Your smile is the very first thing that people notice about you. A major factor in the quality of your smile is the appearance of your teeth. If you have crooked teeth, your smile can be significantly affected. In addition to impacting your smile, crooked teeth can also affect your oral health, leading to an increased risk for tooth decay and gum disease, bruxism, and temporomandibular joint issues. Traditionally, crooked teeth have been treated with metal braces. While this treatment is highly effective and very popular, many patients are not exactly fond of the idea of a shiny metal smile. At Pacific Modern Dentistry, we can provide you with an alternative treatment with Invisalign.
Traditional Metal Braces
Metal braces have been the go-to treatment to correct crooked teeth for decades. With this treatment, metal brackets are bonded to the front surfaces of each tooth. A metal wire spans across the arch of teeth, attached to each bracket with an elastic O-ring, or ligature. The wire works to move your teeth into proper alignment by putting pressure on them. This pressure widens the periodontal ligaments, loosening the teeth so that they can easily be moved. Once proper alignment has been achieved, braces hold your teeth in place while the ligaments and bone heal around them.
While braces are effective, they do have a few significant disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage is their visibility. Metal braces are very prominent in your smile, which can cause self-consciousness. Brackets can rub against oral tissues, causing discomfort. Also, if the wires break, they can poke your cheeks, which can cause sores.
Invisalign provides an alternative to traditional metal braces. Instead of brackets and wires, this treatment uses clear plastic aligners to correct the alignment of your teeth. The aligners, which are removable, are made from digital impressions of your mouth. This ensures a proper fit and a very effective treatment. While removable, they should be worn for 20 to 22 hours every day for the best results. They should only be taken out so that you can eat and when you brush your teeth.
How Invisalign Works
With Invisalign, you use a series of aligners to achieve a straighter smile. Each set of aligners, which cover your teeth much like mouthguards, is made to be worn for two weeks at a time. Every set is slightly different, allowing for the gradual, comfortable movement of your teeth. The plastic of the aligners works to move your teeth, putting gentle pressure on them to widen the ligaments and move your teeth into proper alignment. Over the course of your treatment, you may go through 18 to 30 sets of aligners. Once treatment is over, you are provided with a retainer to help maintain your beautiful new smile.
What are the Benefits of Invisalign?
Invisalign provides several significant benefits, including:
Just because your teeth are crooked, it does not mean that you will automatically need to have them treated with metal braces. With Invisalign, we can correct the alignment of your teeth in a less obvious manner, which can help to boost your confidence while you are undergoing treatment. Call Pacific Modern Dentistry at (206) 607-9822 today for more information and to schedule your consultation.