Have you always dreamed of having a beautiful, straight smile but have been hesitant to move forward with traditional wire braces?
If so, you’re not alone. Many patients shy away from braces, for a variety of reasons.
Some patients worry that traditional braces will cause them a lot of pain. They have heard horror stories about the monthly appointments to have their wires tightened.
Others reject braces because of the food restrictions that come with them. Still others worry about the length of treatment. They do not want to have to wear braces for two years or more.
The most common complaint Dr. Scott Lee hears about traditional braces, however, centers around their appearance. Many adults who long for straighter teeth forgo braces because they feel they will look immature wearing them. They want a solution that will not affect their professional, adult appearance.
If this sounds like you, then Invisalign® may be the answer you seek. Developed in the 1990s, these invisible braces have become very popular and most patients consider them revolutionary.
Our team at Desert Family Dental has used Invisalign® products to correct many problems, including overbites, tooth gaps, and crooked or crowded teeth.
To learn more about Invisalign® and the benefits it can provide to you and your family, call our Mesa, AZ, dental office today at (480) 838-4185 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Lee.
How does Invisalign® work?
Invisalign® is a revolution in orthodontic treatment. The system replaces the old metal brackets and wires of traditional braces with clear acrylic aligners that gently move your teeth into place.
As a highly sophisticated computer-generated system, Invisalign® straightens your teeth quickly. For most patients, treatment takes about half the time as conventional braces. It is also a fairly simple process.
Invisalign® eliminates the need to visit the office every month and have your wires tightened. Traditional braces place restrictions on what foods you can eat.
You can remove Invisalign® aligners, however, allowing you to eat anything you want. Removable aligners also make cleaning your teeth much easier.
Invisalign® requires no bands and you will not have to worry about wires cutting up the inside of your mouth. While traditional braces typically require a minimum treatment period of two years, the average Invisalign® treatment lasts 12 to 18 months.
For most patients, however, the greatest advantage of Invisalign® treatment centers on the appearance of the aligners. The clear aligners look virtually invisible, so nobody will even know you have them in except you and the dentist.
After determining that Invisalign® is right for you, we will create a series of custom aligners. Each aligner is designed to apply specific amounts of pressure to your teeth until your entire smile reaches a more ideal position.
Every couple of weeks, you snap in a new aligner and you are well on your way to a beautiful smile.
Dr. Lee is proud to be your Invisalign®-certified dentist. He has undergone many hours of additional training required to successfully use this system.
Candidates for Invisalign® Treatment
Invisalign® treatment provides discreet, precise orthodontic treatment for adults who have never worn braces. We also treat adults who wore traditional braces as teens. Many of these patients have found that their teeth have drifted back out of alignment.
Dr. Lee uses Invisalign® aligners to repair many orthodontic issues. These include overbites, underbites, and crooked or rotated teeth. He has found that the clear aligners provide an excellent option in cases where the patient has wide spaces between her teeth, even if other teeth have shifted and moved into those spaces.
Adults who suffer from mild to moderate malocclusion have found that Invisalign® works wonders for their smiles. Malocclusion occurs when the upper and lower teeth don’t fit well together. It can result in speech problems, teeth grinding (bruxism), TMJ disorder, and frequent biting of the cheeks and tongue.
Adults are not the only ones who can use Invisalign®, though. In fact, the makers of Invisalign® have developed a treatment program specifically for teenagers, called Invisalign® Teen.
The program offers all of the benefits the adult plan does, but with a few unique tweaks aimed at helping your child stay on track with his treatment plan.
The aligners that come with the Invisalign® Teen program have blue dots on them that fade as the teen wears the aligner. If the blue dot remains when your kid finishes with that aligner, you will know that he has not stayed compliant with his plan.
The Invisalign® company realizes that teenagers have very busy lives and tend to forget things pretty easily, so they have also included six bonus aligners with the teen program for free.
This means that if Carly accidentally throws her aligner away in the cafeteria at lunch, or Mickey loses his after removing it to eat popcorn at the movies, you will just need to call our office, and we will order a replacement aligner at no charge.
Getting Started On the Invisalign® Program
To start the Invisalign® process, you will have a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Lee. The doctor will review your medical and dental history, and perform a complete oral examination, making sure no other procedures need completing before Invisalign® treatment begins, then schedule you for a second appointment.
At the second appointment, the fun really begins. You will have digital images taken of your mouth, which the doctor will feed into the Invisalign® proprietary software. The software will produce a treatment plan customized to your mouth.
The treatment plan will include the number of aligners you will need to wear and the length of your treatment. Patients usually wear 20-30 sets of retainers over a period of 12-18 months.
The doctor will forward your treatment plan to the Invisalign® laboratory, where certified technicians will fabricate all of your retainers.
When your aligners arrive in our office, we will have you come in for a third appointment. At this appointment, the doctor will provide you with your first few sets of aligners, and instruct you in the correct usage and care of them.
You will wear each set of aligners for two weeks, keeping them in place for 20-22 hours a day to maintain compliance with your treatment plan. Dr. Lee recommends only removing your aligners for eating and cleaning your mouth. Failing to adhere to the treatment plan may lead to a longer treatment time.
Once you have received your first sets of aligners, you will only need to return to the office every six weeks for a quick checkup and your next few sets. When you have successfully completed your treatment, the doctor will provide you with a retainer to keep your teeth in place.
What are the benefits of Invisalign®?
There are many advantages to Invisalign® when compared to traditional orthodontic braces. Many consider the faster treatment time the greatest benefit, while others love the fact that they can remove the aligners to enjoy their favorite foods and brush and floss without worrying about breaking a wire or pulling a bracket loose.
Many choose Invisalign® because it eliminates the discomfort and irritation that they associate with traditional wire and brackets. They enjoy more free time, because they do not have to visit our office every month.
Almost everyone agrees, however, that the virtual invisibility of the aligners provides their greatest advantage over traditional braces. Patients, especially adults, find the ability to maintain their professional appearance the single most attractive benefit to using Invisalign®.
Call Our Office Today
If you would like to use Invisalign® in Mesa, Arizona, as a way to straighten your smile, we encourage you to contact our dental office today at (480) 838-4185 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Lee. We hope to hear from you soon!