Do your crooked teeth make you feel like you’re not showing the best smile? Have you wished you could go back in time and beg your parents for the horrible metal mouth look just so you could have straighter teeth now?
Put away your dreams of a time machine. You can get straighter teeth right now without metal braces. With Invisalign, your teeth will be gently shifted using a progression of clear plastic retainers called aligners. Spokane, WA cosmetic dentist Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins can help you get straighter teeth without affecting your appearance or way of life.
Our site offers extensive information about Invisalign, but if you want to learn whether you’re a candidate, the best thing to do is call (509) 532-1111 or contact us online for a consultation and evaluation.
The Invisalign Treatment Program
You’ll meet with Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins to discuss your expectations, and once it is decided that Invisalign is the best solution, you and he or she will map out a treatment plan with your goals in mind. They will then take impressions of your teeth that will be digitized to allow them to plan the gradual shift of your teeth. You’ll be able to see a representation of your teeth throughout the process, at each stage from the initial adjustment to the finished product.
Invisalign works by gently repositioning your teeth with a series of clear aligners. Each aligner applies enough pressure to encourage gradual progress from one aligner to the next. After wearing the aligner for a week or two, you will see satisfying results, and you can switch to the next aligner.
For best results, it is recommended that you wear your aligner every day for 22-23 hours. You should begin to see results with each aligner, and treatment can last as little as 6 months. Different teeth will have different requirements, but you can expect typically 20 to 30 sets of aligners. They are removable for purposes of eating, good dental hygiene and an occasional night out on the town.
Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign’s unique approach to straightening your teeth offers many potential benefits, including:
- Clear plastic aligners are virtually invisible
- Aligners are removable
- No diet restrictions
- No special cleaning required
- More comfortable
- More flexibility about dental visits
- Treatment time comparable to traditional braces
The Invisalign plastic aligners are BPA-free and highly durable. When you’re wearing these aligners, they’re virtually invisible, and you can remove them any time you want. If you have a special event, for example, or a photo session where the light might highlight the aligners, you can just take them out.
You can also take them out for eating and for cleaning. That means you can keep eating all your favorite foods, and cleaning your teeth is the same as always. Just brush and floss (though you have to do it more often—cleaning after every time you eat is required).
Invisalign is probably friendlier to your lifestyle, too. Not only are they more comfortable and less distracting to your everyday activities, but you also don’t have to worry about personal or professional encounters where braces might influence others.
And it’s easier to fit Invisalign into your busy schedule. For braces, you have to visit the dentist’s office every time you need a tightening. But with Invisalign, you can get several aligners at once. Although you still need to visit our office periodically to check up on your progress, treatment doesn’t halt because your visit happens to fall on a day you’re out of town for business or pleasure. You can simply get an extra aligner from our office and schedule your check-up for when you get back.
What Invisalign Treats
Invisalign can treat a range of problems, including:
- Unevenly Spaced Teeth—Sometimes, teeth develop gaps and uneven spacing. Gaps between your front teeth often cause embarrassing whistling sounds when you speak.
- Overcrowded Teeth— Dental crowding not only looks bad but also causes plaque buildup between your teeth that leads to gum disease and tooth decay.
- Crossbite— A misalignment of your jaw can cause your teeth to cross in front of or behind other teeth when you close your mouth. This problem can cause chipping and uneven wear and increases the risk of gum disease and bone loss.
- Underbite— An underbite occurs when an overgrowth of your jaw causes your lower teeth to protrude past your front teeth. Underbites cause uneven tooth wear and can cause the painful condition TMJ to develop.
- Overbite—Similar to an underbite, an overbite occurs when your upper teeth protrude further than your lower teeth. Overbites can cause uneven wear on your lower teeth, gum irritation that increases the risk of gum disease, and TMJ.
Alignment issues cause malocclusions (misalignment of your teeth when you close your mouth) that negatively impact your oral health and jaw joints. Invisalign will gently reposition your teeth to correct these problems and protect your oral and joint health.
Once you make the decision to adjust your teeth, you need to determine whether traditional braces or Invisalign is best suited to your needs. Although both choices work effectively, understanding the benefits of each can help you make a decision.
Comparing Invisalign to Braces
Once you’ve decided that you want to straighten your teeth, it’s important to compare your orthodontic options to determine which one is best for you. Here are some things to consider when deciding between braces and Invisalign.
