Since its inception, Invisalign has been the preferred option for patients of all ages to straighten their teeth and achieve the beautiful smiles they’ve always wanted. Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign aligners can be removed for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. They are also virtually invisible and completely comfortable to wear. Although most patients undergo Invisalign treatment because they would like to straighten their teeth and boost their self-confidence, many patients also opt for Invisalign to protect their gums and reduce their risk of gum disease. Here at Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, we are pleased to offer Invisalign to patients in Miami and surrounding areas. This treatment is highly recommended for patients who have had gum disease.
Gum Disease Defined
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and tissues that support the teeth. It is typically caused by plaque and tartar buildup that occurs when patients do not properly or routinely brush and floss their teeth.
The two major stages of periodontal disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is considered a mild form of gum disease and only affects the gums. It can be reversed with proper treatment and good oral hygiene.
If gingivitis is not treated, it may turn into periodontitis. When periodontitis occurs, bacteria penetrates into the deeper pockets of tissue, where bone and membranes support the teeth. Left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.
Warning Signs of Gum Disease
Unfortunately, gum disease is not necessarily obvious because it doesn’t always exhibit symptoms like pain or discomfort. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of its early warning signs. The most common warning sign is changes to the teeth or bite. A few examples of these changes include loose or separating teeth or a change in the way the teeth fit together during a bite.
Gum changes such as recurring redness, puffiness, or swelling of the gums may also signify gum disease. Bad breath, a strange taste in the mouth, or sores in the mouth may be warning signs of gum disease as well.
Orthodontic Treatment after Gum Disease
Many patients who have had gum disease would like to straighten their teeth. While this is understandable, it is important to note that patients should never undergo orthodontic treatment before getting their gum disease under control.
This is because gum disease affects the foundation of the gum and bone that surrounds the teeth and holds them in place. When gum disease exists, the integrity of the hold on the teeth may be affected and the teeth may become loose during alignment.
Once patients begin receiving treatment for gum disease, our periodontist can help them decide whether traditional metal braces or Invisalign is the right choice. In most cases, Invisalign is the ideal treatment.
Benefits of Invisalign for Patients with Gum Disease
There are a number of reasons Invisalign is a good orthodontic treatment for patients who have had gum disease. Perhaps the greatest benefit of Invisalign for patients who need to keep a close eye on their oral health is that its aligners can be removed for brushing and flossing. Excellent oral hygiene is essential for improving the health of the teeth and gums.
With Invisalign, patients can floss and brush as they normally would and won’t have to worry about specialized dental equipment such as special flossers or a Water-pik that may be necessary to keep teeth clean while wearing metal braces.
Invisalign can also properly align teeth and assist the gums in tightening around the teeth so that patients can enjoy improved periodontal health. Many patients notice that their gum health significantly improves after they complete Invisalign treatment.
In addition, Invisalign can promote fresher breath. Since patients who have had gum disease typically struggle with bad breath, this is an important benefit. Invisalign removable aligners make it easy to brush and floss thoroughly, preventing bad breath.
Wilckodontics (PAOO) and Invisalign for Periodontics
Wilckodontics involves combining orthodontic and periodontal procedures to achieve the optimal orthodontic result. The most noteworthy benefit of Wilckodontics is that it can prevent periodontal problems by creating sufficient bone in areas where there is usually thin or lacking bone.
Other benefits include a quicker orthodontic treatment, more bone to support teeth in the long-run, less loss of gum tissue, less root resorption, and less relapse. Wilckodontics can be paired with Invisalign to move teeth without the need for wires and brackets.
What to Expect From an Invisalign for Periodontics Consultation
Patients who have had gum disease and are interested in Invisalign are encouraged to schedule a private consultation at Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry.
Our periodontist will examine the teeth and gums to determine whether it’s safe for the patient to undergo orthodontic treatment or if they need to get their gum disease under control first. In the event that the patient is a good candidate for Invisalign, our periodontist will explain how the treatment process works and answer any questions they may have. After the consultation, patients who are good candidates for Invisalign may schedule an appointment so that the process can begin.
The Invisalign Treatment Process
Once our periodontist determines a patient is a good candidate for Invisalign, they’ll begin by taking photographs of their teeth and face and take x-rays and dental impressions of their teeth. All of these records will be sent to Invisalign so that a series of aligners that are custom made for the patient’s teeth can be designed.
As soon as the aligners have been designed, patients will wear each set for two weeks at a time for at least 22 hours a day. Each set of aligners is designed so that the teeth will be a bit straighter than the previous set. A patient can expect for their teeth to move 1/10mm per aligner.
Over time, Invisalign aligners will slowly but surely move a patient’s teeth into their optimal positions. Once a patient has achieved their desired results, they will need to wear retainers to prevent their teeth from shifting back into their original positions. While some patients opt for clear plastic retainers that resemble Invisalign aligners, other choose to get a permanent retainer that is fixed on the inside of their lower front teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign for Periodontics
Are Invisalign aligners safe for the gums?
Invisalign aligners are specifically engineered so they sit above the gum line and cannot trap plaque over the gums. This is great news for patients who have or had gum issues.
How long does Invisalign take?
Invisalign treatment times vary from patient to patient. A variety of factors such as tooth structure, age, and how well a patient follows the instructions our periodontist gives can all affect treatment time. In most cases, Invisalign treatment can be completed in between one to two years.
Does Invisalign hurt?
The Invisalign process is painless. However, some patients may experience minimal discomfort during the treatment process as their teeth shift. Their teeth may feel sore each time they put on a new aligner. The good news is this discomfort typically fades after a few days when patients get used to the aligner.
Do Invisalign aligners need to be cleaned?
It’s essential to clean Invisalign aligners in order for patients to maintain excellent oral hygiene. We recommend washing them each day with warm water. At night, patients should consider brushing their aligners with their toothpaste and rinsing them off. Washing Invisalign aligners can prevent bacteria buildup.
Are Invisalign aligners completely invisible?
Most people will not notice that patients are undergoing Invisalign treatment. However, someone with a keen eye may notice them. Fortunately, Invisalign aligners are far more discreet than traditional metal braces and are very comfortable to wear.
How does Invisalign affect speech?
Some patients are concerned that Invisalign will affect their speech. Typically, patients will speak exactly as they always have and will not feel any different when wearing Invisalign. During the first few days of wearing aligners, they may notice increased saliva because the mouth may mistake the aligners for food. After a few days, however, the mouth will adjust to the aligners and there should not be any issues with speaking.
Why Choose Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
If you have struggled with gum disease and would like to improve your smile through Invisalign, look no further than Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry. Our team of periodontists specializes in Invisalign for periodontics and can ensure that you achieve the smile of your dreams while keeping your gums in tip-top shape.
You can count on us to help you get your gum disease under control and determine whether or not you are ready for Invisalign. From the initial consultation to the last follow-up appointment, we’ll be here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide you with valuable advice that will keep your teeth and gums in optimal condition for years to come.
Schedule an Invisalign Consultation Today
If you’re interested in learning more about periodontal Invisalign and how it may benefit you and your oral health, we recommend scheduling a private consultation at our Miami office today. You can call us at 305-547-8687 or fill out our convenient online contact form. We look forward to meeting you!