As an Invisalign® dentist, our team straightens teeth using a series of aligners. First, an impression of your teeth is taken so that a series of aligners can be created in a dental lab. The aligners themselves are made out of a thermoplastic material that is strong and at the same time flexible in order to be comfortable when worn for long periods of time. The material is virtually invisible.
The aligners should be worn for 22 hours a day and every two weeks; they need to be switched out with the next one in the series. Over a period of months, the aligners will slowly move teeth into place, making one minor adjustment at a time that is targeted to specific teeth. This helps your teeth to be comfortable as they are moved into position at a manageable pace. Once you are done wearing your aligners, your teeth should be perfectly straight.
We recommend that patients remove their aligner and rinse it with warm water on a daily basis. You may also want to brush them with a soft toothbrush.
Some patients need to wear attachments or ridges in order to ensure that their teeth move into place perfectly. An attachment is a clear bump that is made of an enamel colored composite and secured to the teeth. Bumps on your aligners will grip them in order to hold the aligner in place. Ridges work in a similar way only an indent is created instead of a raised bump. This can be necessary for more complicated cases to ensure that a particular tooth, or several teeth, move into place like they should.
Patients will need to see us for checkups to ensure that teeth are moving like they are supposed to. Fortunately, since the aligners are made at the beginning of the procedure, these appointments are less frequent than if you were wearing metal braces. With traditional braces, a metal bracket is placed on each tooth, and a wire is threaded between them then held in place using rubber bands. The wires need to be adjusted on a regular basis in order to keep teeth moving in the right direction. This requires frequent office visits. For people with busy schedules and a hectic life – this is inconvenient, and any delay in appointment scheduling can prolong the timeframe that braces need to be worn for. As an Invisalign® dentist, we see patients less frequently because the checkups are not to adjust anything, just to make sure that the procedure is working. This is far more convenient for patients throughout the Palm Desert area.
For most patients living in the Palm Desert CA area, the procedure takes around twelve months. The exact timeframe will depend on your situation, and only our team can tell you how long they will need to be worn. Overall, the treatment time can be less than with metal braces. This is in part because you do not have to schedule appointments to keep your teeth moving. Simply pull out a new aligner.
Not all dentists offer Invisalign®. You have to receive special training in order to provide it to patients. To learn if the procedure is right for you, schedule an appointment with our Portola Dental Group office by calling 760-201-4085.
Unlike wearing traditional braces, Invisalign® will not make a major impact on your quality of life. Since the aligners are clear, it will not impact your appearance. Additionally, since they only need to be worn for 22 hours a day, they will not interfere with eating. This is a huge advantage because you can eat your favorite plate of ribs, go out for a romantic date, eat a caramel apple without worrying about something becoming stuck in your teeth or a wire being pulled out of place. This time also allows you to take the aligner out when having an important conversation or making a presentation at work. Overall, this is a convenient way to straighten your teeth and provides the maximum level of flexibility.
Some people are concerned about whether or not wearing an aligner will impact their speech. Most of our Palm Desert patients tell us that they have to get used to wearing aligners after the first couple of days. Sometimes, patients have a slight lisp which goes away once they become used to speaking while wearing them. This is standard with any orthodontic procedure but fortunately; most people can speak normally within a couple of days.
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