Invisalign aligners are removed to eat thereby eliminating restrictions. Although some discomfort is normal as teeth move, regular eating habits are general easy to maintain throughout the Invisalign process. To learn more about treatment options and Invisalign, contact our skilled dental team at Balcones Family Dental today!