Did you realize that your smile is one of the first things people notice about you? Straight, white teeth can give you confidence, and you may be wondering about the advantages of Invisalign vs braces. At Runnels Orthodontics in Destin, Florida, we have the answers you need.
The Advantages of Straighter Teeth
We’ve already mentioned how straighter teeth can give you confidence. However, straight teeth are also healthy teeth. Why? Quite simply, teeth that are crowded are harder to keep clean. When teeth are tightly packed together, plaque and tartar can accumulate, causing tooth decay.
An Uneven Bite Affects the Jaw
In certain cases, an uneven bite can even keep the jaw from developing properly. In extreme cases, this may interfere with chewing and even speaking. In addition, an uneven bite causes irregular wear on the tooth enamel, putting you at risk for developing deep dental cavities. Teeth that are crowded or crooked can also cause a bad bite, which you may have heard referred to as a malocclusion.
Problems Caused By Overcrowded Teeth
Other problems that can arise from crooked or overcrowded teeth include:
- Gum (periodontal) disease
- Tooth loss
- Difficulty with your jaw
- Uneven wear on teeth
- Difficulty chewing
If you or your child are experiencing any of these problems, then you should consider orthodontic treatment. This treatment will enable you to have straighter teeth and a healthier mouth, which is why we work closely with our patients to determine the solutions that are right for them.
Often, we are asked about the advantages of Invisalign vs braces. We’ll go through these differences and provide the information you need in order to determine what would work best for you.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a convenient way to straighten teeth without the use of traditional metal braces. During treatment, a series of clear, custom-made aligners are created, and they are specifically tailored to match your mouth. Because Invisalign doesn’t use wires or brackets like traditional braces, it’s much more comfortable and convenient, making it a perfect choice for those with active lifestyles.
How Does Invisalign Work?
The treatment plan is simple, yet effective. First, a customized set of aligners is created for you. Each aligner moves your teeth millimeter by millimeter until they reach the desired position. Typically, you’ll wear each set of aligners for two weeks each, and there are an average of 18 to 30 aligners in a set.
Follow-up appointments are usually scheduled for every 8 to 10 weeks, with the total treatment time averaging 6 to 15 months.
Invisalign vs Braces: The Main Differences
Today’s dental patients have more choices than ever, and one of the biggest advancements in dentistry has been the creation of clear aligners to straighten teeth. These often replace the earlier metal “railroad track” braces that were more common in the past.
We’ve outlined some of the main differences between Invisalign vs braces to help you determine which option would be best for you.
Eating and Drinking
One of the main advantages of Invisalign vs braces is that it makes it easier to eat and drink what you want, when you want. All you have to do is remove the clear trays, eat and drink what you’d like, then clean your teeth and return the trays. By comparison, those who use metal braces have to be careful about what they eat because certain foods can easily become lodged in their dental work.
Many teens are teased for having metal braces, while with Invisalign, the trays are nearly invisible. It’s difficult for anyone to know that you’re receiving orthodontic treatment, which can be an important factor in making a decision about what treatment you want to have.
Traditional metal braces make it very easy to sustain a lip injury if you’re not careful, particularly if you are active in sports. Thankfully, Invisalign treatment doesn’t present that problem.
When you have metal braces, it’s a challenge to clean your teeth properly. With Invisalign, you can simply brush and floss as you normally would. All you have to do is remove the tray, care for your teeth, and then return the tray. This also makes Invisalign a great choice for those who have had extensive dental work, which may include crowns.
Because there are no small wires or brackets, Invisalign clear aligners are typically much more comfortable than traditional braces. Metal braces are also typically more painful after an adjustment.
Fewer appointments means you have more time to do the things you love and you’ll spend less time in the dentist’s office. If you follow instructions carefully, those using Invisalign typically have appointment intervals at 10 to 12 weeks instead of the 6 to 10 weeks that are typical of metal braces.
Is Invisalign a Good Treatment for Teens?
Yes! Invisalign’s design and convenience make it an excellent choice for teens. They are virtually pain-free when they are adjusted, and because they are nearly invisible, teens won’t have to worry about being teased for wearing braces. Invisaligners can also be easily removed for special events such as proms or graduations.
The hassle-free benefits of Invisalign perfectly complement the active lifestyle of today’s teens, especially those who participate in sports activities, because there are no wires or brackets that can cut lips or cause injuries.
