If you have crooked teeth, then you know all too well how much of an impact it can have on your self-esteem. 7 out of 10 people in America report feeling self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth, often to the point where it impacts their social and professional lives. But as far as crooked teeth are concerned, poor self-esteem is not the only issue that people may face.
The American Dental Association reports that crooked teeth can cause a wide range of dental problems if not corrected, some of which include cavities, gum infections, and even tooth loss. Fortunately, modern-day dentistry offers a variety of options for correcting crooked and poorly-aligned teeth, including popular treatments like Invisalign.
So, What’s Invisalign?
Invisalign uses customized clear aligners to gradually move crooked teeth into an optimal position as prescribed by a dentist. Many dentists recommend Invisalign not only for crooked teeth but also for other dental problems that can cause alignment issues. Along with crooked teeth, Invisalign can help with the following:
- Overcrowded teeth
- Open bites
- Gapped teeth
Of course, the severity of these dental problems will determine whether or not Invisalign is the best course of treatment. Some dental issues will still be severe enough to require traditional wire braces. In most cases, however, clear aligners are more than enough when it comes to improving the appearance, health, and function of the teeth.
How Does Invisalign Work?
The aligners used during Invisalign treatments are a series of clear, customized trays that are created based on dental impressions your dentist takes of your teeth. Each of these trays will move your teeth approximately 0.25 mm. Most dentists will instruct patients to use a new tray every two weeks.
When used correctly, Invisalign can provide patients with straighter and healthier teeth in a fraction of the time that is required for traditional wire braces. The same applies to those with overcrowding, open bites, and other dental problems.
It is worth noting, however, that these revolutionary braces must be worn for a certain number of hours each day for them to be effective. Most dentists advise patients to wear their Invisalign aligners for 20 to 22 hours each day. Strictly speaking, you should only remove them to eat, drink, or brush your teeth.
When Will I Start to See Results?
While treatment times can vary depending on the severity of a patient’s dental problems, most people with crooked or misaligned teeth will see significant results within 12 months of beginning Invisalign. Additional factors that can determine how long it will take to see results include:
Age – Technically, you’re never too old to undergo Invisalign treatments. However, if you’re an older adult, it might take longer to see noticeable results. Teenagers and young adults will usually see their results more quickly because their teeth are easier for the trays to manipulate.
Compliance – Swapping out your Invisalign aligners and wearing them as prescribed can lead to straighter, healthier teeth that much sooner. Studies show that individuals who do not follow the recommendations of their dentist often find that their teeth have reverted to their original position. As a result, it can take double the time for the teeth to straighten.
Gapped teeth – When it comes to correcting gapped teeth with Invisalign treatments, the severity of the gap will influence how long it will take to see results. Individuals with a slight gap often see improvements within 6 months.
However, for those with severe gaps, especially when coupled with overcrowding, the timeframe is quite a bit longer, typically 18 months. It’s also worth noting that if the gap between a patient’s teeth is too large, Invisalign may not be the best course of treatment.
Overcrowded teeth – When using Invisalign to correct overcrowded teeth, the severity of the overcrowding will determine how long it will take to see results. Those with slightly overcrowded teeth typically see results in about 6 months. By comparison, individuals with severe overcrowding may not see results for 12 or more months.
Invisalign is a viable treatment for many different dental issues affecting tooth placement and structure. From a cost perspective, they don’t cost much more than traditional braces. Plus, the fact that they are clear means you don’t have to feel self-conscious about wearing them.
In terms of effectiveness, studies show that the success rate of Invisalign aligners is in the neighborhood of 96 percent. Of course, this rate only applies if the patient practices good oral hygiene and makes it a point to wear their aligners for the recommended amount of time each day.
Choosing the Right Professional
Whether your goal is to correct crooked, overcrowded, or gapped teeth, you will want to choose a dentist who is well-versed in Invisalign treatments. Typically, when Invisalign treatments fail and the patient is compliant, it is because of an inexperienced dentist.
If you’re in Miami or the surrounding area and desire straighter, healthier teeth, Dr. John Paul Gallardo can help. With over 25 years of experience in dentistry, Dr. Gallardo is fully committed to addressing all the dental needs of the patients in his care. Along with his expertise in overseeing Invisalign treatments, Dr. John Paul Gallardo is also highly proficient in periodontics and dental implant therapy.
Even if you’re not a good candidate for Invisalign treatments, you can be assured that you’re still in highly skilled and capable hands. Dr. Gallardo will recommend the appropriate treatment for your needs. If you’re ready to transform your smile and safeguard your oral health, consider visiting miamiperio.com to learn more and to schedule a consultation.