When my brother turned 16, my parents decided it was time to start thinking about braces. I had just finished a long and arduous 4-year relationship with braces myself.  Of course my brother, as susceptible to advertisement as he is, mentioned that he was interested in getting Invisalign, instead of the imposing metal brackets he had to look at on my face for so many years.  Then one weekend I came home from college, and there he was with metal braces! So what happened? Apparently, Invisalign is not a viable choice for everyone.  Yet for those who are eligible, it is a convenient and effective alternative to traditional metal braces.  Also, the cost is comparable to that of regular braces. So how does Invisalign work, and what are the benefits?

Invisalign works with a set of clear and virtually invisible trays that help to align teeth. You remove the trays, called aligners, to eat, drink, brush, and floss.  You wear one aligner for about two weeks, before replacing it with the next. You may experience some discomfort at first, as your teeth are beginning to shift, but overall patients who use Invisalign do not experience much pain.  As you replace each aligner, little by little your teeth will begin to shift, until they straighten to the final desired position. Total treatment time with Invisalign for complete orthodontic treatment usually lasts between 9 and 15 months. Many times, treatment time can be shorter than the average time of treatment with metal braces.  The average number of aligners worn is between 18 and 30, depending on the amount of straightening that needs to be done. There are no brackets that need to be tightened, no embarrassing moments involving food stuck in your smile, and no possibility of wires painfully poking your mouth.

At Midtown General & Cosmetic Dentistry, Invisalign is a popular option among teenagers and adults alike. In fact, 75% of Dr. Saint Jean’s patients choose Invisalign over metal braces, whether for convenience, ease, and/or vanity.  Adults often choose Invisalign in order to look professional at their job, while still being able to get the smile they’ve always wanted.  So how do you know if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign? A dentist can assess if you are a good candidate for Invisalign based on the cause of the patient’s misalignment. If the problem is dental, it can be fixed with Invisalign in the majority of cases.  However, if the problem is skeletal, an under or overdeveloped jaw or significant jaw size discrepancies, Dr. Saint Jean would refer them to an orthodontist and an oral surgeon for different treatment options.  Also, the patient needs to be willing to self-upkeep their Invisalign, changing the aligners at the time they’re supposed to. If they don’t, the treatment will not work. 

Invisalign is a popular, effective method for teeth alignment. To find out if Invisalign is a good option for you, contact Midtown General & Cosmetic Dentistry in Charlotte, NC for a consultation.