When your teeth are poorly aligned, they may cause more problems than simple cosmetic issues. Dr. Mojgan Hashemi of Los Robles Dental Plaza in Thousand Oaks, California, chooses the Invisalign® teeth straightening system for her patients needing permanent realignment. Call the office today or book an appointment online to find out more about how Invisalign could help you.
Invisalign is much different, although it accomplishes the same goals as traditional orthodontic appliances. Invisalign uses a series of clear thermoplastic devices called aligners. These look much like the trays used for some teeth-whitening processes, custom-made for your needs.
The advantages over regular braces are many. Most obviously, Invisalign is virtually invisible while in place. The aligners are also removable. Though you wear them about 22 hours a day, including while you sleep, you can take your aligners out to eat, drink, and brush your teeth to ensure clean teeth and fresh breath. Since there is a separate set of aligners for each stage of treatment, you’ll spend less time in Dr. Hashemi’s office than you would with a conventional orthodontist.
Both Invisalign and conventional techniques apply controlled force. The Invisalign system starts with your mouth as it is, then maps out a sequence with your teeth in the ideal position. The series of aligners represent steps of progress along the way, designed by Dr. Hashemi, to gradually push your teeth into proper alignment.
When controlled force is applied to a tooth, your body responds by moving that tooth to relieve the pressure. You can think of the movement process as a tiny excavation project. Bone tissue in your jaw makes way for motion in front of the tooth, while bone is backfilled behind the tooth. In about two weeks, your teeth match the current aligner, and you’re ready for the next stage.
Your course of treatment depends on how much alignment your teeth need, though for an adult, the average treatment period is about 12 months, with visits to Dr. Hashemi about every four to six weeks to assure that your progress goes according to plan.
Depending on your treatment plan, you may need attachments or ridges placed on your teeth. These are the same colour as your teeth, and help the aligners stay in place. In some cases, Dr. Hashemi may recommend retainers to hold your teeth in position after the Invisalign process completes.