Orthodontics are used when a space needs to be closed or a tooth needs to be moved. Today, orthodontics can be practically unnoticeable, since both clear brackets and Invisalign braces are virtually transparent.
- To shift teeth into a more desirable arrangement, an orthodontist uses one of two methods, brackets or Invisalign.
- Brackets involves bonding braces to the front of teeth, which are then connected with wires that direct the teeth toward their goal.
- Invisalign, the other option, are clear plastic acrylic shells (which orthodontists call aligners) that snap over the teeth. Invisalign shells are worn in a series, each one slightly different than the one before, for two weeks at a time.
Invisalign are right for you if:
- Your condition involves tipping or rotation of teeth. Think of it more as a minor type of orthodontics. Also, you need to be an adult with a fully grown jaw. Children can't use this system because the appliance is pre-fabricated; everything is manufactured ahead of time, and it's hard to anticipate a child's growth patterns.
Brackets (braces) are right for you if:
- You're below the age of eighteen.
- Your case is more severe. If there are big spaces to close or big movements to make, a fixed appliance (braces) needs to be used.
Advantages of orthodontics:
- Once the tooth is moved, the need for a restoration (meaning a bonding, veneer, or crown) is less drastic. Orthodontics allow dentists to be more conservative with the restoration, so the need to change a rotation or close a space is minimized.
Disadvantages of orthodontics:
- Of course, no one likes the idea of wearing something on their teeth, day in and day out. But in just about every case, the ends, straight teeth and great new smile, justify the means.
- While this period varies greatly according to individual need, the average amount of time orthodontics are worn is about a year. Once the series is done, your orthodontist may give you a positioner, which is a classic retainer, or another aligner similar to the ones you wore during treatment. It's decided on a case-by-case basis.
So what happens when you decide Invisalign is for you?
Simply visit an Invisalign-trained doctor for a consultation to discuss the goals you have for your smile. Once your doctor determines that Invisalign is right for you, he or she will write up a detailed treatment plan, and a set of virtually invisible aligners will then be sent to your doctor. Your Invisalign system may look like a simple piece of plastic, but it's much more. With advanced technology, your Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, and only you. Over time, your teeth should move to reveal the smile you've been looking for. So take a look at the steps you and your doctor will take to get you to a brand-new smile.
Your initial consultation with your dentist or orthodontist, is oftentimes offered free of charge. During this visit, you'll discuss the issues you have with your teeth and what kind of results you would like to see. Once your doctor decides your situation is suitable for Invisalign treatment, a treatment plan will be mapped out with your goals in mind. Then, impressions and pictures of your teeth will be taken for digitization purposes.
Clinical Assessment The impressions of your teeth will be digitized in order for your doctor to work with a computerized 3-D image of your teeth. Then, your doctor will plan your tooth movements throughout your entire treatment timeline. You'll be able to see a virtual representation of your teeth before, during, and after completion of the Invisalign process so you can see what your smile should look like when you're done with treatment.
Treatment Plan From your doctor's precise treatment plan, customized aligners are created with advanced technology for you to wear at each stage of your treatment. While the number of aligners varies for each individual situation, a full set of treatment typically includes 20-30 aligners per arch.
Treatment You should wear your aligners at all times, with the exception of eating and drinking, in order to complete your treatment in the timeline determined by you and your doctor. You'll go in for occasional checkups, to monitor your progress and to receive your next set of aligners. During the entire treatment process, you'll be able to watch your teeth gradually moving into place. Your smile will, little by little, move into something you'd like to show off. The people around you will be sure to notice your new-found confidence.
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