For a long time, if a person wanted straighter teeth, the only option was traditional braces. However, the introduction of Invisalign® in 1999 changed that. This treatment involves a series of clear plastic aligners that are custom-made to fit the patient's teeth and gradually guide the teeth into the desired position. Many patients prefer aligners to metal braces for comfort in addition to other reasons.
Advantages of Invisalign®
One of the primary reasons patients choose Invisalign® is that the aligners are more comfortable to wear than traditional braces. While the treatment does take some time to get used to, the aligners have no sharp edges to irritate the cheeks and do not require tightening. There are other benefits to this treatment as well.
The Invisalign® clear plastic trays are nearly invisible when worn. The inconspicuous nature of the treatment has appeal for many patients, particularly adults who are concerned about maintaining a professional image.
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign® aligners can be removed while eating. Patients with clear aligners do not need to avoid consuming foods that may get lodged in traditional braces, such as popcorn, nuts, and red meat. Additionally, the aligners are easier to clean and the teeth are easier to brush.
Fewer dental visits required
As the teeth are gradually shifted into the desired position, traditional braces must be tightened every four to eight weeks, which requires return visits to the dental professional. On the other hand, Invisalign® aligners come in multiple sets that the patient can change without going back to the dentist.
With traditional braces, patients do not get to enjoy their new smile until the treatment is complete. Because people can still clearly see the patient's smile while wearing Invisalign®, the improvement is noticeable with each set of new aligners.
Candidates for Invisalign®
Most patients are candidates for Invisalign®. However, the treatment is recommended for certain types of patients over others.
Smoking can cause discoloration of the aligners. Invisalign® may not be an appropriate treatment for patients who are unable or unwilling to stop smoking during treatment.
One of the advantages of Invisalign® is being able to remove the aligners. However, patients must wear the aligners for at least 20 hours per day for the treatment to be effective. Patients who do not comply with this instruction may need additional corrections to achieve the desired result.
Invisalign® is not recommended for children who are too young to properly care for the aligners. As well, elderly patients may not have the dexterity required to remove the aligners to clean them and care for the teeth.
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Invisalign® is often preferred by patients who are seeking a more comfortable, convenient, and less noticeable treatment than traditional braces. However, traditional braces may be the recommended treatment in some cases. A dental professional can evaluate your teeth and make a recommendation based on your specific dental needs and other considerations.
Request an appointment or call Peoria Family Dentistry at 623-552-4665 for an appointment in our Peoria office.