- Society and culture
Having straight teeth is a “thing.” For a lot of people, it’s an envied thing. Anyone can understand this envy who’s had (or has) crooked or oddly-spaced teeth. For those of you who straightened up, have you felt a legitimate difference in interactions with others? For most of us, it’s as if we attract a whole new life with the newfound confidence to smile.
If you’re still dreaming of those straight teeth and feeling the freedom of smiling without shame… you’re not alone. We here at Dr. Ku’s office are here to break through any fears or misconceptions you may have about the idea of braces, thanks to the modern advent of Invisalign.
Sometimes, we have to make sacrifices in order to have a better outcome later. If we want straight pearly whites for the rest of our lives, some of us have to pay up by wearing metal traps (yeah, braces) or Invisalign (read on for options). Are you brave enough to pay up now so you can fly later?
- The Invisalign process
Treatment will begin by your dentist taking x-rays, photographs, a bite registration and impressions of your teeth in order to understand what needs to be changed.
Your dentist will then write your evaluation, diagnosis and treatment plan. In the meantime, your impressions are sent in to be scanned so that a 3D representation of the teeth can be computerized. From that computerized image, technicians are able to adjust the alignment of teeth in stages, which creates the stages you’ll go through in your Invisalign treatment.
Before the trays that mark these stages are manufactured, you and your doctor will meet to talk over and approve your plan, and make changes if necessary.
Each “tray” (or “aligner” or “stage”) is meant to be worn 20-22 hours a day for two weeks, making the average treatment process about 13 and a half months, or as little as 20 weeks. However, it must be noted that the treatment length will vary based on each patient’s teeth and how diligently the patient uses their trays.
Yes, trays will need to be removed for brushing, flossing and eating. This means you get to eat everything you feared you would have to give up with wire-framed braces.
Appointments with your dentist should be scheduled every 4-6 weeks to review progress and allow for any necessary modifications. Maintenance of the aligners is as simple as using a very soft toothbrush and a small amount of your daily toothpaste on them. There is also a tablet that dissolves in water and cleans aligners if you’d like to use those, too.
After there are no more trays to wear, and the patient is satisfied with their newly positioned teeth, fasteners will come off your teeth and the patient must wear the provided retainers at night for at least an extended period.
- Invisalign vs. braces
Invisalign is…well, invisible. And Invisalign is comfortable. And you can remove Invisalign in case you have a date or a big work presentation.
Yes, typically Invisalign is more expensive than traditional braces, so wire braces might be a more affordable option for you. And on that same note, some treatments might require traditional braces due to severe overcrowding or other more problematic alignment. And if smoking, red wine or coffee are habits you won’t be able to cut back on, braces might also be the better option.
At the end of the day we want you to be comfortable while on your way to a new and improved smile! Make an appointment with use here at Dr. Ku’s office, and we’ll be glad to let you know what your options are, and get started on the best plan for you.
Also published on Medium.