What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® is an orthodontic treatment that can fix several orthodontic problems. It is different from other treatments in that it uses clear, plastic aligners that fit over the teeth like a mouth guard rather than brackets, wires and elastic bands. The program is custom-made in advance by our trained technicians and a new aligner is used every two weeks. Gradually, the teeth are shifted into the right position. One of the main benefits is that the aligners are practically invisible. This makes them a great option for teenagers and adults who are concerned about their appearance. If you are interested in learning more information about Invisalign® for teens, please feel free to schedule a free consultation at our office.
How effective is Invisalign?
A question that parents often ask is whether or not Invisalign® aligners are just as effective as traditional braces. The answer is yes, as long as the issue that your child has is one that can be corrected by Invisalign®. Invisalign® for teens is extremely effective when it comes to dealing with some of the more common teeth straightening issues.
Invisalign vs. braces
Invisalign® offers many advantages for teenagers over traditional braces, starting with cleanliness. It is very important to keep your teeth clean during the months or years you wear braces. Traditional braces are very difficult to clean and may take a lot of time to achieve the required hygiene. Without proper cleaning, the braces can weaken the tooth enamel and cause decay. Once these issues develop, they cannot be reversed.
With Invisalign®, this is not a problem because the aligners are removed for eating and cleaning. This means there are no food restrictions and the teeth can be brushed and flossed as usual. The aligner also needs to be cleaned before being replaced in the mouth.
Another advantage of Invisalign® for teens is the number of hours per day the aligners need to be worn. The treatment is most effective when the aligners are worn 20 to 22 hours every day. This means teenagers can take out the aligner for a special event, such a prom. Our orthodontists can track how many hours the aligner is worn.
The best way to find out for sure if this product is right for your teenager is to talk to our orthodontists during a free consultation. During a consultation with our orthodontists, your teenager’s teeth, gums and jaw will be examined and the issues evaluated. If Invisalign® is a suitable treatment, you and your teenager can discuss the process, as well as the amount of time the treatment may take. When worn according to the instructions, Invisalign® is as effective as traditional braces for treating crooked and crowded teeth, overbite, underbite, and gaps between teeth.
Initial phases of Invisalign treatment
Before a patient can begin an orthodontic treatment plan that involves a clear aligner, some basic diagnostic procedures have to be done. Traditional X-rays precisely reveal the positions of teeth and roots relative to each other. Such images can also indicate the need for extractions of canines or molars that create crowding and other complications inside the mouth.
The trademark iTero® scanning technology is also used to analyze a patient’s teeth that are ready to be moved by clear aligners. This sophisticated scanner essentially generates 3D views of a person’s mouth. Along with the physical bite impressions, digital images are then used to define the parameters and specifications of custom moldings for the aligners.
How long does Invisalign take to work?
When it comes to the treatment time, treating the teeth with Invisalign® takes just about the same amount of time that it would with traditional braces. Of course, the length of time your teenager will need to use Invisalign® is going to vary depending on the condition that they have.
Final stages of Invisalign®
Once the teeth are moved into new desirable positions, there’s no longer a need to wear a clear aligner. However, a signature retainer must be worn daily in order to lower the risk of a relapse. This is a removable mouthpiece that’s designed to exert a certain amount of pressure and tension on the teeth and the surrounding gums. The retainer has been exclusively engineered to be compatible with the Invisalign® technology.
Book a free Invisalign consultation in Oak Lawn, IL
At Petty & Bielik Orthodontics in Oak Lawn, we are proud to offer Invisalign® for teens in addition to metal braces, ceramic braces, and more. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more.