Orthodontic Treatment Is Not Just for Teens
Invisalign has made it easier for adults to get orthodontic treatment. Many are attracted to the fact that the clear aligner trays make treatment less obvious, and the convenience of fewer office visits enables many professionals to easily work orthodontic treatment into their busy schedules.
Perhaps most importantly, adults are discovering the confidence, assurance and improved self-esteem that come from having a perfectly straight smile that is made possible through Invisalign.
Additional Information About Invisalign
The key to successful treatment with Invisalign is carefully following instructions. For best results, the aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day. If you have a teen and you aren’t sure if he or she is wearing them long enough, don’t worry. The teen aligners come with blue compliance indicators that will clearly indicate if they are being worn long enough.
One of the main benefits of Invisalign is that it’s very easy to care for them, and this regular maintenance is important to keep the aligners from staining. To clean your aligners, all you need to do is rinse them every night and gently brush them with a toothbrush. There are a wide variety of Invisalign products you can use to help you keep your aligners clean and clear.
Finally, you may have heard that all clear aligners are the same, but studies have shown that Invisalign clear aligners feel better and fit better than competitors. In addition, Invisalign is made with a specially formulated, innovative material that provides results in half the time of other aligners.
What Is the iTero Scanner?
Before any orthodontic treatment can begin, it’s important to take an impression of the teeth. This will serve as an important “road map” to help achieve the desired results.
How Dental Impressions Used to Be Taken
In the past, getting a dental impression was a messy and unpleasant experience. It involved a thick, gooey gel, messy tray molds, and a lot of discomfort. Sometimes it could even takes as long as five minutes for the mold to “set,” leaving patients stuck with a tray mold uncomfortably set in their mouths.
Another disadvantage of this process was that the end result was not always perfect, and it wasn’t unusual for impression trays to tear. As a result, the fit and effectiveness of the treatment could be compromised.
That was then. This is now, and the iTero scanner has transformed the way dental impressions are taken.
How Dental Impressions Are Made With the iTero Scanner
Today, patients don’t have to worry about messy molds or goop when they’re getting a dental impression. Instead of a tray mold, the iTero scanner utilizes digital technology to provide the most convenient and accurate impressions possible.
Instead of a tray mold, Dr. Runnels uses a sophisticated, advanced hand-held digital wand. This enables him to scan the entire area of focus, whether it involves just one tooth or—as in the case with Invisalign—the entire mouth. The total time? Usually less than five minutes.
Patients Are Active Participants in Their Care
Patients are able to clearly view the impression on the computer screen, which enables them to have a more in-depth understanding of the course of orthodontic treatment. The technology also enables patients to see what the final results of the treatment will look like, giving them firsthand information that helps guide their decisions.
Precision Molds Are Created
Once this digital impression is made, it’s sent to a facility where professionals take the digitized information to carefully create precision molds that exactly match your mouth. From there, our dental laboratory creates the Invisalign trays to exact specifications to ensure a perfect fit every time.
Benefits of the iTero Scanner
In conclusion, the iTero scanner offers extensive benefits such as:
- Waste reduction
- Digital accuracy
What Happens During Your First Visit
First, we’ll conduct a thorough examination of your mouth to determine how you can best benefit from Invisalign treatment. Often, this involves checking not only your teeth, but your jaw, jaw joint and muscular tissues. This is necessary to help us form a tailored treatment plan that will give you the stunning results you desire.
After the exam, Dr. Runnels will utilize the technological advancements of the iTero scanner to get a complete digital model of your teeth. This scan will then be sent to the Invisalign laboratories, and you will receive your set of aligner trays. Each aligner tray is specially designed to reposition your teeth millimeter by millimeter until they reach the desired outcome, which typically takes around 12 months.
Is Invisalign the Right Choice for You?
Still not sure about the benefits of Invisalign vs braces? Here are some questions you may want to ask to help you come to a conclusion:
Do you have a busy schedule? Invisalign typically involves fewer office visits than traditional braces.
Do you want to be discreet? Invisalign aligners are clear and virtually undetectable.
Are you an active participant in sports? Invisalign reduces the chances of injury from brackets or wires.
Are you committed to the process? Invisalign is very successful but requires patients to follow instructions carefully in order to achieve the maximum benefit.
Get a Better Smile
Are you ready to transform your smile? Call Runnels Orthodontics in Destin, Florida today and speak to a professional about your options. Don’t let crowded teeth keep you from the smiling confidence you deserve!