By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert
When it comes to straightening teeth and correcting alignment issues, most people picture traditional metal braces. There are, however, other great treatment choices you may want to consider. One of these treatments is Invisalign. Invisalign’s clear, retainer-like teeth aligners are an increasingly popular choice among people looking to achieve a straighter smile. So maybe you’re wondering: What exactly is Invisalign and how do I know if it’s right for me? Let’s look into it together!
What is Invisalign®?
Introduced to the public as a braces alternative in 2000, Invisalign® is a transparent orthodontic device used to correct teeth and bite issues. Unlike some of its counterparts, Invisalign® is made from BPA-free, medical grade polyurethane thermoplastic, making it completely safe for your body. It is a low-profile device created from a digital scan of your mouth and is custom fit to wrap comfortably around your teeth. Invisalign® can successfully correct many common dental challenges including gapped and crowded teeth, overbites, underbites and crossbites. However, it’s not for everyone.
How do I know if Invisalign® is right for me?
At Eggert Family Dentistry, we like to arrange a consultation with each of our patients considering Invisalign® treatment and assess the following components to help determine if it is a suitable choice for their situation:
- Alignment severity: While Invisalign® can be an effective choice for people with mild to moderate crowding, for severe alignment issues, a more aggressive method of orthodontic intervention – such as traditional metal braces – may be necessary.
- Age: Many teens and adults don’t want to be a walking billboard for flashy metal braces and love Invisalign® for its discreet ability to straighten teeth and correct alignment. While highly-effective for older teens and adults, Invisalign® isn’t recommended for children or young teens whose teeth are still growing.
- Compliance: For optimal results, Invisalign® aligners must be worn 22 hours a day. This allows for removal of the aligner during meals, sports and brushing/flossing but it is imperative that it be replaced immediately. It also means that the aligners cannot get lost.
A couple other things you may not know about Invisalign®…
- If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, Invisalign® is completely safe for you and baby. It is recommended, however, that you wait to obtain necessary dental x-rays before your pregnancy or until your second trimester in order to avoid the slight radiation exposure.
- Also, as with metal braces, there are a couple attachments we can integrate with your Invisalign® device to accomplish specific goals. One attachment is a button, or a small dot of dental bonding that – in combination with your device – can help rotate a crooked tooth. Elastic bands are another attachment that can be fastened to buttons in order to help correct bite issues.
Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff are more than willing to consult with you about Invisalign® treatment for you or your other family members. Don’t hesitate to call us to arrange that appointment at 651.482.8412.