Invisalign: “The Clear Alternative to Braces”
By: Karla Frazier, D.M.D.
Orthodonics is a dental specialty used to correct tooth position. Orthodontic treatment helps improve your smile, appearance and overall health. It can also enhance your self-confidence. Crooked teeth, protruding teeth and spaces between teeth can cause a person to spend their entire life embarrassed about their smile. These problems can also cause difficulty in chewing properly, TMJ discomfort and problems, and can lead to teeth breaking, tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss.
Historically, orthodontic treatment was accomplished using metal brackets and metal wires. This procedure was also thought to be treatment for children. Today, neither is true. Although metal wires and brackets are still being use to move teeth, new technology is available to move teeth as an alternative to using metal fixtures, and teens and adults of all ages are using a new system to correct their tooth position. It's called Innvisalign.
Invisalign is a system of plastic trays created custom for each patient. The trays or aligners are fabricated, incorporating movements towards a desired tooth position. Although there are some limitations with the movements that can be done with Invisalign aligners, most tooth movements can easily be preformed in a short amount of time with this system.
Invisalign is a great for many reasons. The aligners are clear, which make them unnoticeable or virtually invisible to others. Invisalign comfortable compared to braces. The treatment duration is usually shorter with Invisalign. The appointments are usually fewer and shorter. There is no worry about brackets popping off and wires breaking, not to mention the metal causing sores in your cheeks from rubbing. Because Invisalign aligners are removable, normal brushing and flossing techniques are used, unlike braces, allowing for healthier teeth and gums. This treatment is even a great option for people who have had orthodontic treatment and now have shifted teeth. The cost of getting this treatment is about equal to conventional orthodontic braces, and insurance benefits can sometimes be used to reduce the out-of-pocket expense. And finally, unlike braces, the dentist can show patients how their teeth are expected to look after treatment through the 3-D computer imaging technology called ClinCheck.
Now, Invisalign aligners have their limitations. Some of the limitations have to do with the fact that they are plastic. Plastic warps when heated. So, the aligners can’t be exposed to heat. Because the aligners are plastic, they break on occasion. Some of the limitations have to do with patient compliance. Patients have to be committed to being responsible for the aligners and the use of them. Because the aligners are removable, patients often take them out and don’t put them back in right away, causing delays in desired movement as a result of not wearing the aligners for the prescribed amount of time. Another common problem is the loss of aligners, which also contributes to the delay in desired movements, delays in treatment, and increase in the expense for treatment.
If you or anyone you know is interested in having straight teeth and an attractive smile, contact us today for a free Invisalign consultation and to discuss suitable treatment options.
Dr. Karla Frazier is a general dentist located at 314 E. Highland Mall Blvd., Ste. 495, in Austin, TX. A 1996 graduate of University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and former United States Air Force Dental Corps Officer, she is the former official dentist of the NBA-D League Austin Toros. Her focus is on helping patients attain a healthy smile through comprehensive and preventive dental care. Dr. Frazier is a certified Invisalign provider and has many years of experience using this system. For a complimentary smile evaluation, call 512-453-3879 or contact us through our website - www.drkarlafrazier.com