Technology has taken over the world in all aspects of life; including Dentistry!
Could you imagine straightening your teeth and not having to wear braces? Well, there is a system called Invisalign which does exactly that.
Instead of wearing braces (that are bonded onto your teeth), Invisalign is a series of removable clear ‘plastic’ trays (see image) that move your teeth to their ‘desired’ position and achieves the same goal that braces do.
Invisalign Braces are used to treat dental issues such as; crowding, overbites, under-bites and in order to close gaps between your teeth.
When the dental problem becomes more complicated, traditional fixed braces are usually used. The reason for this is that traditional braces are better at dealing with certain tooth movements i.e. pulling a tooth into the arch so that it is aligned with the other teeth.
I will discuss this further in the next blog.
Your Dentist or Orthodontist first takes impressions (moulds) of your teeth. The models of your teeth are scanned by a CT scan machine and a 3-D model is prepared on the computer. Next, a series of images are created which are basically progressions of movement of the teeth from their ‘crooked’ state, until they are straight.
With Invisalign, the teeth are moved in small intervals, which mean that many of these clear trays are needed to achieve the goal.
The average Invisalign treatment time is about a year.
The goal of the two systems is to straighten the teeth and they both achieve this. We’re not saying that one system is better than the other. However, the treatment that we choose is based on certain criteria:
1) Age – compliance and responsibility of the patient:
These two usually go hand in hand with one another.
As discussed in the last blog, adolescents and adults differ in the way in which we approach their treatment. For instance, an adolescent may accidentally leave their Invisalign appliance on their lunch tray at school and then toss it in the garbage can. This happens quite often with removable retainers. I remember throwing mine out on my lunch tray in High School – the parents were not pleased. For this very reason, fixed braces may be better for this age group.
In addition, with Invisalign Braces, the removable trays need to be worn for at least 20 hours a day, so compliance on behalf of the patient becomes an issue…another reason why Invisalign tends to be used more often with ‘adult’ patients.
As you can see, both ‘responsibility’ and ‘compliance’ are factors to consider.
2) Complexity of the treatment involved:
More difficult and complicated cases usually require traditional fixed braces. Certain tooth movement just can’t be accomplished with the removable trays.
3) Esthetic Value:
Adult patients may feel self conscious about having to wear braces…the invisible trays address this issue quite nicely.
The goal of this blog was to address the following questions about Invisalign:
a. What Invisalign is.
b. How it works.
c. Who is a suitable candidate for it and,
d. What it can accomplish.
I hope that I was able to achieve this.
In the next blog, we’ll look at the pros and cons of both Invisalign and traditional braces…until then, keep smiling 🙂
Looking for an Invisalign dentist in Brampton? Give us a call at 905.791.3867 to find out if Invisalign Braces are right for you.
About Dr. Robert Axelrad
Dr. Robert Axelrad is a Brampton dentist who owns and manages his own dental practice in Brampton, Ontario. Affectionately known as ‘The Gentle Dentist‘, his patients include children, adults and seniors from Brampton and across Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Dr. Axelrad recently moved his practice to its current, state-of-the-art dental office at Bestgate Professional Center in in 2002 to accommodate his growing list of happy patients.