Over the course of my nearly 30 years of dental practice, I have referred many patients to the orthodontist to correct their misaligned, crowded, or widely spaced teeth. These patients used to be predominantly teenagers, horrified at the thought of how unsightly metal braces would affect their fragile social lives. In the past decade however, more adults are seeking orthodontic care to set their smiles straight. The reason that there is such an avalanche of interest in adults straightening their “crooked teeth” can be summed up in one word—Invisalign.
In the past, orthodontic treatment was synonymous with metal braces, and even with the advent of the more esthetic ceramic brackets and lingual braces (attached on the tongue side of the teeth), metal wires and elastic bands remain an integral part of traditional orthodontic care. Invisalign has changed all of that.
So what exactly is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a minimally visible method of moving teeth without band, wire or bracket. Therapy consists of a series of clear aligners that are worn to gradually move teeth to a more desired position. The Invisalign aligner is a removable and comfortable dental retainer that is fabricated on virtual models that are created using CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-assisted manufacture).
Each aligner is worn approximately 22 hours a day over a two week period. (Simple math leaves one 2 hours a day for eating, tooth brushing and flossing). Obviously because they are removable, an important social occasion or business meeting need not pose a problem, but compliance is critical to treatment success. Generally, aligners are replaced every two weeks to allow for gentle tooth movement over time. Treatment duration varies according to the individual situation, but uncomplicated treatment for crowded overlapping teeth can span 6-12 months. (Richard Bouchez, DDS, Clinical Success in Invisalign Orthodontic Treatment)
I’m a Certified Invisalign Provider in New York
As more of my patients were being treated for their orthodontic problems with Invisalign, I began to study the technique. I became so intrigued with Invisaign methodology that I completed certification requirements and am now an Invisalign provider, and am offering Invisalign treatment to any interested patients.
While I am very excited to broaden the scope of my practice (those of you who know me also know how passionate I am about being a dentist!), I will still refer to my orthodontist colleagues when appropriate. Invisalign is not the solution for all dental crowding problems or misaligned teeth, and for that traditional orthodontic care is very much alive. Schedule a consultation or ask me about Invisalign care at your next visit.