August 15th, 2017
by Jeffrey D. Wing DDS MS
Allow me to paint a picture for you today -- there you are seated at the finest table of that famous 5-star restaurant, surrounded by rich leather booths and real mahogany walls. Across from you sits the love of your life, and as the candle burns down to the bottom of its glass, you realize now is the perfect time to express your love for this special person in your life. As you utter those three soul-bearing words and you flash that perfect smile you’ve practiced in the mirror for hours, the look you get in return is not exactly what you were expecting. Instead of a warm smile and a whispered “I love you” in return, you get a look of disgust and ultimate horror aimed at your upper front teeth. As you watch your soulmate get up and run away from the table and out of your life forever, you look at the reflection of your teeth in the knife and see a large green leaf of parsley and a half kernel of corn stuck between your two front braces. Game over.
Luckily, this situation can easily be avoided, and instead of a long and lonely life of walking around in a tattered bath robe and soiled slippers mumbling “parsley and corn, corn and parsley,” you can have the future you always dreamed of, and that includes the smile you’ve always dreamed of. That dream is made possible by Invisalign. Imagine the same dinner situation above, but instead of having braces to straighten your teeth, you have removed your clear Invisalign trays to enjoy this romantic dinner with 100% confidence. Suddenly, your solitary future has transformed into a rich full life with a loving family and a white picket fence.
Invisalign has been around for almost 20 years now, and in this time they have made several advancements including the plastic material of the aligners, the software used to design smiles, and the efficiency of moving teeth, just to name a few. Today, Invisalign is capable of treating almost every orthodontic problem that braces can in the same amount of time.
So how exactly does it work? We start with a quick and easy scan of your teeth (no more goopy, gooey, gaggy impressions!), and within minutes we can show you what your smile could look like after treatment with Invisalign. After submitting your case to Invisalign, I instruct the technicians how to fine tune your set-up in order to move each and every tooth into the perfect position. Within a couple of weeks, your set of aligners (anywhere from 5 to 50 of them) arrives in our office and your journey to that perfect smile begins!
At your first aligner delivery appointment, we bond "attachments" to a few of your teeth. These attachments are small tooth-colored composite build-ups that help certain teeth move more predictably. The Invisalign software dictates what teeth are going to need a little extra grip from the aligners, and these attachments fit into small notches in each aligner to provide better control.
I will usually give you 3-4 of your aligners at a time, and each set is worn 1-2 weeks, depending on the complexity of the tooth movement. At each one of your appointments, I will make sure all the teeth are "tracking" well (a.k.a. following the program) and show you the progress of your treatment. And since the aligners need to be worn about 22 hours each day, I will occasionally provide a little positive reinforcement to keep you at this level :)
A few of the amazing advantages of Invisalign include:
- Removable! This means you can eat anything you want, as well as brush and floss without braces and wires getting in the way
- Clear! These aligners are customized and adapted so precisely to your teeth and gums, they are barely noticeable when you're wearing them
- Comfortable! No need for orthodontic wax normally used to smooth over rough parts of the braces -- nothing but smooth plastic for the ultimate enjoyment of your cheeks and lips
- Convenient! Instead of long orthodontic appointments where we change wires and repair broken brackets, we simply give you your next few sets and make sure all your teeth are on track
- Great for Teens! Invisalign allows them to eat whatever they want, which means less time in the office repairing broken braces. Also, for those involved with sports, it is much easier to wear a mouthguard and less damaging to cheeks and lips if they get hit
If you have any questions about Invisalign and whether it's the right choice for you, please email me at email@example.com.