What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a non-metal approach to straighten your teeth and help you achieve a more beautiful, healthy smile. These aligners are removable to allow for brushing and flossing during treatment and for the greatest level of patient comfort. Royal Dental provides Invisalign to patients in Houston and the surrounding areas.

How Does Invisalign Work?

If you are interested in Invisalign aligners, your dentist will begin treatment by taking x-rays, pictures and exact impressions of your teeth. Invisalign will use this information to create a 3-D image of your mouth. Afterward, your dentist will be able to create a personalized treatment plan that includes the exact movements of your teeth.

Based on your individual treatment plan, Invisalign makes a series of custom-made, clear aligners (or retainers) specifically for you. The aligners are made from smooth, BPA-free plastic. The aligners do not irritate your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces. Simply wear the aligners throughout the day, and remove them when you eat or to brush and floss your teeth. The aligners will gently and gradually begin to shift your teeth into their proper place. Because they’re virtually invisible, most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them.

What Problems Can Invisalign Correct?

Invisalign can help treat a number of dental issues. These issues include closing gapped teeth, treating overbites, underbites, and open bites, straightening overly crowded teeth, and realigning a crossbite.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Invisalign?

It is important for a dentist or orthodontist to evaluate your bite to make sure you are a good candidate for Invisalign. Some patients with severely misaligned teeth and bites require additional orthodontic care prior to Invisalign treatment. If you are interested in correcting and enhancing your smile with Invisalign, schedule a consultation with Royal Dental today.

Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

Your Royal Dental orthodontist is specially training to provide precise calibrations for your Invisalign trays. In most cases, Invisalign is just as effective as traditional metal braces.

If you are currently wearing braces, and a life circumstance such as a wedding, senior pictures, a job interview or new job position that requires you to have less noticeable orthodontic treatment comes up, then we can work on removing the braces, and continuing the treatment for you with Invisalign if you qualify for it. A patient with large spaces typically will be better off staying in braces.

What Causes Gapped Teeth?

Gaps between teeth can occur with abnormal continued growth of the jawbone. Missing teeth can also cause the surrounding teeth to shift due to the extra space, creating gaps or furthering in your teeth. Spacing problems and gaps in between teeth can lead to additional gum issues (due to a lack of protection by the teeth) such as periodontal pockets and an increased risk of periodontal disease.

What Is An Overbite?

An “overbite” is commonly referred to as “overjet” by dental professionals. This occurs when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. It’s typically developed by genetics, bad oral habits, or overdevelopment of the bone that helps support the teeth. Overbites can further lead to gum problems or irritation, and/or wear on the lower teeth. It can lead to a painful jaw and additional joint problems.

What Is An Underbite?

An underbite occurs when the lower teeth project past the front teeth. Underbites are caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, an overgrowth of the lower jaw, or a combination of both. Another way an underbite can also be caused is by missing upper teeth. It can stop the normal function of front teeth or molars, which can lead to tooth wear. This condition can also cause painful jaw and joint problems.

What Is An Open Bite?

When some teeth are unable to make physical contact with the opposing teeth for a proper bite, we call this an open bite. Open bites are often caused by an abnormal jaw structure or excessive thumb-sucking. An open bite can cause chewing to be painful, and even create a speech impairment. It can also cause other more serious issues such as thermo-mandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

What Causes Crowded Teeth?

When there is simply a lack of room within your jaw for all of your teeth to fit normally, this is called teeth crowding. When teeth crowding is left untreated, it can get worse over time, and can result in severely crooked teeth. Teeth crowding can lead to more serious issues such as, plaque accumulation, tooth decay and a higher chance for the onset of gum disease.

What is a Crossbite?

When the upper and lower jaws are both misaligned, this is called a crossbite. Crossbites can cause one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth, and can happen on both the front and the sides of the mouth. Issues caused by crossbites include, wear of the teeth, gum disease and bone loss.

Invisalign Consultation Process

During your initial consultation, you and your dentist will discuss your oral health needs and goals in detail to determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. This will also be your opportunity to ask any questions you may have, including questions regarding the cost of Invisalign and insurance coverage.

Also, Invisalign treatment is often more accommodating to busy schedules with less frequent dental visits. When choosing an option for straitening your teeth, it’s important to consider what works best for not only your appearance but your lifestyle as well!

Can I Eat and Drink While Wearing Invisalign?

Metal dental braces have long been used as a way of straightening the alignment of the teeth with the use of metal, or sometimes ceramic, brackets and wires in order to pressure the teeth in the right contour. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign trays are easily removable by the patient. This allows for easier cleaning and the removal of stuck on food which will prevent tooth decay. Patients with Invisalign have the freedom to enjoy foods such as popcorn that are off limits for those wearing traditional metal braces.

Only water should be used while the aligners are in. All other food and drink may result in staining, and provide a lengthy feast for the bacteria that live on the teeth which will create acid, result in decay, bad odor, and white decalcification scars that permanently alter the appearance of the teeth. Aligners should be removed when eating and drinking, and then you should brush or at the very least rinse your teeth prior to placing the aligners back in.

How Long Is Invisalign Treatment?

While every case is unique, treatment typically takes approximately one year for adults. For teens, the length of treatment is comparable to that of braces, but since your teeth won’t be covered by wires and brackets, you’ll be able to see improvement much sooner.

How Often Do I Change Invisalign Aligners?

Approximately every two weeks, you will begin wearing a new set of aligners, advancing you to the next stage of your treatment. To monitor your progress, you will also have occasional checkups with your orthodontist, usually only every six weeks or so. At every stage, you will be able to see how much closer you are to having the smile that reflects the real you.

How Many Hours a Day Do I Need to Wear Invisalign?

For best results, you will be instructed to wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, throughout your entire treatment. This will ensure a timely outcome.

How To Take Care of Invisalign Aligners

Patients should clean their aligners daily with non-abrasive liquid soap. They should occasionally soak aligners for 20 minutes in denture cleaning solution e.g. Polident, Efferdent, and specialty foams for cleaning retainers such as EverSmile can all be used on your aligners for cleaning purposes. Toothpaste tends to be too abrasive and can make the aligners lose their translucency.