Straighter Teeth in Less Time? Here's How Invisalign® Works

Just 20 years ago, if you’d wanted straighter teeth and a more attractive smile, you would have had one option: Braces. For most people that would mean a few years of wearing metal bands or ceramic brackets attached by thin metal wires and seeing the orthodontist every few weeks to have them tightened. Brushing and flossing would have been really difficult, and if you want to munch on some corn on the cob - well, forget about it.

But then along came 1999, the year the Invisalign® orthodontic system was introduced - and all that changed. Instead of wires and brackets with sharp edges that poked and rubbed, Invisalign® relies smooth medical-grade plastic; instead of struggling with a toothbrush and floss to keep teeth and gums clean during treatment, Invisalign® aligners can be removed - easily - to make it easy to care for teeth and gums - and possible to eat foods normally “forbidden” with traditional braces treatment. Plus, Invisalign® treatment typically shaves a significant amount of time off an orthodontic treatment. And of course, the aligners’ clear design eliminates the embarrassment and self-consciousness many people felt while wearing traditional metal and even ceramic braces. WIth so many revolutionary changes, it’s no wonder the Invisalign® system has become an extremely popular option for just about anyone who wants to enjoy straighter teeth, a more beautiful smile and better oral health. But just how does the Invisalign® system work to achieve all these advantages?

Customized Care, From Start to Finish

It all starts with the system’s customized design and approach to care. To move teeth teeth into their proper alignment, traditional braces use one-size-fits-all components that are adhered to the tooth surface. With each adjustment, the wires that link the brackets are tightened, causing significant forces that diminish over time until the next adjustment. Because of the way traditional braces are designed, these adjustments and the movements they yield are abrupt, resulting in a fair degree of discomfort immediately after the wires are tightened.

By contrast, the Invisalign® system uses a series of 12 or more custom-designed aligner sets that are worn in a specific sequence. The aligners are made of smooth, durable, medical-grade plastic using state-of-the-art computer-aided design and manufacturing technology for a precise, comfortable fit that snugly follows the contours of the patient’s teeth. Although the aligners may look the same, in fact, each aligner reflects a subtle change in shape that correlates with a movement in the teeth.

While braces are tightened every month or so, aligners are changed out more frequently by the patient - usually every couple of weeks - so tooth movements are more gradual and far more comfortable. That means that instead of a single abrupt force being exerted on the teeth every few weeks followed by a period of adjustment and then another painful tightening, the force exerted by the Invisalign® aligners is gentler and consistent, causing less trauma on the roots while still moving the teeth into their ideal positions.

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Is Invisalign® Right for You?

Invisalign® has truly revolutionized the way people think about orthodontic care, and millions of teens and adults are reaping the benefits of Invisalign®’s unique customized approach to care. The past two decades of Invisalign® use have resulted in plenty of new “upgrades” to the aligner design, which means the Invisalign® system can be used in more patients than ever, offering great results usually in a fraction of the time of traditional braces. If you’re thinking about having orthodontic treatment, call Dream Smile Dental today at 781-330-0900 and ask about our current Invisalign special! 

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