A beautiful smile is something everyone desires, but for those of us who are no longer teenagers, the thought of getting conventional braces may be unappealing. In this article we discuss a new option called Invisalign. If you are interested in this or any other orthodontic options contact Brodie Bowman Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, where we are experts in all orthodontic procedures.
Recent technologies in orthodontics have changed the stigmas surrounding braces with the invention of Invisalign. This system is a patented process designed to straighten your smile even better than conventional means. If you’ve dreamed of a sparkling straight smile, but have no desire to wear conventional braces, this product might be for you.
What Is Invisalign?
This is a patented system of straightening your teeth in which you wear a series of clear and removable aligners over a period of months. As you wear these aligners, they gradually move your teeth to a straighter and healthier position. With this system, there are no wires or brackets to break.
Once you have consulted with an orthodontist, they will create a series of aligners for your treatment plan, and each aligner will gradually move your teeth into the desired position.
How Does This System Work to Straighten Teeth?
The makers of this system have created a proprietary series of algorithms that can formulate a patient-specific treatment plan using a 3D plaster of your teeth. When you attend a consultation with your orthodontist, they will take this plaster of your teeth and enter your personal information into the algorithmic system, ClinCheck, to create a tailored treatment plan for you.
This treatment plan will include a series of aligner trays that you will wear over the course of the plan. These aligners look and feel similar to a clear retainer. Typically you wear each tray for up to two weeks, and in most cases your plan will span twelve to eighteen months. The key to success is found in the patented Smart Track material used in these trays. This is a flexible, thermoplastic material that is both BPA and BPS free, and also contains no latex or gluten. It is also an FDA approved product.
How Many Hours a Day Should I Wear My Aligners?
In order for you to get the most benefit and best results from your tray system, you must wear each tray twenty to twenty-two hours per day. While this may seem like a large quantity of time, virtually everything you do each day you can do while wearing your aligners, except eating, drinking, and brushing and flossing your teeth.
Some doctors note that if you wish to speed up the process, you can wear the aligner trays for twenty-two hours per day and cut the average time needed per tray to one week instead of two. For typical time lines and results, wearing the tray at least twenty hours per day is sufficient.
What Is the Process For Getting Treatment?
The first step in the process to a straighter smile with Invisalign is to schedule an appointment with a licensed and reputable orthodontist, like Dr. Bowman of Brodie Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach. While this system comprises cutting edge technological algorithms that will determine your exact treatment plan, it is important that you have a licensed and experienced orthodontist to supervise your treatment plan and your progress. An orthodontist is also the first line of contact and can make changes as your treatment plan progresses, if needed.
Your orthodontist will schedule a consultation in which they will ask you questions and take a mold of your teeth to determine if you are a candidate for Invisalign. At this appointment, your orthodontist will also perform a thorough exam of your mouth. Once all of this information is gathered, your specific data will be entered into the ClinCheck system in order for your specific treatment plan to be developed.
Once it has been determined that you are a good fit for using this system, your doctor will set you up with a treatment plan. Typically you will wear the aligners for twelve to eighteen months, and during that time you will wear a different tray every two weeks. For best results you are expected to wear your aligner at least 20 hours per day, taking it out only to eat, drink, and perform proper hygiene care.
Most orthodontists will request that you visit your dentist to get a check-up and cleaning before starting the treatments. You will typically visit your orthodontist every four to six weeks during treatment.
Why Should I Choose Invisalign?
While there are still patients and cases that will require the traditional bracket and wire braces system, most patients experience many benefits in choosing Invisalign to straighten their smiles.
One obvious benefit is the aesthetics the system offers. With no visible brackets or wires, it is perfect for patients who prefer a more discreet treatment.
Another benefit is the timeline. On average, this treatment plan offers a quicker treatment plan over traditional straightening methods.
This option offers patients a much more comfortable experience, as they don’t have to worry about abrasions caused by wires and brackets. In addition, eating and hygiene are much more comfortable and effective. No matter how much you brush, it is almost impossible to remove all food particles from traditional wire braces. The aligners allow patients to brush and floss normally.
