You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t want beautiful, perfectly aligned teeth. After all, a dazzling smile opens doors and makes a great first — and second — impression. In our world of immediate gratification, we not only want something yesterday, but all of its benefits too, without any downsides.
That’s a pretty tall order for most things, but especially for dental treatments like orthodontics. Time and a process that involved lots and lots of metal, wires, and brackets were the only game in town for decades — until a clear aligner system called Invisalign® hit the orthodontic market in 1999.
Invisalign not only provided another viable way of effectively aligning teeth, but opened up a whole new world of possibilities for patients of all ages to finally get the smile they could only dream about.
Here, Dr. Meriem Boukadoum at 54th Street Dental shares her thoughts on this orthodontic treatment option, which she uses to help her patients finally get that runway smile.
Let’s get started by describing specifically what Invisalign is and how an Invisalign treatment plan plays out.
As an orthodontic treatment option, the overarching goal with Invisalign is to realign or move teeth to address bite issues such as overbites, underbites or crossbites as well as problems like crowded or crooked teeth. But that’s where the similarities end.
Instead of using the types of materials that are typically used in traditional braces, Invisalign uses a series of custom made clear aligners, also called trays, to gently move teeth.
The aligners fit over your teeth, and you change them out for a new set every 2-3 weeks depending on your particular treatment plan. You simply wear your aligners 20-22 hours per day throughout your treatment plan, removing them only when eating or drinking.
By far the most popular benefit of Invisalign is that because it’s made of a super clear, thin plastic and it’s custom made for each patient, it’s virtually undetectable, providing the utmost discretion whether you’re an 80-year-old grandmother or an 18-year-old teen.
After confirming that you’re a good candidate for Invisalign, your dental provider takes dental impressions and creates a treatment plan based on your goals. This information goes to a special dental laboratory, which fabricates your aligners.
The custom fit, plus the use of a proprietary thin, flexible allergen-free thermoplastic called SmartTrack® to make the aligners, means that patients can go through treatment without feeling like everyone is staring at them because they’re wearing braces.
While Invisalign can’t turn back the hands of time, the treatment lends itself to an expedited timeline. Less time for treatment also means fewer follow-up appointments, making it more accommodating and less stressful for patients compared with traditional orthodontics treatment.
The severity of your alignment issue drives the treatment timeline, and we at 54th Street Dental have seen that the majority of our patients achieve their desired results in 12-18 months.
If you’ve watched a friend or loved one go through a traditional orthodontics treatment, you’re all too aware that one of the top complaints is having to stay away from certain foods or snacks because they get stuck in between your braces.
While it’s true that you can cheat, you also pay the price by having to go through the messy ordeal of picking the given culprit out and thoroughly cleaning your braces.
Since Invisalign trays are removable, you can take them out when you’re eating or drinking — so no food restrictions. Simply brush and floss your teeth regularly, and you can continue to enjoy sticky candies like caramel, snacks like popcorn, and even corn on the cob.
The previous advantages may sound like a pretty good deal as it is, but perhaps the most benefit is that you get more gain without the pain — literally and figuratively.
Since Invisalign aligners are custom made for each patient and are fabricated from flexible thermoplastic, their comfort can’t be beat — especially compared with metal wires and brackets.
Caring for your Invisalign aligners is also a no-brainer. Just rinse them with cool tap water throughout the day, and each night gently brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
If you’ve been considering Invisalign and want to know if it’s right for you, contact 54th Street Dental to schedule a consultation. To reach us, use the online booking tool or call our office in the Midtown West neighborhood of New York City at 212-333-3200.