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Mark J. Williamson, DDS

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Advantages of the Invisalign® Alternative


If you’re interested in enjoying a straighter, more attractive smile, you might have already looked into some different tooth-straightening methods. For many years, traditional metal braces were the only choice for people who wanted straighter teeth. But thanks to modern dental and orthodontic technology, today’s patients have many other options from which to choose. One of the most popular among these is the Invisalign® treatment method. In this article, we’ll provide a brief explanation of what is involved in the process, as well as the many advantages of the Invisalign® alternative.

What Is Invisalign®?

A few years ago, researchers created a truly innovative means of straightening crooked teeth. They developed a method that involved the patient wearing a set of clear, plastic aligner trays for a minimum of 22 hours each day. Every few weeks, these trays would be switched for a new set of trays created specifically for that individual. Gradually, over the course of several months, the trays effectively straightened the patient’s teeth. This method was called Invisalign®, and it has become one of the most popular tooth-straightening methods in use today.

The Advantages of Invisalign®

Straightening crooked teeth is more than simply an exercise in vanity. In fact, people who choose to improve the appearance of their smiles experience a number of benefits that go far beyond their physical appearance. Several studies have shown that people with more attractive smiles actually smile more often, and when you smile your brain releases endorphins that effectively reduce stress, fight off depression, and actually work as a mild pain reliever. Research has also shown that people who feel confident about their smiles often have an increased sense of self-esteem and more self-confidence. These are just some of the benefits of feeling good enough about the appearance of your smile to share it more often, and why it’s so important to straighten crooked teeth. And when it comes to tooth-straightening methods, Invisalign® provides wearers with many advantages, including the following.
  • Invisalign® aligners are virtually invisible. One of the most common complaints from people who wear traditional metal braces is that they are so obvious to other people. In fact, this was one of the reasons why researchers developed clear plastic aligner trays to begin with! Invisalign® trays fit so snugly and perfectly inside the mouth that no one will ever know you’re wearing an orthodontic appliance!
  • Invisalign® aligners are more comfortable than many other types of braces. Traditional metal braces and other related devices – such as ceramic braces and lingual braces, for example – have sharp edges that can injure the soft tissue of your tongue, lips, and cheeks. In addition to that, the braces need to be tightened on a regular basis in order for them to work effectively – a process that is uncomfortable for the patient. Clear plastic aligner trays, on the other hand, don’t damage soft tissue, and although wearers do experience a certain amount of pressure during the first few days of wearing a new set of trays, most people agree that Invisalign® is much more comfortable that metal braces and other closely related devices.
  • Invisalign® aligners are removable. Unlike traditional braces, which can only be removed by the dentist or orthodontist, clear plastic aligners can be removed by the individual to eat meals and perform daily oral hygiene. This means that there are no dietary restrictions for Invisalign® patients, and brushing and flossing is much easier than it would be if they were wearing conventional braces. Patients do need to remember, however, that they do need to wear their trays for at least 22 hours each day in order for the treatment to work.
  • Invisalign® aligners require fewer trips to the dentist or orthodontist. Once a patient is fitted with their first set of trays, they can switch them out for new trays every few weeks without needing to visit the dentist or orthodontist. Of course, Invisalign® patients do need to visit their oral health care providers from time to time so they can monitor their progress. But compared to patients with traditional braces, these visits ae much less frequent.
    • Invisalign® takes less time to work than braces. In fact, most people only need to wear their clear plastic liners for about one year. Although exact treatment times vary depending on the individual, most people complete their Invisalign® treatment in between 9 and 18 months. Compare this with the time needed for traditional metal braces (which typically take between 16 and 18 months but could take as long as 2 years or even longer), and you can see why so many people are pleased with the total treatment time required for Invisalign®.

While there’s no doubt about the advantages of the Invisalign® alternative, this remarkable tooth-straightening method may not be the right choice for everyone. Generally speaking, the best candidates for Invisalign® are people with mild to moderately crooked teeth. Among those, people with conditions such as crowded teeth, gaps in between teeth, protruding teeth, overbites, crossbites, and underbites often find that clear plastic aligners are extremely effective in resolving their issues. And Invisalign® Teen is available for parents of teen patients who might be concerned that their kids won’t wear the trays for the recommended time period each day. Still Invisalign® might not work for people with severely crooked teeth. And if you have other dental issues – such as gum disease or tooth decay, for example, your dentist will want to resolve those problems before starting the Invisalign® treatment method. Now that we’ve established how much you can benefit from a straighter, more beautiful smile – and now that you know all the advantages of the Invisalign® alternative – what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to begin your journey toward a more attractive, healthier smile. To learn more about the Invisalign® tooth-straightening method, and to find out whether or not you are a candidate for this amazing orthodontic technology, contact your dentist or orthodontist today and schedule an appointment. Your beautiful new smile could be just a phone call away!