Traditional metal braces used to be the only option for straightening teeth and are still fairly popular. However, today there is another option that does not require a mouth full of uncomfortable, unattractive metal: Invisalign. This system consists of a set of clear plastic aligners that, when worn, apply constant pressure on the teeth to gradually move them into a new position.
Invisalign provides several benefits over traditional braces. First of all, because it is made of a clear plastic, it appears nearly invisible when it is in place on the teeth. Even people looking straight at the wearer often can’t tell that they’re being worn. They are also more comfortable than metal wires, and brackets as the aligners will not scratch against the cheeks and do not put the teeth under as much pressure as metal braces do. They are removable, making maintenance easier – they can simply be taken out to clean. Being able to take them out also makes it easier to brush and floss the teeth. Additionally, the treatment time is faster with Invisalign.
Invisalign can be used to treat:
The Invisalign treatment begins with a consultation to assess the position of the teeth and to create a custom treatment plan, which will show the expected progress of the teeth. It can even provide a preview of the final results. The custom aligners will be created according to the treatment plan. Each aligner must be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day for effective treatment and will be changed out approximately every week. As they are worn, each aligner (worn in a specific order) will gradually change the position of the teeth by exerting a small amount of pressure on them. They can shift the teeth horizontally, vertically, and can even rotate them, if needed. The average treatment lasts 12 months for adults, depending on the severity of the case. Treatment time may vary for teenagers. Once treatment is complete, it will be recommended to use a retainer in order to maintain the new position of the teeth and prevent them from shifting back.
Dr. Thaer Al Azzawi graduated from MSA University in 2010 and practiced dentistry overseas for several years before immigrating to the United States. He then graduated from Rutgers School of Dental Medicine with Awards for Excellence in 2015 with awards for excellence. His professional affiliations include the ADA, TDA and GHDS.