Invisible braces - Only your dentist knows for sure

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under

The Invisalign system is a series of totally clear, very thin mouthguard-like devices that are custom made for every patient. They fit over your teeth. "Does she or doesn't she... only your hairdresser knows for sure." That was a line in a popular commercial for hair coloring.

Now, it could be a line a dentist uses to promote a new system of invisible braces. That's because nobody can tell you are wearing them.

The Invisalign system is a series of totally clear, very thin mouthguard-like devices that are custom made for every patient. They fit over your teeth.

Used instead of metal braces, they are an alternate way to straighten teeth. To be considered for this type of treatment, you must have only mild to moderate crowding or overlapping.

Since the mouthguards are so clear, you can go through the day and no one will know you are straightening your teeth

Oral hygiene is much improved over conventional braces, which trap food, because you take the appliances out whenever you eat. You also take them out to brush and floss. Another plus is that you do not have to alter your diet the way you have to with metal braces.

One drawback is the cost.

Invisalign costs about 30 to 40 percent more than metal braces, and if you forget to wear the appliances, your results will get delayed.

To get started, you must schedule a consultation with a dentist who does this procedure. If you are a good candidate, impressions are taken and a very sophisticated lad uses a special computer program to fabricate your appliances, which are called "aligners."

Each appliance is worn for two weeks. During that time, the teeth out of alignment are moved ever so slightly. Depending upon the situation, upwards of 40 or more appliances are made for each patient. A new one is used every two weeks to continue the gradual process of moving the teeth into their proper spaces. Occasionally, the dentist might need to slightly recontour some of the teeth to keep the alignment process going smoothly.

In this day and age, with people getting all kinds of cosmetic procedures done so they will look and feel better about themselves, add this to the list of possibilities. If you do decide to have this done, don't worry, I'll never tell. Even if I did, no one would believe me.

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