Invisalign – an alternative to traditional metal braces
Traditionally, if you wanted to move your teeth into better alignment, you had to wear metal braces. This is a predictable proven method to make corrections in tooth position, but if you suggest braces to many adults, you often get a somewhat negative response.
Braces for adults are not always a sought-after solution
The thought of braces to most adults conjures images of the old stainless steel orthodontic bands, with an inch wide metal strip down the middle. Suggesting braces is like asking a person to go into social exile for a couple of years. The image of walking down the street, hooded to hide their condition while screaming, “I am not an animal!” is a common visualization for our potential orthodontic patients.
Fear not! Technology is now available to move teeth without metal braces
Invisalign ™ is an advance for adults who want straight teeth without wearing
traditional braces. Using 3-D computer technology it is now possible to straighten teeth
not with brackets and wires but with a series of clear, customized removable appliances.
These appliances are almost invisible.
Here’s how it works:
- The orthodontist, after doing an examination to access the possibility of using this new technology, takes very accurate models of your teeth.
- Using high tech 3-D computer images, a series of clear removable retainer-like moulds are constructed. Each retainer is constructed to make your teeth slightly straighter.
- In a typical case, a patient will wear more than 20 different removable aligners each for about two to three weeks. The appliances are worn full time and removed only for eating, brushing and flossing.
- As you replace each aligner with the next, your teeth gradually move into the final alignment your orthodontist prescribed.
This treatment is very dependent upon patient co-operation. The teeth will not move if the appliance is not worn as directed, meaning the teeth won’t move if the aligner is at home in the drawer.
Invisalign is not intended for children and is not appropriate for every adult situation. But, for those adults who could use this type of treatment, it offers a new and exciting way to get the orthodontic correction desired in a way never before possible.