Know What You Want to Correct
Your first step is determining whether or not Invisalign will fix the problem that you want to correct. Invisalign closes gaps between your teeth, adjusts minor crowding, and changes mild overbites, underbites, and crossbites.
Although Invisalign effectively corrects minor problems, it doesn’t always help with more severe cases. If you need to rotate canines or premolars, move teeth vertically, or fix severely crooked teeth, traditional braces might offer a better solution for you.
Of course, the Invisalign technology is improving all the time, so it can correct more cases than ever.
Less Metal Means More Confidence
Next, you might consider appearance. Invisalign utilizes clear plastic retainer trays that are nearly invisible. Many adults prefer the invisible option for a more professional appearance, and the invisible retainers can make teens feel less self-conscious.
Maintenance and Oral Health
Oral health and hygiene also factor into the decision. With traditional braces, you brush the brackets and wires while you brush your teeth. Brackets can make brushing and flossing difficult, and you need to avoid any toothpaste with whitening effects in order to prevent discoloration.
Invisalign makes hygiene a little easier. Simply remove your retainers as you brush your teeth. Rinse and brush the retainers in lukewarm water, and pop them back in once you finish brushing and flossing.
Both choices move your teeth at different rates, which can affect your comfort. Every month, traditional braces get tightened in order to put new pressure on your teeth to encourage them to move. Unfortunately, this can make your teeth sore after your visit.
Invisalign reduces the amount of discomfort you experience. These clear retainers use subtle pressure to slowly adjust your teeth. Every two weeks or so, you will receive a new retainer that encourages slightly more movement than the previous one.
Invisalign, Braces, and Your Appetite
For some people, the dietary limitations of braces play a large part in which option they choose. In order to avoid bending or breaking your wires and brackets, you need to stop eating certain foods. The removable nature of Invisalign allows you to eat whatever you want (as long as you remove them first). You must also remember to remove your retainers before drinking hot or sugary beverages.
Length of Treatment
Treatment length can impact which option works best for you. Traditional braces take an average of 2 years to fully straighten your teeth. Comparatively, Invisalign usually only takes 6 to 18 months, making them ideal if you want your teeth straightened in time for an event. Both options usually require follow-up with a retainer.
Self-Control and Invisalign
Finally, what you know about your own self-discipline can inform your ultimate decision. The removable nature of Invisalign means that you need to have enough self-discipline to wear them every day for at least 22 hours. Leaving off or forgetting to wear the retainer could undo your progress, extending your treatment time. Traditional braces are affixed to your teeth for the duration of your treatment, making them ideal for people who suspect that they would give in to the temptation of leaving out their aligners.
Combining Invisalign with Other Cosmetic Dentistry
Often, Invisalign is all you need to get the beautiful, healthy smile you’ve been dreaming of. But sometimes you might need a little extra to achieve your desired results.
Close Any Remaining Gaps
Some larger gaps will not close all the way with Invisalign. We use porcelain veneers to close the remaining gaps. These thin pieces of porcelain affix to the surface of your teeth in order to give you a seamless smile.
Repair Physical Damage
You can also restore cracked or chipped front teeth using porcelain veneers. These restorations restore your smile and give your teeth a protective layer against further damage or decay. We carefully color-match each durable veneer with surrounding teeth so that they look natural.
For molar damage, we create custom porcelain dental crowns and color-match them to your teeth. Dental crowns protect your damaged tooth while giving the outward appearance of perfect oral health.
Remove Surface Stains
Poorly aligned teeth are more difficult to clean around and between efficiently, which can cause heavy staining. After Invisalign straightens your teeth, our professional Zoom! Tooth Whitening services can brighten your teeth for a Hollywood-quality grin.
Disguise Deeper Staining
Some stains reach too deep for tooth-whitening procedures to effectively remove. For these stains, we use porcelain veneers to refresh your smile. As with physical damage, these restorations cover deep stains.
Are You Looking for Invisalign in Spokane?
If you are unhappy with crooked teeth and want straighten your smile in a convenient and comfortable way, Invisalign might be right for you. Highly trained and experienced cosmetic dentists Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins are a great choice for your Invisalign treatment.
Please call (509) 532-1111 for an appointment at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics in Spokane.