Having straight teeth is one of the most commonly sought-after dental needs throughout the world. Straight teeth do not only contribute to a perfect smile but also boost one’s self-confidence and overall appearance.

Misalignment of the teeth is a prevalent problem. Research evidence suggests that 30-60% of people suffer from crowded or misaligned teeth. [1]

Traditional braces have long been a good solution for crooked teeth. Even though it gave effective results, it also had a lot of limitations including irritations, regular maintenance, diet limitations, and impact on appearance. [2]

Thanks to orthodontic technology, Invisible Aligners, also known as Invisalign are now the perfect alternative to traditional braces and are offered in many dental clinics today.

A 2017 study in the American Journal of Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics reports the treatment efficacy of invisible aligners.  The researchers found out that Invisalign could treat misalignment of teeth faster than conventional dental appliances. [3]

Here is what you need to know more about this latest trend in orthodontics before choosing to use it.

What Is Invisalign

The traditional dental appliances often had negative effects on the facial appearance of the users. The orthodontists found it a major concern among the patients.

Recent orthodontic developments have tried to address the esthetic demands of dental patients. Modern technology in orthodontics introduced many new esthetic methods and appliances for treating dental problems. [4]

Invisalign is a modern solution to crooked teeth. It was introduced first in 1997 as an alternative esthetic treatment for misaligned teeth.

Invisalign has no wires like the traditional braces. It is made from smooth, clear, and durable plastic.

They are made to custom fit a user and are changed after every two weeks to straighten the teeth.

How Do You Get Started

Your dentist should tell you if you are the best candidate for Invisalign. After a consultation, your dentist will work together with you to get a customized program.

At first, the dentist will virtually show you the Invisalign treatment result using CAD/CAM stereolithographic technology. You will be able to see what your smile will look like over time using 3D imaging technology. This will serve as motivation as you will be able to see the virtual result even before commencing the treatment. [5]

Your dentist will then attach some fixtures to your teeth. These fixtures are used to connect the Invisalign clips. After this, a mold of your teeth is made, and the aligners are then fabricated professionally for all the stages of your treatment.

How to Use Invisalign

What makes Invisalign the best treatment is the fact that no one will be able to tell if you are straightening your teeth. The aligners are worn 22 hours each day even when you are sleeping and take only 20 weeks to complete the treatment.

You can take them off when you are eating or cleaning your teeth. A patient is advised to practice good dental hygiene, and limit coffee and cigarette because they tend to yellow the aligners with time. Schedule an appointment every four to six weeks for review and any modification.

Potential Side Effects of Invisalign

Invisible Aligners are generally safe and have no major side effects recorded so far.

However, given the fact that they are artificial, it is expected that one can experience some mild discomfort, especially during the first days of wearing them. This is expected to go away soon once you are habituated to the Invisalign.

The fasteners have been reported to cause some irritation on the lips and cheek, but this too goes away after a while. [6]

Here are some mild adverse effects of Invisalign:

  • For the first few days experience a lisp while you talk.
  • During the treatment process biting the inside of the cheeks.
  • Dirty Invisalign may cause bad breath. The plastic aligners block the saliva wash over the mouth and may lead to foul breath as well. You have to maintain good oral hygiene and drink water throughout the day to prevent this problem.

Bottom Line

Invisible aligners are one of the best esthetic orthodontic solutions to crooked or misaligned teeth. Just like with braces, they can be worn by anyone with grown teeth, and you will not lose your confidence because they do not use wires and remain completely invisible.

Clinical data suggests that Invisalign was not effective in treating occlusal contacts and some forms of tooth misalignments. [7]

It is recommended that you consult with a dentist about your suitability for an Invisalign treatment.

Invisible aligners have fewer side effects, and more esthetic and treatment efficiency than conventional orthodontic appliances.

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