For many people, aligning teeth perfectly for a beautiful smile is a goal they would like to achieve in their lifetime. However, treatment options are not always accessible, particularly when a patient lacks sufficient information on the best option. Therefore, you want to learn about various orthodontic services before scheduling an appointment. Gathering the details will empower you with enough knowledge to make a sound decision under your dentist's guidance.

Among the various orthodontic services is treatment using invisalign. The process is similar to other traditional options like fitting braces, but you will use different devices to achieve the final look. Since the treatment is an essential part of your appearance, you want to work with a trusted orthodontist with a wealth of experience in the field.

At Washington Dental, you will benefit from the skills and expertise of our team of professionals. We have practiced orthodontic treatment for many years. We have also helped patients attain their dream smile through invisalign treatment, among others. Therefore, you are in good hands when you decide to begin treatment because we are dedicated to providing excellent results for our patients seeking treatment in Carson, California.

The Role of Invisalign in Orthodontic Treatment

Most patients are conversant with the goal behind undergoing orthodontic treatment, as it aligns teeth into an aesthetically balanced position in your mouth. However, owing to the different treatment options available, you may be unsure of the role that invisalign plates play in treatment. Typically, orthodontists will use braces for the alignment treatment because they are more popular and have provided consistent results. Moreover, braces easily adjust and align teeth in the expected time because they are stuck on the teeth.

Invisalign plays a similar role, but with advanced design and convenience compared to traditional braces. Thus, wearing your invisalign plates should gradually push your teeth into their required position. The process continues until you attain the best dental structure for your face. The technological developments leading to invisalign creation had the patient's experience in mind. Nevertheless, the final result is the same; having straight teeth and an improved facial appearance.

Treatable Dental Conditions Using Invisalign

As discussed, wearing your invisalign plates should lead you towards the same results as wearing braces for the treatment duration. Therefore, the treatable conditions when wearing invisalign are the same as those treated when wearing braces. Subsequently, you can enjoy a more comfortable orthodontic treatment experience and have the same benefits. Some of the treatable conditions include:

Teeth Gaps

When you have large teeth gaps in your dental structure, you may have difficulties chewing, biting, and lacking confidence in your general oral appearance. Additionally, while cleaning the spaces between the teeth gaps may be easy, you are likely to trap small particles that may breed harmful bacteria. If the condition is not adequately handled, you will suffer from cavities and periodontal diseases. Thus, deciding to close the gaps may help you combat these problems and help you restore your oral health.

By incorporating invisalign into your treatment, you will achieve your desired results over time. Progress is visible when your teeth edge towards each other as the dentist makes adjustments. Eventually, you will have the gaps completely closed to help you avoid trapped particles in between the enamel. Moreover, the new teeth positions can help improve your oral aesthetic and boost your confidence.

Correcting Overbites

An overbite is a dental condition whereby the teeth on your upper jaw protrude further outwards than those on your lower jaw. Consequently, a large gap exists between the two sets of teeth, making it difficult to close your mouth comfortably.

For some, severe overbites lead to multiple injuries on your lips because chewing is more difficult. Hence, you are more likely to bite yourself as you eat due to the condition. Apart from facing challenges in chewing and closing your mouth, overbites also change your facial appearance. This is because you are constantly stretching your upper lip to close your mouth completely.

To avoid discomfort and self-consciousness, you can start invisalign treatment that aims to correct the overbite condition. Your orthodontist will guide you through the several steps before treatment and explain why specific procedures are important. Over time, the overbite is closed, and you will not strain to close your mouth or chew.

Reducing Teeth Crowding

When a patient has a small jaw and large-sized enamels, he/she is likely to have teeth crowding. The condition manifests itself in different levels. This means that the crowing may be mild for some patients and severe for others. Extreme cases lead to teeth growing outside the jawbone line, especially for canines and incisors close to the canine. The physical manifestation of the crowding results in teeth moving towards the gums instead.

If a patient also suffers from other conditions like grinding teeth, he/she may experience more pain, as the force exerted on the jaw is a lot. Due to this, you may feel pain on specific teeth depending on how often you grind the teeth and how closely placed the teeth are.

Correcting teeth crowding often requires you to undergo some post-treatment procedures before the Orthodontist can fit the invisalign. The most common option is having several teeth removed to create space for re-alignment. You do not have to worry about the extraction process, as your dentist will provide details beforehand and use anesthesia during the process.

