At Rollins & Peterson Orthodontics in Mesa, AZ, we are proud to offer Invisalign braces as part of our wide array of orthodontic dentistry services. This brand of orthodontic device is one of our most commonly inquired-upon offerings, with many wondering if their orthodontic situation is suitable for this treatment.
While invisible braces are highly adaptable and can be used for a variety of orthodontic needs, not everyone will be a qualifying candidate. There are some cases, though, where these aligners are actually ideal.
What Is Invisalign?
These clear aligners are a type of orthodontic treatment used to straighten teeth. These braces do not use metal. Instead, a person is issued a series of custom-made, clear oral inserts that cover the teeth and gently position them into proper placement over a prolonged period of time. Because these aligners are clear and can be taken on or off when necessary, they are far less noticeable than the traditional wire-and-bracket orthodontic mounts that most people associate with the term “braces.”
Benefits of Clear Aligners
These aligners are a great offering for those who want to improve their smile or bite but find metal braces to be outside of ideal for their circumstances. This is thanks to a few benefits of clear aligners that you would not find among traditional metal braces.
Wire and brackets can be hard on the soft tissue of the mouth. Many who have braces take some time adjusting to the discomfort at first. With clear aligners, the surface of the tooth remains smooth. This keeps irritation of the inner cheeks and lips to a minimum.
Also, clear aligners move teeth gradually over time. With wire, teeth are moved more abruptly. This can cause soreness in the jaw and gum line, as well. This pain is also alleviated with the use of soft plastic aligners.
Traditional metal braces cannot be removed. Clear aligners can be. This makes them easier to handle when eating difficult foods, dealing with injuries to the mouth, or when brushing your teeth. This makes life much easier for most people, particularly teens, who have a hard time when it comes to changes in routine or remembering to abide by restrictions in diet or behavior.
The ability to remove these aligners is one major factor that appeals to most who seek out the aligners for themselves. This adds convenience to clear aligners that you won’t find using most other orthodontic interventions for moving the teeth.
Clear Idea of Timeline
With Invisalign, a map of the process is created before the first aligner is even issued. You will know from the very start how many aligners you will need over time, how long each will be needed, and when you can expect to be finished. With traditional braces, the timeline can be unclear and frustratingly difficult to plan. Instead, this process offers a sense of security to those who do not want to base their care plan on uncertainties.
Depending on a person’s individual circumstances, there may be other benefits involved in clear aligners, as well. This is especially true when working with teens.
Why Invisalign Is Ideal for Teens
Probably the most common group of people interested in clear aligners is teenagers. There are a number of reasons why this type of orthodonture appeals to teens. There are also several reasons why this type of orthodonture appeals to their parents. Overall, clear aligners are an ideal choice for most teenagers based on a few unique qualities the process possesses.
Hard to See
The very name implies that they are invisible aligners. Thanks to their “see-through” makeup, most people won’t even realize you’re wearing braces while you are going through orthodontic treatment.
Teens can be very self-conscious about the entire process of having braces. If your teen struggles with their self-image or if they are concerned about the possible ill effects of wearing traditional metal braces in the presence of bullies or other peers, then these aligners might be a solution to the problem.
Easy to Clean
It’s no secret that teenagers aren’t always the most diligent about hygiene or cleanliness. Because traditional braces are so difficult to remove, they can also be difficult to clean. Removable braces like clear aligners give their wearer an advantage in keeping not only the teeth clean, but the braces themselves. This can cut down on staining or issues with decay that sometimes results from a lack of braces cleaning and care.
Easy to Manage
Managing traditional wire-and-bracket braces can be a hassle. Hard foods, sticky treats, and foods that break up and get stuck in crevices are all usually off-limits to a metal braces wearer. Unfortunately, teenagers don’t always follow these rules as precisely as they should.
With clear aligners, these strict rules are a little more relaxed. This gives kids the freedom to enjoy these forbidden treats in moderation without risking the effectiveness of their orthodonture.
They Work Fast
Because of the streamlined process, teens can usually work through the whole braces ordeal in a shorter amount of time than with wire and brackets. This means, in some cases, teeth can be photo-ready by such milestones as prom or graduation.
