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Have you wanted a better smile but can’t live with the notion of wearing metal braces? Do you think braces are the only game in town?  If so, you will be delighted to discover Invisalign®!

What is Invisalign®?

BPA free and custom-made for you, Invisalign® takes a modern-day approach to cosmetic dentistry. Using a series of thin and transparent aligners, Invisalign® works to gently adjust mildly crowded and crooked place. Made of strong medical-grade plastic, Invisalign® is also an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable alternative for maintaining a spotless, non-intrusive, and professional appearance.

How Does Invisalign® Work?

One of the benefits of Invisalign® is its easy application. Invisalign® uses a series of clear plastic aligners that rest over both sets of your teeth. Shaped specifically to fit the contours of your mouth, they apply a mild force to gradually nudge your teeth into their new, proper placement. Once the straightening process has begun, wearers will switch out their Invisalign® trays every two weeks to keep your teeth moving into place.

The Invisalign® Process

Before beginning your treatment at Dental Associates at Walden Woods, the dentist will conduct an examination and then work with you to create a treatment plan that meets your unique needs and alignment goals.

If Invisalign® is determined to be a great fit for you, the dentist will begin the molding process. For this, the team at Dental Associates at Walden Woods will use an iTero digital 3D scanner to produce ultra-high resolution 3D images of your upper and lower dental arches in just a matter of minutes.  With the state-of-the-art iTero scanner, you can compare the before and after versions of your teeth and see the dramatic orthodontic correction that Invisalign® is able to produce just for you.

Next, your custom-made aligners will be made in a lab. Once they come back your dentist will make sure your Invisalign® aligners fit well and make any necessary adjustments for comfort.

After several weeks you will follow up with your dentist who will check your tooth straightening progress and make sure that your Invisalign® aligners are fitting comfortably. After this the dentist will go over the next steps of your treatment plan with you.

Does Invisalign® Hurt?

Great news! Invisalign® is not painful. However, it may leave your teeth feeling sore in the initial stages or after switching out the aligner for a tighter size.  Much like other traditional orthodontic treatments, your teeth may feel uncomfortable after treatment because of the pressure being exerted before the jaw becomes accustomed to its new shape. In most cases, this discomfort can be easily treated via drinking cold water or taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories.

How to Clean Invisalign®

Because Invisalign® aligners from Dental Associates at Walden Woods are removable, patients must take special care to thoroughly clean their aligners often. Some effective cleaning methods for cleaning Invisalign® include:

  • Thoroughly rinse your aligner with cool water before bed and after you eat or wake up.
  • Brush your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush (not one used for regular brushing) and a clear, gentle brand of liquid soap to remove accumulated food particles.
  • Avoid using toothpaste for cleaning your aligners.
  • Store your aligners in a special container when they are not being used.

During your appointment at Dental Associates at Walden Woods, your dentist will discuss proper cleaning and storage methods with you to ensure that your Invisalign® aligners remain clean and comfortable.

Which is Better - Invisalign® or Braces?

It depends! When choosing between alignment methods, it is important to note that one of the biggest factors that hinders people from choosing metal braces is that they often stand out while Invisalign® are clear and blend in naturally with your smile. Because of this Invisalign® is popular with those who are self-conscious about their appearance.

Another difference is that the changeable nature and non-intrusive appearance of Invisalign® are more appealing to patients who have concerns about wearing braces all the time. However, because braces are not removable, they will typically achieve alignment in a much shorter period of time than Invisalign®. While Invisalign® helps treat a variety of issues, dentists will typically recommend braces over Invisalign® in scenarios involving overbite, crossbite, and underbites.

Another difference is that braces can be broken by chewing, unlike Invisalign®, which can be removed for meals. Also, the wiring from braces can act as a reservoir for bacteria and plaque whereas Invisalign® allows for better oral hygiene. Additionally, conventional metal braces can often trap food in its brackets or hard to reach places in the mouth, resulting in patients having to perform a more careful oral cleaning during treatment.

Should I Get Invisalign® or Braces?

One of the biggest factors that deter people from choosing braces instead of Invisalign® is that many patients feel shy or self-conscious wearing metal brackets and feel it may attract unwanted attention to them. Alternatively, many Invisalign® users love how easy they are to apply and how comfortable they feel. They also believe the transparency of Invisalign® is an aesthetically pleasing alternative to the unsightliness of braces.

Another thing to consider as you weigh getting braces or Invisalign® is that there are key differences in their application. For example, braces are set in place and must be manually tightened once every few months while Invisalign® is removable and can be tightened for comfort as needed. Unlike braces, if your aligners show signs of wear, become damaged, or need reshaping, Invisalign® simply sends you a new aligner.

Braces may not always look pretty but they get the job done. While not as stylish as Invisalign®, they have their own set of positives. In addition to being less expensive and aligning teeth in a shorter amount of time, braces are preferred for treating more complex dental issues like adjusting crooked teeth and correcting bites.

How Long Does Invisalign® Last?

Although Invisalign® aligners are removable, your dentist will recommend wearing them the majority of the day and night. As a result, if worn as often as possible, Invisalign® guarantees results in 12 to 18 months. This timeframe may vary in length if an individual takes frequent, extended breaks from wearing their Invisalign® aligners. Still, as long as one wears their Invisalign® retainers for the suggested amount of time per day, their teeth will be aligned, and their smile rejuvenated.

Dental Care Care After Your Invisalign® Treatment

After wearing Invisalign® for your prescribed amount of time your dentist will recommend wearing retainer once you have completed your treatment. Additionally, our dentist may suggest scheduling more frequent appointments for teeth cleaning to maintain excellent results.

Since Invisalign® aligners are custom made, the cost will vary per patient. What generally determines the cost of your treatment will be the extent of your dental problems. However, if you are worried about the effects of Invisalign® on your wallet, you will be glad to know that our office offers a variety of payment options. Speak with a member of our team to learn more. For more information on how Invisalign® can work for you, call at 813-752-3030 to schedule an appointment.


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