When your teeth are crooked, your entire life is affected. Not only do crooked teeth affect your smile, but they can also have a major impact on your oral health. Crooked teeth wear unevenly, and they can cause some serious jaw and temporomandibular joint pain. While metal braces are both highly effective and popular, they are not always the desired treatment method. Metal braces stand out in your mouth, which can lead to self-consciousness, particularly in older teens and adults. At National Dental Sunnyside, we provide a more aesthetic alternative – Invisalign®.
TRADITIONAL METAL BRACES
Metal braces have been the go-to treatment for decades when it comes to crooked teeth. They are still widely used today. Metal braces consist of three basic components – brackets, bands, and archwires. The brackets are bonded to the front of your teeth during your first appointment and are left in place throughout your treatment. The bands are placed on your back teeth and anchor the archwires in place. The archwires are attached to each bracket by an elastic O-ring and are responsible for the movement of your teeth. Other components may be used as well, such as rubber bands or springs, but these are not always necessary. Metal braces are typically associated with younger teens. However, they are not the only ones who may require orthodontic treatment. Older teenagers and adults who did not receive orthodontic work in their younger years can still benefit from fixing crooked teeth. Most of these individuals, though, are not very fond of the idea of using such a visible treatment.
SO, WHAT IS INVISALIGN®?
At National Dental, we offer Invisalign® as an alternative to traditional metal braces. Instead of archwires moving your teeth into proper alignment, hard, plastic aligners are used. Your aligners are made from 3-dimensional impressions of your mouth. The aligners cover your teeth, and when set in place, are completely invisible. Another unique attribute to these aligners is that they are removable. To achieve the best possible results in the shortest amount of time, however, you should wear your aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours a day. They should only be removed to eat and brush your teeth.
HOW DOES INVISALIGN® WORK?
When you undergo orthodontic treatment using Invisalign® aligners, you will go through a series of aligners. Each set of your aligners is meant to be worn for two weeks at a time. Every set is slightly different from the one before it. The hard plastic puts pressure on your teeth, which puts pressure on your periodontal ligaments (the structures that hold your teeth in place). This causes the ligaments to widen, loosening your teeth. The aligners then guide your teeth gradually into proper alignment.
Treatment times with Invisalign® vary based on your specific situation. In general, treatment takes between 9 and 15 months, with most patients achieving the desired results in less than a year. In rare cases, it can take up to two years to complete treatment with Invisalign®.
Invisalign® offers several benefits:
- Once in place over your teeth, Invisalign® aligners are completely invisible. No more embarrassing metal mouth.
- You can enjoy all of your favorite foods.
- You can brush and floss your teeth as normal (no more working around brackets and wires).
- The aligners are more comfortable.
- You require fewer dental visits.
- Treatment times are shorter.
If you want to fix your crooked teeth, but don’t want to deal with the “metal mouth” appearance caused by traditional metal braces, Invisalign® may be able to help. Call National Dental Sunnyside today at (718) 925-3365 to find out if it’s right for you.