By the time we reach teen years and adulthood, people want to convey a mature, sophisticated image. Straight, sparkling, gorgeous teeth make a great impression, but wearing metal braces for two years or longer is an unappealing concept. As a result, many people go through life embarrassed of crooked teeth, so they try not to smile in public. A perfectly happy and friendly person may come across as unfriendly or serious, just because he refuses to share his imperfect smile. Don’t allow crooked teeth or the distaste for metal orthodontics keep you from a straighter, more attractive smile.
Dr. Michael C. Huang offers clear, removable, practically invisible Invisalign orthodontic aligners, well as many other cosmetic dental services, in our Covina, CA dental office.
Braces of the 70s and 80s
It’s hard to believe, but orthodontic braces have been used in some form since 1728, when a French dentist named Pierre Fauchard wrote “The Surgeon Dentist,” a well-known, though quite ancient manual on teeth straightening methods. Orthodontists have come a long way since Dr. Fauchard’s rudimentary metal brackets and thick wire were used to realign teeth and improve smiles. As a child, you or someone you know may have worn metal braces, rubber bands, and what appeared to be a Star-Wars-inspired headgear. Perhaps you’re one of the many adults who endured the humiliation and irritation of bulky metal braces in youth, and you refused to continue treatment with a retainer. If so, your teeth may have naturally shifted out of alignment again.
Invisalign is a modern form of orthodontics that has many benefits over the braces you knew as a child.
Made of clear, flexible acrylic, Invisalign aligners fit snugly on the upper and/or lower dental arch. Over the course of 12 to 18 months, in most cases, the aligners gently realign teeth into their proper position. A patient will wear 20 t0 30 aligners, changing them every two weeks to progress through treatment. Checkups are necessary every six weeks so that the dentist can make sure treatment is progressing as predicted, and patients can receive the next few sets of aligners.
The Treatment Process
If you and Dr. Huang determine that Invisalign is a good choice for your orthodontic correction, he will take a 3D scan of your teeth. Using special software, he’ll determine the logistics of your treatment plan and design your aligners. Then, a certified Invisalign lab will fabricate all of your aligners and deliver them to our office. We will provide you with instructions on how to wear, clean, and care for your teeth and your Invisalign aligners during treatment.
Benefits of Invisalign include:
- Clear, inconspicuous
- No dietary restrictions
- No bands, brackets, or wires
- Short treatment time
- No tightening or adjustment visits
- Easy to clean and care for
- About the same price as traditional braces
- No headgear
By far, the ultimate benefit of Invisalign for adults or teens is a more attractive smile that boosts self-confidence and makes teeth cleaning easier!
Compliance is Key
Though you won’t have fixed braces with Invisalign, treatment outcome and time depend greatly on patient compliance. To say it clearly, you should wear your aligners a minimum of 20 to 22 hours each day, if you want to stay on track to finish treatment on time. If you do not wear Invisalign as often as directed by Dr. Huang, your treatment could extend by months, perhaps longer. Patients who do not wear their aligners risk teeth shifting back to their original, crooked position. We call this relapse. If relapse is significant, a patient may require a mid-treatment correction with all new aligners. However, wearing your aligners as directed will ensure prompt completion of treatment.
Parents of teens who want Invisalign may be concerned about whether their child will wear the aligners as directed. Invisalign Teen features a failsafe for this issue. Each aligner features a small blue dot that fades as the aligner is worn. If the dot is not fading, the aligner is not being worn as it should. Dr. Huang will alert parents and teenaged patients when non-compliance is an issue. Parents should also know that Invisalign Teen comes with six replacement aligners, so when an aligner ends up in the cafeteria trash can, simply call our office to order a replacement.
Your Gorgeous Smile Awaits
As a certified Invisalign dentist in Covina, CA, Dr. Michael Huang is well trained and experienced in all aspects of cosmetic dentistry for adults and teens. He can consult with you and advise as to whether Invisalign, veneers, bonding, or another procedure is right for you. And best of all, a cosmetic consultation is free, so give us a call to schedule your appointment today.