What is Invisalign?
As an alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign are removeable plastic molds that gradually straighten teeth. Since they are clear, they are much more esthetically pleasing than wire braces. In fact, they do the same thing as traditional braces but they’re clear and removable.
The most common brand name is Invisalign. Over the past several years the name Invisalign has turned into a generic term (like Chapstick, Kleenex, or Q-Tips) and can refer to any brand of clear aligner.
Brand Names of Clear Aligners
The most common brands of clear aligners that dentists and orthodontics use is Invisalign and Sure Smile. Both are highly reputable brands and have great products. We have had terrific results with both brands at Hampden Dental Loft and both are of the highest quality.
This was the first clear aligner on the market and was approved by the FDA in 1998. Invisalign has been used on approximately 3 million patients. Their aligners are made in Mexico and treatment planned in Costa Rica.
A more recent brand is Sure Smile. It was launched in 2018 to offer patients more treatment options and different pricing models. It’s manufactured by Dentsply Sirona, the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental solutions. Their aligners are made, and treatment planned in Dallas, Texas.
Risks of Mail Order Clear Aligners
You’ve probably seen Smile Direct Club commercials on TV for mail order clear aligners. They promise low cost aligners that you can get without going to the dentist. Over the past several years this method has become more popular.
The mail order process starts by generating a 3D image of the patient’s teeth. This is done either with an at home impression kit or by going to a local shop for a scan. After the 3D image is complete the mail order company will determine if the patient is a candidate. If they are, they will send the patient a series of clear aligners to wear over a set period.
The main reason people go with mail order aligners is cost. Since there is no supervision by a trained dentist or orthodontist the price is naturally less. However, you usually get what you pay for and clear aligners are no exception. Mail order aligners come with some very serious risks. Some of the risks and advantages of mail order aligners are:
Moving teeth is a medical procedure and it’s safest under supervision of a trained dentist or orthodontist. Using aligners in an unsupervised manner increases the chances of damage to teeth and gum tissue.
No Comprehensive Exam Before Treatment
Since it’s mail order, there is no comprehensive exam before treatment starts. When having a dentist supervise clear aligners, they will do a full exam prior to treatment in order to make sure all issues are addressed.
No Supervision During Treatment
During treatment things may need to be modified from the original treatment plan. Plus, there may be other issues developing in the patient’s mouth that need to be addressed.
Advantages of Invisalign Over Metal Braces
- Comfort: Clear aligners are more comfortable than traditional braces. They are made of smooth plastic that won’t irritate your mouth tissue.
- Removable: This is beneficial when eating and flossing.
- Esthetically Pleasing: Since clear aligners are practically invisible it looks like you’re not wearing braces.
How Does Invisalign Feel?
When starting Invisalign it will feel uncomfortable at first. However, patients typically get used to it quickly and stop noticing that they have a clear aligner in their mouth.
Like getting traditional braces tightened, each time you move up to a new set of trays you will notice some discomfort at first. For this reason, we recommend when you move on to the next set of trays to make the switch at night before you go to bed. This way, you’re asleep during the time it would be most uncomfortable.
How will Invisalign Treatment Improve my Life?
People get Invisalign for different reasons. Sometimes it’s necessary for functional reasons such as tooth wear. In this instance, if you want to keep your teeth, Invisalign will help make that a reality.
For other people it’s more cosmetic. If your teeth are crooked and you want them to straighter then Invisalign will give you a beautiful smile.
Who is a Candidate for Clear Aligners?
Invisalign can benefit both teens and adults. And with recent advances, we can even do complex cases with Invisalign that could previously only been done with metal braces.
Of course, not everybody is a candidate for Invisalign. When you come to our Greenwood Village office for a consult, we will take a 3D scan of your mouth and can advise if you would be a candidate.
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Gap in teeth
- Open bite
- Premature wear
Your Greenwood Village Invisalign Specialist
You can be confident that you’ll get terrific results with us. Dr. Cha is highly skilled at the treatment process with clear aligners and has an excellent track record.
In addition to being extremely skilled with the treatment process, we have all the technology to make Invisalign a success. First, when it comes to impressions you will get a digital scan using the iTero rather than using impression material. You’ll then be able to see exactly what your new smile can look like as we can show you a 3D model showing you this on a computer screen.
Of course, the biggest reason to get Invisalign completed with us is the personalized service you will receive with Dr. Cha. He will be sure to take good care of you and make sure you’re happy with the results.