Straighten Your Teen’s Teeth with Invisalign®
By Louis Buono on August 05, 2014
Braces can be a double-edged sword for many patients: on one hand, they will lead to straighter, more attractive teeth; on the other hand, patients must endure the metal wires and brackets attached to their teeth for months or years. These advantages and disadvantages are even more pronounced for teenagers, who will benefit from early orthodontics and yet often feel embarrassed by any dramatic changes to their appearance.
Invisalign® Teen offers a way for younger patients to still reap the benefits of straighter teethwhile eschewing many of the problems with traditional braces. If you or your teen are seeking an ideal orthodontic solution in the Long Island area, our office and Invisalign® can help.
Why Use Invisalign®?
Conventional braces remain an excellent way to straighten teeth, but their design leaves much to be desired in the way of aesthetics and practicality. Having conspicuous metal hardware across teeth can be highly undesirable for some patients, and it tends to interfere with both eating and hygiene habits. Though the results may be worthwhile, the treatment process can be frustrating.
By contrast, Invisalign® allows treatment to be both inconspicuous and practical. By using clear plastic aligners that fit over teeth, patients can achieve a straighter smile without any visual indication of the orthodontic device. Moreover, the aligners are easily removable, allowing patients to take them out for eating and brushing their teeth. By the end of treatment, teeth will be permanently straighter, and patients will not have had to suffer any cosmetic drawbacks to get there.
The Invisalign® Treatment Process
Treatment begins with a visit to your dentist in order to first determine whether you are a good candidate. In general, Invisalign® can correct teeth that are mildly or moderately crooked, provided they are not significantly rotated, impacted, or resulting in complex bite problems. If you are determined to be a good candidate, physical and digital impressions will be taken of your teeth. From these impressions, 3-D models will be created of your current teeth as well as your anticipated progress throughout treatment. These impressions and models will be sent to the Invisalign® lab, which will create your customized sets of aligners.
Once the aligners are created and sent back to the dentist, you will return to receive them and try on your first pair of aligners. From this point forward, you will be required to wear your aligners for 22 hours per day. By wearing the aligners consistently, teeth will slowly be shifted into place, similar to the way in which regular braces pull teeth into alignment. Every two weeks, a new set of aligners will be used in order to progress to the next goal.
Occasionally, your dentist will check the status of your teeth to ensure you are on the right track. Other than these periodic check-ups, treatment merely requires that patients wear their aligners consistently. On average, the Invisalign® timeline is equal to that of conventional braces, with individual timelines depending on the condition of a patient’s teeth.
The Added Benefits of Invisalign® Teen
Invisalign® Teen is nearly identical to regular Invisalign® aligners, with a few subtle differences:
- Compliance indicators: A small blue dot is located on a molar of each aligner, which fades with use. By checking the dot’s color, patients or their parents can discern whether the aligners are being worn for the appropriate amount of time.
- Extra space for new teeth: Since adolescents may still have molars that have not fully erupted, the aligners are fitted with special tabs to help teeth grow into proper alignment.
- Extra aligners: Some teens seem to have a particular penchant for losing things. With a few spare aligners, Invisalign® Teen ensures that patients can continue treatment even if they lose or break a pair of aligners.
Achieve Straighter Teeth with Us
Visit our office to learn whether Invisalign® is a suitable option for you. If not, we can recommend alternative orthodontic or cosmetic options. Contact us to schedule your consultation, and get started on your new smile today.
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“I have been going to Dr. Buono for about 6 years and he’s great. His pricing fit my budget and my teeth can not look any better.” Isabella