When your teeth are crooked (misaligned), your quality of life can be significantly affected. They impact the appearance of your smile, as well as your oral health. Crooked teeth can lead to excessive, uneven tooth wear and serious jaw pain (temporomandibular joint disorder). Metal braces are a highly effective treatment that has been used for decades. However, metal braces, which are typically associated with young teens, can be a source of serious self-consciousness, particularly for older patients. At National Dental Williston Park, we offer an alternative – Invisalign®.
Metal braces have been used for decades to fix misaligned teeth. It is still popular today because it is so effective. They consist of three basic components – brackets, bands, and archwires. The brackets are small metal pieces that are cemented to the fronts of your teeth during your first visit. Bands are placed around each of your back teeth and are used as an anchor to hold archwires in place. The archwires attach to each bracket, held in place with an elastic O-ring, This wire is responsible for the movement, and stabilization, of your teeth. You often see young teens wearing metal braces. However, anyone can benefit from this effective orthodontic treatment. Not everyone wants metal braces though.
What is Invisalign®?
At National Dental, we offer Invisalign® as an alternative to treatment with metal braces. This particular treatment uses hard, clear plastic aligners in place of metal brackets and archwires. We create these aligners from 3-dimensional impressions that we take of your mouth.
Once they are set in place, Invisalign® aligners are completely invisible. The aligners are also removable. To achieve optimal results in the shortest amount of time, however, they should be worn between 20 and 22 hours a day, and should only be removed to eat and to brush your teeth.
How Invisalign® WORK?
When using Invisalign® to treat your crooked teeth, you will go through a series of aligners (18 to 30 sets total, depending upon your specific needs). Each new set of aligners is slightly different from the one before it, and each set should be worn for two weeks at a time. Instead of an archwire, the hard-plastic puts pressure on your teeth, which then places pressure on your periodontal ligaments (the ligaments that hold your teeth secure). Your ligaments widen, and your teeth become loose. The plastic then works to guide your teeth into proper alignment.
The treatment time with Invisalign® varies from patient to patient, depending on your situation. Treatment takes between 9 and 15 months, with most patients seeing results in less than a year. In rare cases, it can take up to 2 years.
There are numerous benefits to treatment with Invisalign®:
- No more metal mouth. Once in place, Invisalign® aligners are completely invisible.
- You are not limited to the foods you can eat. With traditional braces, you are told to avoid certain foods, like corn on the cob and whole apples. This is not an issue with Invisalign.
- Brushing and flossing are easier. You simply take the aligners out and brush your teeth. You do not have to worry about brushing and flossing around brackets and wires.
- Invisalign® is more comfortable than traditional metal braces.
- You will need fewer dental visits throughout your treatment.
- Treatment times are typically shorter.
If your teeth are crooked, but fear of “metal mouth” is keeping you from seeking treatment, Invisalign® may be right for you. Call National Dental Williston Park at (516) 686-9780 to schedule your appointment today.