We have been using clear aligners like Invisalign in our practice for over 15 years and have become leading experts at using clear aligners to help patients achieve a beautiful smile. Invisalign has many advantages over traditional orthodontic appliances but still does require some commitment to ensure you achieve your very best SMILE! Invisalign can correct tooth alignment and your bite quickly, effectively, and without the unsightly and potentially uncomfortable wires and brackets. We do this by prescribing incremental movements in each aligner. Aligners are changed out every week or so.
While Invisalign sounds like the perfect system to align your teeth and give you a perfect smile, there are a few things you should know to help ensure you have the very best experience and outcome. Every individual is different when it comes to orthodontic care; the treatment that works for one person may not work for another. It is important that you explore your different treatment options to help ensure you select the best treatment option to get your perfect smile!
The following are some aspects of aligner care that you should consider in order to help determine what method of care is right for you:
How busy is your schedule?
We understand that everyone’s time is extremely valuable and something that we could always use more of, but some patients will have a much more difficult time finding opportunities to schedule appointments due to work or family requirements. We will usually make orthodontic adjustments for our patients in braces every 5-9 weeks and we will schedule to see our patients in aligners every 8-16 weeks. In our office, orthodontic care with aligners will typically finish in 30% less time and require 40% fewer appointments. There is also a significantly smaller chance of needing to need to come in for any sort of unscheduled visit.
What are your specific orthodontic treatment needs and main concerns?
Everyone’s orthodontic care is unique and will have different challenges and goals. Proper diagnosis and planning with your orthodontist will help determine your best treatment plan and how to achieve these goals. Invisalign (or any Clear Aligner Therapy) is simply a tool to allow your orthodontist the ability to move your teeth to achieve a more healthy and attractive smile! Ultimately, the success of this “tool” depends on the skill and responsibility of the expert using it. Think of it this way: the beautiful sound which emanates from a baby grand piano is dependent on the diligence and skill of the pianist. In the same way, the successful outcome of your orthodontic care with clear aligners depends on the diligence and skill of the orthodontist who designs the treatment plan!
Finding an orthodontist that is honest, skilled and willing to customize your treatment for you is very important. In our practice, we have been using clear aligners for 15+ years and are now able to offer clear aligners as an option to about 85% of our patients. Do your research before committing and with any procedure, your provider should be able to show you before and after photos of similar treatments that they have designed.
Are you concerned with brushing and keeping your teeth clean?
Maintaining proper oral hygiene during your orthodontic care is probably one of the most important aspects of your care that will have the biggest effect on how positive your experience is, both during your care and once your treatment is completed. Many studies have shown that clear aligners offer a much lower risk of tooth or gum damage during your care. This is due to the ease of cleaning your teeth. You will need to brush and floss your teeth just as you do now! This is especially important to consider with adolescents since there is a greatly reduced risk for white spots after orthodontic care using aligners. With all of our patients, we provide extra products to help protect the teeth, and we educate our patients on properly maintaining their healthy smile! Any white spots and cavities are 100% preventable, but you have to make sure you are keeping your teeth clean!
How bad will my teeth hurt?
Hopefully not at all! Discomfort during orthodontic care is yet again a very individual experience. Some people have very sensitive teeth but most never have any real discomfort. With modern materials and improved understanding of the biology of moving teeth, all orthodontic care has lower force levels than in the past. This greatly reduces the amount of discomfort people will experience. Invisalign has been shown to have lower force levels and less of a chance for something to poke or rub you, thus Invisalign will usually cause less discomfort.
Aligners are also a great option for patients that are very active or play a contact sport. If you are hit in the mouth and are not wearing a mouthguard, traditional braces can cause a lot of damage to your lips and cheeks. Aligners offer a little bit of protection and are less likely to cut you in case of an accident.
If I select Invisalign, what do I have to do?
While there are tons of advantages of clear aligners, you as the patient have more responsibility and it takes a little more daily effort. You will need to wear your aligners 22+ hours each day and will also be given various instructions to monitor specific tooth movement. You are much more of an active participant during your treatment and have more responsibility with Invisalign as compared to braces. The better you wear the aligners and follow instructions, the better your teeth will track and the aligners will always fit better and be more comfortable.
Explore Orthodontic Treatment Options with Your Orthodontist
Making the decision to improve your smile is a big one and we want to ensure you have the best SMILE and EXPERIENCE along the way. Everyone’s orthodontic care will be unique and will have different goals and challenges. Discussing your desires, concerns, and lifestyle with us will allow us to help determine what treatment option will be best to use in order to help you achieve your new smile. Our goal is to provide you with the best information, customized for you, to allow you to achieve your best smile.
If you or anyone you know is interested in improving their smile and might be interested in using aligners, Strickland Orthodontics offers a free complimentary consultation. During your free consultation, we will explore various orthodontic treatment options that will help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile. We will gladly answer any questions you may have about traditional braces, Invisalign, or other orthodontic treatment options.
Call our office today to schedule your free complimentary consultation. We look forward to helping you improve your smile!