Straighten Your Teeth With No One Even Knowing it

By: Patricia Woloch

Invisalign is a clear braces system used by cosmetic dentists to straighten your teeth using clear plastic molds that are created to gradually straighten your teeth over time. These invisible braces eliminate the metallic smile that is characteristic of traditional braces and do not cause the pain and irritation that are associated with the braces of yester year. The appeal of Invisalign is that they are invisible braces custom-molded to fit your mouth perfectly.

These almost-invisible braces gradually reposition your teeth into the straighter, more attractive smile you have always dreamed of having. The convenience and ease of Invisalign have made it the choice hundreds of thousands of cosmetic dentistry patients in recent years. One of the most appealing aspects of the Invisalign system is that there are no metal wires or bands constantly irritating your mouth. Invisalign's popularity can also be attributed to the fact that most people will not even notice your new braces and they won't affect your busy lifestyle.

Your Very Own Invisible Braces

After you and your cosmetic dentist decide that Invisalign is the best option for you, he will use computer imaging to create your invisible braces. After taking bite impressions of your mouth, the dentist will use the Invisalign computer system to create a series of clear retainers. The very first one will fit the current configuration of your teeth, and each successive retainer will apply gentle pressure to move your teeth to their target alignments.

The number of applications will depend on your unique situation, but the average number is between 18-30, and each retainer is worn for two weeks, 24 hours a day (except during meals and brushing and flossing), and then the next aligner is put in. The complete Invisalign teeth straightening process takes the same amount of time as traditional orthodontics.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The advantages of Invisalign are numerous. The clear Invisalign system was created to introduce much-needed aesthetics to the field of orthodontics, replacing the old, unattractive metal braces of years past. This system also allows you to brush and floss as you normally would, reducing the chances of staining and decay that often occur with traditional braces. Food and drink limitations are not necessary; if patients wish to eat or drink foods that may interfere with the braces, you can just remove the retainer.

The disadvantages of the Invisalign system are few. People who do not wear the retainers as directed will probably not see the results they envisioned. Some patients who have sensitive teeth and/or gums may feel some discomfort when they switch to a new retainer. These problems are certainly minor and rare, and most patients say the benefits far outweigh any problems.

The cost of Invisalign may be higher than traditional braces, and the cost depends on how many aligners need to be created for you to achieve the desired results. Your dental insurance may cover the treatment, but you should ask your insurance company directly what they cover regarding dental/orthodontic procedures before committing to anything.

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