Misaligned teeth do more than affect your smile. They can also significantly impact your oral health, causing uneven tooth wear and serious jaw pain. Typically, when your teeth are crooked, traditional metal braces are placed. However, many patients (particularly older teens and adults) tend to avoid braces because they are embarrassed. “Metal mouth” would make them more self-conscious than they already are. At National Dental Hicksville, we can offer an alternative to traditional metal braces with Invisalign®.
Metal braces have long been the treatment option for correcting misaligned teeth. They are extremely effective and are still in use today. They are most frequently seen on children between the ages of 11 and 13. They consist of metal brackets that are affixed onto your teeth, along with metal bands, which hook onto your back molars, that anchor archwire. The archwires are responsible for the movement of your teeth. While effective, older teens and adults are often deterred by the extreme visibility of metal braces.
WHAT IS INVISALIGN®?
Invisalign® is a modern alternative to traditional metal braces. Instead of metal brackets and wires, Invisalign® involves the use of aligners that are made of a clear, rigid plastic. We create custom aligners for you based on 3-dimensional imaging of your mouth.
Invisalign® aligners are a unique treatment method. The aligners are removable and can be taken out and popped back in easily. However, for the best possible results, you should be wearing your aligners for approximately 20 to 22 hours a day. They should only be removed to eat and to brush your teeth.
HOW DOES INVISALIGN® WORK?
Treatment with Invisalign® involves the use of a series of aligners. Each aligner is worn for approximately two weeks at a time. The aligners are designed so that the plastic puts pressure on your teeth. The pressure on your teeth loosens your periodontal ligaments. Each aligner has gradual changes so that they can guide your teeth into proper alignment.
Patients who use Invisalign® often achieve their desired results in anywhere between 9 to 15 months. Most patients will see results in less than a year. In rare cases, treatment may take up to 2 years. The exact amount of time your treatment takes depends on your specific situation. Over the course of your treatment, you may go through anywhere from 18 to 30 aligners.
BENEFITS OF INVISALIGN®
Invisalign® offers you many benefits:
- The plastic aligners are practically invisible. No one will be able to see them.
- You can eat normally. With braces, you have to avoid certain foods, such as those that are hard, crunchy or sticky. These foods (corn on the cob, whole apples, candied apples, taffy) can dislodge the brackets and bend your wires. Because Invisalign® can be removed, you do not have to worry about these issues.
- Better oral hygiene. Again, because Invisalign® is removable, you can more easily care for your teeth. You do not have to worry about brushing and flossing around brackets and between the wires.
- Aligners are more comfortable than traditional braces.
- You have fewer dental visits.
- Treatment is often faster than with traditional braces.
- You will have more confidence as your teeth are being treated.
If your teeth are crooked, but you have been avoiding treatment for fear of embarrassing “metal mouth”, Invisalign® may be able to help. Contact National Dental Hicksville at (516) 629-5086 to schedule your consultation today.