Naturally, teens are not the only people who could benefit from clear aligners. While they make great candidates for the process, there are other things that will need to be considered. Not everyone who qualifies for these aligners will be a teen, and not every teen who needs braces will qualify for this brand.
Certain Ideal Orthodontic Corrections
Unfortunately, clear aligners cannot fix all orthodontic needs. There are certain issues in orthodonture, though, where these clear aligners can work very well.
These orthodontic needs include slight overlaps or protrusions, slight gaps, minor underbites or overbites, and even some overcrowding and crossbites. More severe orthodontic needs may not be able to be addressed by these aligners, but in most cases, they will work. If these orthodontic issues mirror your own, you should consider clear aligner treatment regardless of your age. Discuss this as an option on your next orthodontic visit.
In cases where more advanced orthodonture is needed, you may be able to benefit from a two-phase braces process where wire braces are used for a certain duration before making a switch to a clear aligner once the process is more manageable.
Other Great Candidates for Invisalign
Even as adults, we sometimes can feel self-conscious about the cosmetic look of metal braces. We do have many adult patients who opt for clear aligners, as well. There are certain lifestyle factors that usually come into play when these patients make their decision.
Strikes to the mouth can be hard on traditional braces. A slight impact on the teeth can cause a bracket to shake loose, forcing an immediate need to schedule an appointment to have it affixed. This is not only sometimes painful, but it can be hard on the pocketbook and a burden on a person’s lifestyle.
Even worse, if you’re unable to get the bracket affixed in a short time, the movement of your teeth might regress, and it will certainly stall. This can prolong the amount of time needed for the process to work.
Those With Busy Lifestyles
Regular visits to the orthodontist can be hard to keep up with. If you are the type of person who just never seems to have the time, you certainly don’t want to be visiting an orthodontist as often as every couple of weeks to get wires tightened and brackets checked.
A clear aligner is much easier to maintain and can cut the number of orthodontic visits required by as much as two-thirds. This makes them an ideal choice for anyone who struggles to maintain a busy schedule or social life.
Those who have to face the public can feel like metal braces are a distraction. Especially in adults who are wearing braces, the focus can be pulled from what the mouth is saying to how the mouth looks. This can also make people feel immature and unprofessional in appearance.
Taking away the appearance of the aligners altogether eliminates that distraction. If you speak to the public often, you may opt for a clear aligner in lieu of one that would otherwise detract from your message or professional aura.
If any of the qualifying reasons listed in this article seem to apply to your needs, you may be a good candidate for clear aligners. The next step in the process is to set up a consultation.
Who is Not a Good Candidate for Invisalign?
While these aligners are a great option for most people, there are certain factors that are disqualifiers for Invisalign candidates. It should be noted, though, that a lot of the same things that disqualify someone from Invisalign aligners will also disqualify them from traditional wire and brackets.
Unfilled cavities are probably the biggest disqualifying trait when it comes to having any kind of aligner put in place. If you have unfilled cavities, you will need to have them filled and dealt with before moving forward with any kind of orthodontic work.
Unfilled cavities are not a permanent disqualifier. They just may pause the process a little in the beginning. Complete cleaning of the teeth is always required before you begin the process of having aligners fitted. During this cleaning, any cavities you may have will be identified, and a treatment plan will be put into place.
Active Gum Disease
Active gum disease is another disqualifier. Gum disease can cause teeth to become loose, so putting any kind of device on them that will shift them in their sockets is a risk that a skilled orthodontist will not be willing to take. Gum disease can be treated, though, and once it has fallen into remission for an appropriate amount of time, braces can once again be considered.
Certain Other Dental Issues
Issues with TMJ, long bridges, or dental implants may also come into play as potentially disqualifying factors. These won’t always disqualify you, however, so every circumstance should still be brought up in consultation and addressed on a case-by-case basis.
These, of course, are not all of the disqualifying factors that you could run into when it comes to determining eligibility for Invisalign aligners. Don’t be surprised if your orthodontist feels the need to address one or more other concerns before you begin the process of having your aligners fitted.
Set Up a Consultation Now
Call Rollins & Peterson Orthodontics in Mesa, Arizona today to set up a consultation for Invisalign aligners. This is the first step in correcting imperfections in your teeth alignment and reclaiming your smile. We look forward to answering any additional questions you may have and guiding you along every step of the way.