Everyone wants to have straight teeth. But exactly no one looks forward to the metal bands, wires, and general annoyance that is traditional braces. At The Massa Dental Center we are happy to offer our patients a beautiful alternative, Invisalign. Rather than having metal bands and wires move the teeth, Invisalign uses a computer-designed series of clear plastic “aligners” to move the teeth into the desired location. The results are the same, without all the metal and all the aggravation.
What is Invisalign?Invisalign is an alternative orthodontic system. Instead of the metal bands and wires moving the teeth, Invisalign uses clear acrylic aligner trays that the patient wears for two weeks per tray. Each series of upper and lower aligners gently move the teeth closer and closer to the end position. After wearing a set of aligners for two weeks, the pair is discarded and replaced by the next pair. This process continues until the teeth are aligned and in position.
What alignment problems can be handled with Invisalign?
Our doctors’ experience with the Invisalign system has shown that it is able to effectively handle most orthodontic needs. This system can’t be used in cases where severe movement needs to be accomplished, but most mild to moderate cases are perfect for Invisalign. Here are problems we fix with Invisalign at The Massa Dental Center:
- Gaps between teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Mis-aligned teeth
What are the advantages of Invisalign over traditional braces?
Invisalign has many advantages over traditional braces:
- Cosmetic appeal — Aligners are virtually invisible, even from close up.
- Less discomfort — Invisalign doesn’t have wires to poke your cheeks or bands to rub on your lips.
- Easy hygiene – For brushing and flossing, simply remove the aligner.
- Eat whatever you want – No more need to cut off corn on the cob or avoid chewy foods.
- No tightening sessions – Simply switch to the next aligner in the series every two weeks.
- Little or no impact on daily life – Invisalign basically allows the patient to eat, brush, and live normally, all the while straightening his or her teeth.
What is the process of getting Invisalign?
Once Dr. Massa or Dr. Cocris believes Invisalign would work for you, the first step is a full dental examination and analysis of your bite using the Invisalign digital scanning system. With this information, the system creates precise 3D images of the patient’s teeth. Using these images, our doctors examine the movement required. The Invisalign system allows Dr. Massa and Dr. Cocris to preview with the patient exactly how his or her teeth will progress through the entire treatment. This information is then digitally sent to Align Technology, the company behind Invisalign. The company takes the data and creates the acrylic aligner trays. When your aligners arrive at The Massa Dental Center, it’s time for your next appointment. Our team will explain how to use the aligners, along with care instructions and other pertinent information. All you do is wear the aligner trays for 20-22 hours every day for two weeks. Those trays put subtle pressure on your teeth, moving them without the pain that accompanies the tightening of wires with braces. After two weeks, you discard those trays and switch to the next pair. At about eight week intervals, you’ll come see Dr. Massa or Dr. Cocris so they can monitor your progress and give you the next series of aligners.
How long do I wear my aligner trays?
When we’re explaining how to wear your aligners and such, Dr. Massa or Dr. Cocris will stress the importance of consistently wearing the trays for at least 20-22 hours every day. This may seem difficult, but once you get used to wearing the trays you begin to forget about them completely. You remove your aligners to eat and for brushing and flossing, but otherwise they should be on your teeth. Each aligner is designed to exert a certain amount of pressure on certain teeth, pushing the teeth in the desired direction. When the current pair of aligners has done its job moving your teeth, the next aligners will exert slightly different pressure to continue moving the teeth toward their final positions.
How do I take care of my Invisalign aligner trays?
Compared with traditional braces, keeping both your teeth and the Invisalign® aligners clean is a snap. When you take out your aligners to brush and floss your teeth, you also brush the aligners with your toothbrush and some toothpaste. If you want, you can also soak your aligners in denture cleaner, Retainer Brite, or the official Invisalign® crystals to keep them clean and sanitized. You could do this when they are out while you are eating dinner. One other cleaning option that some patients like is to use clear anti-bacterial soap to gently clean the aligner trays with your fingers.
Which method provides quicker movement, braces or Invisalign?
On average, it takes about two years for traditional braces to straighten your teeth. Invisalign® averages about 12-14 months for the same end result.
How do I maintain my results when Invisalign has finished moving the teeth?
Everyone knows about plastic retainers that fit onto the roof of your mouth and are attached to a wire that keeps the teeth in place. Invisalign also uses a device to keep the teeth in their new positions. But instead of retainers that uncomfortably click onto the roof of your mouth, Invisalign® uses Vivera® retainers made of the same material as Invisalign® aligners. The retainers are similar to the aligners, but are thicker and more durable because they need to be worn for longer periods than the two-week aligners. Patients receive four Vivera® retainers, as well, so they replace them over the course of their retention to keep them from becoming less-than-hygienically appealing.
Now you can enjoy the benefits of a beautiful, straight smile without the hassle of having traditional metal braces. Dr. James Massa has extensive experience with these easy, removable invisible braces – the great alternative to traditional metal braces.
Visit Massa Dental Center today for an initial evaluation. We will provide a detailed treatment plan and estimate the approximate length of the treatment, depending on your unique needs. Next, we provide you with a series of custom-fit clear plastic trays, or aligners, each to be worn sequentially to gently straighten your smile over time.
Why wait another moment to learn about the benefits of clear braces? Contact us to schedule your consultation.
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