Orthodontics is a wide specialty in dentistry that has existed so many years. It champions for the realignment of teeth in the mouth to improve oral hygiene and functionality of the mouth. Very few people appreciate the role of orthodontics until they have oral problems resulting from poorly aligned teeth. The nature of orthodontics has it that several appliances have to be used to correct how teeth sit in the mouth. Other than the common traditional braces, other clear teeth aligners are quickly gaining popularity in modern dentistry.
What is Invisalign?
It is a brand of clear aligners that are used as suitable alternatives for traditional braces. Invisalign® features a set of clear plastic materials that force teeth to shift in the desired direction. Unlike traditional braces, thee teeth aligners do not have metal brackets. The plastic material is tooth-shaped to engulf each tooth individually and exert some pressure. The pressure is controlled over the treatment period to ensure that the shifting of teeth is gradual.
Invisalign VS. Traditional Braces
Other than being clear aligners, Invisalign invisible braces are different from traditional braces as is highlighted below:
- They are removable – the one thing that most people love about Invisalign braces is that they are removable. This makes it convenient for a patient to enjoy the meals they love, without having to give some of them up, as is the case with traditional braces. This also means that you do not have to wear clear aligners 24/7. Instead, as long as you can keep them on for between 20-22 hours every day, you are free to remove and wear them as you please.
- New aligners every couple of weeks – with traditional braces, the metal brackets you get at the beginning of your treatment is what you keep throughout. However, when it comes to invisible teeth aligners, you get a new set of aligners every couple of weeks. The technique works by wearing tight-fitted invisible aligners to institute the shift. With time, the first set of aligners will not be as tight as it should be. Your dentist will advise you on how frequently you need to change up the aligners.
- Mild misalignment – unfortunately, clear teeth aligners are not for everyone. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are best suited for mild cases of mispositioned teeth. Complex cases are best handled with traditional braces.
- Improved comfort – patients who wear Invisalign enjoy sufficient comfort throughout their treatment, in comparison to those of traditional braces. The metal brackets will feel very alien to you, making you uncomfortable, especially before you get used to them.
When Do You Need Invisalign?
Determining whether or not you need clear aligners is not completely your decision. You first have to talk to your dentist about your dental needs. A diagnosis of your dental health will dictate whether or not you are fit for the treatment. However, since Invisalign aligners are used in orthodontics. The first qualification for the use of clear aligners is having an orthodontic challenge. If you have any of the following oral conditions, then you may be fit for invisible aligners:
- Twisted teeth – the crookedness of teeth cannot be pointed to one specific phenomenon. Sometimes, teeth just grow unusually. In some cases, Invisalign treatment is best suited for such corrections, while other cases require other orthodontic appliances.
- Misaligned teeth – is a situation where teeth are sitting improperly on either arc of the mouth. This means that some teeth may be overlapping with others, while others facing the wrong direction.
- Misspaced teeth – the spacing between one tooth and the adjacent ones should not be too big or too small. If it is too small, then the teeth with overlap and plaque will be trapped inside. If it is too big, then there will be significant gaps between teeth that are unsightly. Invisalign can be used to close up some of the spaces formed by misspaced teeth.
- Crowded mouth – when teeth are too big for the jawbone, a patient ends up having a crowded mouth. Severely crowded mouths can best be corrected with traditional braces. However, mild cases of crowded mouths can be treated with Invisalign.
- improper bite – this includes an underbite, crossbite or overbite.