Orthodontics is the perfect way to create an attractive smile, and although an orthodontic evaluation is usually best around age eight, it is never too late to initiate treatment.
The benefits of orthodontics are many and the most obvious is a winning smile that can be achieved by aligning the natural teeth in an attractive position in the mouth. This also improves the contours of the face and boosts a person’s self-esteem and confidence. If left untreated, misaligned teeth can be difficult to clean with subsequent gum problems and tooth decay and, in some cases, speech impediments. Jaw joint (TMJ) pain and associated headaches sometimes can be attributed to crooked teeth and incorrect bites.
An orthodontic evaluation is the first step taken prior to planning treatment. The teeth, jaw joints and your present bite are all taken into consideration. In addition to traditional braces, Dr. John offers the Invisalign® system. It is the virtually invisible way to straighten your teeth and achieve the dazzling smile you've always dreamed of. Using advanced 3-D computer-imaging technology, Invisalign depicts your complete treatment plan, from the initial position of your teeth to the final desired position. Then a series of clear aligners are custom-made for your teeth – and your teeth only – to move them little by little. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks before being replaced by the next in the series, until the final position of your teeth is achieved.
What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are practically clear. No one may even notice that you’re wearing these virtually invisible “braces,” making Invisalign a seamless fit with your lifestyle and day-to-day interactions with others.
Invisalign is removable. Unlike braces, you have the flexibility to eat and drink what you want during treatment by simply removing the aligners. And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would for fresh breath and good oral hygiene.
Unlike braces, there are no metal brackets or wires with the Invisalign system that could cause irritation to your mouth. Plus since your office visits during treatment don’t involve metal or wire adjustments, you’ll likely spend less time in Dr. John’s chair.
And finally, Invisalign allows you to view your virtual results and treatment plan before you start so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete.
How does Invisalign move teeth?
Like brackets and arch wires are to braces, Invisalign aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on your teeth. The main difference is that Invisalign not only controls forces, but also the timing of the force application. During each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move. These movements are determined by Dr. John as he maps out your treatment plan.
What are aligners made of, and what do they look like?
The virtually invisible aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to tooth-whitening trays. Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you and only you to move your teeth in the sequence determined by Dr. John.
What’s the process?
Once Dr. John determines Invisalign is right for you, he will write up a detailed treatment plan used for ordering your set of aligners. Your Invisalign system may look like a simple piece of plastic, but it's much more. With advanced technology, your Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you. Over time, your teeth should move to reveal the smile you've been looking for. So take a look at the steps you and Dr. John take to get you into a brand-new smile.
During this visit with Dr. John you'll discuss the issues you have with your teeth and the kind of results you would like to see. Once Dr. John decides your situation is suitable for Invisalign treatment, a treatment plan will be mapped out with your goals in mind. Impressions and pictures of your teeth will be taken for digitization purposes.
The impressions of your teeth will be digitized in order for Dr. John to work with a computerized 3-D image of your teeth. Then, he will plan your tooth movements throughout your entire treatment timeline. You'll be able to see a virtual representation of your teeth before, during, and after completion of the Invisalign process so you can see what your smile should look like when you're done with treatment.
From Dr. John's precise treatment plan, customized aligners are created with advanced technology for you to wear at each stage of your treatment. While the number of aligners varies for each individual situation, a full set of treatment typically includes 20-30 aligners per arch.
You should wear your aligners at all times, with the exception of eating and drinking, in order to complete your treatment in the timeline determined by you and Dr. John. You'll go in for occasional checkups, to monitor your progress and to receive your next set of aligners. During the entire treatment process, you'll be able to watch your teeth gradually moving into place. Your smile will, little by little, move into something you'd like to show off. The people around you will be sure to notice your new found confidence.