Invisalign braces are a set of plastic aligners (plastic removable coating on the teeth) that have some force or torque incorporated in them when they are manufactured. That force is going to be transmitted to the teeth when the aligners are inserted in the mouth. The aligners are made of a special clear plastic with specific properties, soft enough to be tolerated by the patient, but hard enough to put certain amount of pressure on the teeth to move them slowly like any typical orthodontic (straightening teeth process) movement. The aligners are referred to as trays also. They are changed by the patient every 2 weeks. After wearing a specific aligner or tray for 2 weeks, the patient saves that tray just in case and moves on to the next tray which is different than the first tray and will move the teeth even further. The amount of distance the teeth are pushed to move by one tray in 2 weeks is 0.3mm. It is a very small gradient and precisely controlled movement. Patients do not feel uncomfortable wearing them because of the small amount of force incorporated in them.
Why some patients are good candidates for Invisalign and some patients are not?
Even if Invisalign can treat a large array of orthodontic issues, it is not for everyone. It is up to the dentist to determine if the patient can treat the specific dental anomalies with the braces or Invisalign. Usually Invisalign is recommended for spaces, crowdings, rotations, tipping of the teeth as long as the posterior (back part) teeth do not require too much movement.
When some teeth need to be derotated a lot, the dentist need to place engagers (attachments) to the teeth in order for the trays to better grab the tooth in order to derotate or detorque it. They are little composite (white filling material) buttons that are bonded to the teeth and stay on the teeth and the trays go over them. When they are not needed anymore or at the end of the treatment, they are removed.
What are the advantages of Invisalign?
- Easy to wear
- Do not hurt the teeth, gums or cheeks
- Are taken out when the patient is eating
- New, fresh one every 2 weeks
- Transparent, cannot be seen
- Precisely controlled movement of the teeth
- No metal in the mouth like braces
- Confidence and independence
If you are interested in Invisalign or you considered staigthening your teeth, please call my office in Washington Township, Sewell dental Arts at 856-582-2220 to schedule a free consultation for Invisalign, braces or any other dental concern you may have. I will be happy to meet you.