Malocclusion, or misaligned teeth, is one of the most common dental issues we see at Parkway Dental Care. In fact, research shows that most people have some level of malocclusion. One of the most popular ways to treat malocclusions, especially among our adult patients, is Invisalign clear aligners.
Invisalign was introduced to the market in the late 1990s as a more discreet, comfortable, and convenient alternative to traditional metal braces. If you believe that you might benefit from treatment with Invisalign, we recommend that you schedule your consultation right away with the team at Parkway Dental Care.
We recommend Invisalign clear aligners for patients who have mild to moderate malocclusions, including the following:
When one or more of the lower teeth overlap the top teeth, it is known as a crossbite.
When the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth, it is known as an overbite.
Gaps are common- and some people embrace theirs. However, food can get stuck between the teeth and gums, ultimately leading to gum disease.
Invisalign is effective for mild to moderate cases of crooked teeth- but more severe cases may require traditional braces first.
When there is not enough space in the jaw to accommodate the teeth, patients develop crowding.
Invisalign for Teens is very similar to standard Invisalign treatment. The primary difference is that teen aligners have blue dots on them. Over time- when the aligners are worn properly- the blue dots fade. While this is not fail-safe, it does give parents peace of mind because they can determine if their teen is wearing the aligners as instructed.
There are several different factors that influence the cost of Invisalign treatment. The two primary factors are the length of treatment and the number of aligners.
The primary reason that patients at Parkway Dental Care choose Invisalign clear aligners is because they are transparent, which means most people won't notice that you have them in. However, if you don't take proper care of them, they will become stained, which can be embarrassing. Here's how to properly care for your aligners:
Invisalign and braces are both options for resolving mild to severe malocclusions in teen and adult patients. However, there are several differences between them:
There are several factors involved in orthodontic treatments. Typically, traditional metal braces cost between $3,000 to $7,000. Invisalign is comparable, with an average cost of $1,200 to $8,000. The costs of treatment vary based on the type and severity of your malocclusion, the length of your treatment, your location, and the experience and expertise of your dentist. The good news is, many dental plans will cover a portion of orthodontic treatment- with most of them more willing to cover traditional braces than Invisalign. Our office staff will work with your provider to determine coverage. In addition, we offer financing options to help make your treatment more affordable.
Traditional braces use brackets (which are made of metal, plaster, ceramic, or other materials) and wires to straighten teeth. These wires and brackets may be tooth-colored, silver, clear, or other colors. Lingual braces are placed on the back of teeth to make them less conspicuous. On the other hand, Invisalign clear aligners are made of transparent plastic. They look much like a retainer and are made to fit snugly against your mouth. Therefore, most people won't even notice that you have them in.
Traditional braces can cause a lot of pain and discomfort- especially when they are first put on your teeth or after they have been tightened. Plus, the wires and brackets can rub on the inside of your cheeks and lips and cut them. Invisalign clear aligners, on the other hand, are made of smooth plastic. This means that there is no risk of cutting your lips and cheeks. However, you may experience some minor discomfort when you first start wearing the aligners and when you switch to a new set because of the pressure they are putting on your teeth to move them. Additionally, when first starting treatment, you may experience an increase in salivation and speak with a lisp.
The FDA has approved both traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners to treat malocclusion in teen and adult patients. Traditional braces can be used to treat all levels of malocclusion- from very mild to severe and usually takes 12 to 24 months to work. Some patients may need to wear braces for up to 3 years. On the other hand, Invisalign typically works within 12 to 18 months- as long as the aligners are worn as directed. Patients with mild malocclusion may see results within 6 months, while patients with more complex cases may need up to 24 months. However, it is important to note that for extremely complex cases involving severe crowding, rotated teeth, and large gaps, braces are the preferred treatment method.
Patients with traditional metal braces must make modifications to their diet because certain foods such as popcorn, nuts, apples, carrots, pears, gum, and chewy candy may stick to or damage your brackets. Invisalign clear aligners are removable and should be taken out when you are eating and drinking. This means that you don't have to make any changes to your diet or give up your favorite foods. However, in order to reduce your risk of tooth decay, you must brush and floss your teeth before putting your aligners back in.
If you have traditional braces, you must make sure that you are brushing your teeth after every meal or snack and flossing daily. You'll need to use an interdental brush to make sure that you get into all of the spaces around the brackets and between the teeth. According to research, patients who use Invisalign to straighten their teeth have a lower risk of developing cavities and tooth decay and have fewer gum problems than those who use traditional metal braces. You should rinse your aligners before placing them back in your mouth.
Both traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners start with a thorough examination and x-rays. However, this is where the similarities end. Traditional braces require the dentist to place brackets on your teeth, which are secured with a dental adhesive. Then, a wire will be threaded through them, which is what puts pressure on the teeth to shift them into place. Also, you'll visit the clinic every few weeks during your treatment to have them adjusted/tightened. Finally, most patients need to wear a retainer over the next 1 to 3 years to maintain results. On the other hand, if you are getting fitted for Invisalign clear aligners, the dentist will also make a mold of your teeth. This mold will be used by the lab to fabricate your custom aligners. Some patients require the use of attachments, which are small "buttons" that are placed on your teeth to hold the aligners in place. You will be instructed to wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day, and switch to a new set every 1 to 3 weeks.
Invisalign attachments are typically used for more complex cases of malocclusion. They are tooth-colored structures made of composite resin, which is the same material used for dental fillings.
Attachments come in several different shapes (square, circle, triangle), each facilitating a specific type of movement. The aligner is anchored to the attachment and pushes on the teeth to gradually shift them into their appropriate position.
Research shows that nearly everyone has some level of malocclusion. Many people can live with theirs without ever having any issues. However, many people also want to have theirs treated due to aesthetics and to prevent any additional dental issues.
One of the most common ways to treat malocclusion is Invisalign clear aligners.
At Parkway Dental Care, we work with a lot of patients who have mild to severe malocclusions. Many of these patients choose Invisalign treatment because it's more discreet and typically works quicker than traditional braces. However, there are many questions surrounding this treatment. Some of the most common questions we hear are:
Invisalign clear aligners are custom-made to fit your teeth in such a way that they place even pressure on your teeth. This pressure gradually shifts teeth into their appropriate position within the jaw, creating a straighter smile.
The length of your Invisalign treatment varies based on the complexity of your malocclusion and your compliance with wearing the aligners. On average, treatment takes 12 to 18 months. However, very mild cases of malocclusion may resolve within 6 months, while more complex cases may need up to 24.
An overbite is a condition in which the upper jaw protrudes over the lower. Invisalign has been proven effective in treating mild to moderate overbite. Patients with a severe overbite will typically require traditional braces.
An underbite is a condition in which the lower jaw protrudes over the upper. Invisalign has been proven effective in treating mild to moderate cases of underbite. However, patients who have severe underbite may want to consider alternative treatments.