Long gone are the days when the only way you could straighten crooked teeth was by wearing metallic braces for two whole gruelling years. While conventional orthodontics are still the treatment of choice for severe alignment and bite-related issues, mild to moderate spacing and crowding of the teeth can now be corrected with the help of clear aligners – or Invisalign.
Regular braces make use of different appliances like wires, brackets, bands, arch expanders, and coils to force teeth into straighter, more aligned positions. Towards the end of the treatment, which may last a whole year or more depending upon the degree of mal-alignment, the patients get a stunning new smile with corrected bite, jaw rotation, and of course straighter, more aesthetically appealing teeth.
Invisalign on the other hand uses only two custom fabricated clear trays that are meant to be worn over the teeth of the upper and lower jaws. These are removable and can conveniently be removed from the mouth when you are eating, or when you wish to clean the trays/brush your teeth. Here is how they work:
- A 3D impression of the oral cavity is taken, based on which, the first two trays of the upper and lower jaws are created for the patient.
- These trays snugly fit over the teeth and must be worn for at least 20-22 hours per day for best results, and for the treatment to get completed within the set time frame.
- These aligners exert pressure on the teeth that are out of alignment, thus slowly forcing them towards new positions.
- The trays are replaced by new ones every two weeks or so to accommodate the dental movements, and to continue exerting pressure till all the teeth have been aligned.
- Once the treatment has been completed, patients may have to wear retainers to prevent relapse.
Interproximal Reduction and Invisalign:
Unlike conventional orthodontics, extraction is generally not a prerequisite for the treatment of dental crowding in case of Invisalign. However, if the contact points of the teeth are too close to each other leaving no room for movement – a technique known as IPR, or Interproximal Reduction is used.
Filings strips or burs are used to gently etch the enamel away at the contact points to create the space needed to align the teeth. The spaces thus created accommodate new dental movements and get filled up by the end of the treatment.
If you have gaps between your teeth, or if you frequently find yourself covering your mouth to hide a few crooked teeth when you smile – Invisalign can work wonders for you. Learn more about the treatment by giving us a call or visiting Prospect Dental today!