Invisalign: An Invisible Solution to Misaligned Teeth
Aesthetics are often the biggest concern for people considering orthodontics. Even with advances in orthodontics, and many choices of colors and materials available, traditional metal braces are still more conspicuous than most patients would like. However, for those that wish their orthodontic appliances to be indistinguishable, there is a solution: Invisalign®. At Dr. Kellyn Hodges' orthodontic practices serving the Philadelphia, PA, area, many patients, especially adults, request Invisalign invisible braces. During a personal consultation with orthodontist Kellyn Hodges, she can help you weigh Invisalign versus braces to determine if the option is right for you.
Who Is a Candidate for Invisalign?
Invisalign can correct many of the same orthodontic issues as traditional braces. For example, this system can effectively treat:
- Crooked teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Rotated teeth
Invisalign may not be appropriate for all patients. Those with severe or complex malocclusion may be more suitable for conventional orthodontic treatment. During a consultation at our practice, Dr. Hodges can help you determine an option that is right for you.
Invisalign combines the orthodontic results of traditional braces with cosmetic advances that create appliances which are nearly invisible. As an alternative to traditional metal braces, Invisalign provides transformative orthodontic results through a series of clear, removable teeth aligners.
The Invisalign aligners are created by taking dental impressions, clinical photographs, and X-rays of the patient's teeth. This information is then sent to Align Technology. There, a computer creates a three-dimensional model that allows technicians to create a series of aligners that will slowly shape the teeth over time into the prescribed final position that Dr. Hodges deems appropriate.
Once Dr. Hodges approves the series of aligners, a plastic resin aligner is created for each stage of the Invisalign treatment process. While numbers vary depending on the case, the average Invisalign patient will receive between eighteen and thirty different aligners over a period of about one year.
While Invisalign may be more expensive than traditional orthodontic methods, due to the extent of treatment and number of personalized aligners, it is the only orthodontic solution that offers little to no cosmetic impact. Since the aligners are clear and removable, orthodontic treatment can be achieved with little impact upon the patient's appearance. However, though the removable aligners offer cosmetic benefits, they can also impact the effectiveness of the treatment. Invisalign patients must be sure to wear their aligners at least twenty to twenty-two hours a day to avoid disrupting the treatment process. And as with any orthodontic treatment, a retainer must be worn following Invisalign, at least at night. Once treatment is complete, many of our patients whiten their teeth or undergo additional procedures for a complete smile makeover.
As an alternative to traditional metal braces, Invisalign provides transformative orthodontic results through a series of clear, removable teeth aligners.
Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign offers several advantages. Some of these include:
- Faster treatment: Traditional braces often take up to two years to achieve the desired results. In contrast, the average timeline for Invisalign treatment is approximately 12 months.
- Comfort: Invisalign trays are made from SmartTrack® thermoplastic. Therefore, there are no metal components to irritate the lips, cheeks, or gums. The aligners also fit comfortably and snugly over the teeth.
- Discretion: Because Invisalign trays are virtually invisible, most people will not even realize you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. The aligners can even be removed for special events such as weddings, graduations, or business meetings.
- No dietary restrictions: Individuals opting for metal braces must avoid certain foods during treatment. Because Invisalign trays are removable, patients have zero dietary restrictions. Simply remove the trays when eating and replace them when finished.
- Improved oral hygiene: With Invisalign, there are no metal brackets to clean around. Brushing and flossing is a breeze. You can simply remove the trays and clean your teeth normally. Just be sure to place the aligners back in the mouth when finished.
- Bruxism protection: Due to the design of the Invisalign trays, they also serve as a night guard for those who grind or clench their teeth, offering a layer of protection against erosion and other forms of dental damage.
Are There Disadvantages to Invisalign?
While Invisalign offers a wide range of benefits, there are a few drawbacks, as well. Some of these include:
- Limited candidacy: Unfortunately, not everyone will be eligible for Invisalign. Your doctor can help you determine if this option will effectively meet your needs.
- Length of treatment: Some cosmetic treatments can be completed in just a couple of weeks, such as porcelain veneers or other custom restorations. In contrast, Invisalign may require several months.
- Personal commitment: The overall success of Invisalign treatment depends on patient compliance. To be successful, the aligner trays must be worn at least 22 hours every day.
- Adjusting to the aligners: It can take some time to become accustomed to your Invisalign trays. This is especially true the first couple of days after switching to a new aligner. For example, some patients may experience mild soreness or have limited speech difficulties. Fortunately, these side effects are temporary and should diminish within a few days.
- Treatment cost: In most instances, the cost of Invisalign is comparable to that of traditional braces. However, if your case is more complex, treatment could end up costing more. After your consultation at our practice, we can provide a cost estimate before you commit to treatment.
Learn More about Invisalign
While the success of Invisalign invisible braces rests largely with the patient, there is no alternative that even comes close to equaling its cosmetic appeal. For truly invisible braces, Invisalign is the only solution. Thankfully, Dr. Hodges offers Invisalign to her patients in the Philadelphia area. Please contact us today to schedule your personal consultation and discover if Invisalign is right for you. We can also provide you with an estimate for the cost of Invisalign during a visit to our office.
“We love Kellyn Hodges! She listens to her patients and provides excellent care! Her staff is very friendly and helpful as well!” Tara F.