Because of the technology offered by the Smart Track material, the aligners can move each individual tooth in precise ways that conventional braces can’t, allowing for better results. In addition, this system is proven to have less risk of shrinking the tooth roots because of excessive force. If you suffer from TMD or TMJ, wearing your aligners at night will ease symptoms and protect your teeth from excessive grinding.
Smart Track Technology
The factor that makes this system superior is the patented technology of Smart Track. Smart Track is the material that comprises each aligner tray. This highly advanced material was created only after eight years of research and development with scientists and medical professionals testing over 260 different materials. Decades of biomechanics and health sciences were invested into the process to create a system that offers orthodontists and patients a 99.9% confidence level in the process and results.
How It Works
Some metal brackets and wires used in conventional braces are known to lose energy as time goes by. Smart Track materials are proven to maintain energy throughout the two-week period each aligner is worn, and this provides a gentle but constant force in which each tooth experiences minute and specific movements. This minute movement provides 75% more predictability in results than any other teeth aligning options.
The thermoforming offered by the Smart Track material also provides patients with a snug fit, in which the aligners conform precisely to their teeth and bite. This makes the aligners easier to insert and remove. Clinical tests have compared the performance of Smart Track to other aligners on the market, and using blue gel tests, Smart Track aligners performed significantly better, properly fitting to each tooth and allowing for no gaps. This makes for much better results and a more comfortable fit.
While Smart Track is the material that delivers superior results, ClinCheck is the vehicle that keeps your treatment plan moving and on track. ClinCheck is a proprietary system used only by Invisalign, and it is made up of dozens of algorithms that work together to create each individual’s specific treatment plan. By taking a mold of your teeth, ClinCheck can create a detailed treatment plan that includes the minute movements of each tooth down to single individual shifts.
While ClinCheck will create a personal treatment plan for each patient, it works better when coupled with the experience and expertise of a licensed orthodontist. Your orthodontist can tweak the ClinCheck plan to fit your needs and treatment plan timeline. The ClinCheck will also allow your orthodontist to make slight alterations to the plan and deliver accurate results using their professional input.
What Does This System Cost?
If you are considering this alternative to braces to help give you that beautiful smile you’ve dreamed of, but are concerned about the costs, rest assured it is similar in price to traditional braces. In most cases, if your dental insurance covers some cost for conventional wire and bracket braces, chances are it will also cover the same amount for Invisalign.
Most orthodontists will offer financing for your dental needs, and many use Care Credit, which is a third-party financing option offered for medical expenses. In addition, you are allowed to use your FSA or HSA accounts to pay for expenses incurred with your treatment, which gives you a tax advantage on the investment.
The “Must Knows” About Being a Patient
While this is a very effective product used for straightening patients’ smiles, it is not for everyone. While the process is fairly simple, it takes a certain amount of maturity to wear the aligners the twenty hours prescribed and to switch trays at the correct time. Most orthodontists recommend patients be at least in their teens before starting a regimen.
Eating and Drinking
Patients should never eat or drink anything but water while wearing their aligners. Food and sugary substances can get trapped in between the aligner and your teeth, causing a build up of placque and tooth decay.
You should never drink wine, coffee, or other colorful liquids while wearing your aligner. Besides causing plaque and sugar build-up, darker liquids can discolor your aligner or even break down the material, causing it to be less effective. In addition, hot drinks might distort the Smart Track mold.
Cleaning and Care
It is also important that you follow the guidelines established by your orthodontic’s office for cleaning and care of your liners. Never wash them in hot water, as this might affect the shape of the liner.
Never chew gum when wearing your aligner, as it could stick to and damage the tray. If you are a smoker, never smoke while wearing your tray. The smoke could discolor the materials, and the heat from a lit cigarette could damage and warp the Smart Track material.
Invisalign is one of the most significant technological advances in orthodontics, and over seven million smiles have been improved using this science since its inception. If you are considering improving your smile, and you live in the Fort Walton Beach area in Florida, call Dr. Brodie Bowman for a free consultation to see if this option is right for you.
Dr. Bowman has decades of experience and expertise in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedic. While the technology is impressive, this system will only be as affective as the orthodontist you choose as your advocate.