Underbite Correction

An underbite condition has similar but opposite effects to an overbite condition. In this case, the teeth on your lower jaw are more outwardly placed than those on the upper jaw. Subsequently, closing your mouth may be uncomfortable as you try to close the gap between the two jaws. Additionally, the teeth on your lower jaw may be misaligned, meaning that they will require straightening even as the underbite is corrected.

Using invisalign treatment, your dentist will push the lower teeth back to the required position. A normal jaw placement should have the teeth on your upper jaw slightly forward than the lower ones. While treatment may take some months to complete, our goal is to provide great results that permanently correct the condition and relieve you of the discomfort.

Crossbite Correction

Crossbites can also be corrected using invisalign treatment. The condition manifests itself when the teeth on the upper jaw are misaligned. Normally, your dental structure should have the upper and lower jaw teeth match. For example, the upper incisors and canines should align with the lower ones for easy chewing and biting. Having an aligned structure is also important, as it helps you close your mouth and have the teeth touch naturally.

Correcting a crossbite may be easier or more difficult than other conditions, depending on the severity of your case. For example, if a patient had a crossbite and teeth crowding, the invisalign treatment process may extend to ensure that all misalignments are corrected before you can achieve the final look.

Suitability of Invisalign Treatment for Different Patients

Upon learning about what invisalign can correct, you may wonder if it is the best option for you. The answer depends on various factors, including your age group. Based on the characteristics of invisalign, three main age groups are distinguishable.

Invisalign Treatment in Young Children

Before recommending invisalign for young children a dentist considers whether they have completed the loss and replacement of milk teeth with permanent teeth. This is because treatment would be ineffective if the process is incomplete, as the permanent teeth may grow in displaced areas. Further, diagnosing the child's dental condition requires all permanent teeth to grow so that the misalignment is clearer to depict.

If the child qualifies for treatment, we also consider their ability to withstand the initial discomfort of teeth alignment. Additionally, it is important to establish that the child is responsible enough to wear their invisalign plates as directed. Although no specific age is recommended for younger children to start treatment, we recommend ten to twelve years. The age bracket allows the child will have attained some independence on top of growing permanent teeth.

Invisalign Treatment in Teenagers

Teenagers and young adults form the largest percentage of patients who benefit from invisalign treatment. Their permanent teeth are well set in the jawbone for most, meaning that the orthodontist can easily diagnose their condition. Further, societal settings may make this group more conscious of their facial appearance, leading to more self-consciousness as they interact.

Another factor to consider is that most young people prefer discreet treatment options, as traditional braces are less popular in today's setting. Due to these reasons, teenagers prefer invisalign because it is less noticeable yet delivers the same results. The convenience of removing the plates when eating and drinking also makes this option more viable, as most young patients want to retain their comfort when eating.

Invisalign Treatment in Adults

Like teenagers and young adults, most adults prefer discreet forms of treatment as they seek to have their teeth aligned. This is especially true for patients working as public figures or in professional corporate settings that are conservative. Subsequently, wearing braces may attract unwanted attention compared to invisalign plates. Due to this, the treatment option is suitable for adults who intend to undergo treatment with minimal attention and discomfort.

Overall, the bottom line is that invisalign is suitable for all age groups. Treatment is effective as llong as they can keep up with wearing their plates as recommended by their orthodontist and maintain good oral hygiene. Nevertheless, younger children will require additional parental supervision and guidance on managing their invisalign to avoid misplacing or damaging them.

Processes Involved in Invisalign Treatment

When you decide to approach your dentist to begin invisalign treatment, you should expect to undergo several processes before having the plates fitted. Thus, leaving the clinic with invisalign after your first appointment is unlikely, as some preparation must occur. Hence, learning about what to expect is crucial in helping you manage your expectations and knowing what to do. The steps involved are:

The First Dental Consultation

Although you may have an idea of what misalignment problem you have, seeing your dentist should always be your starting point. During the first appointment, your orthodontist will perform a physical examination to make a preliminary diagnosis. He/she will then present several treatment options and discuss the benefits of each. If you have settled on having invisalign treatment, the discussions will center around it, and you are welcome to ask as many questions as possible.

Since the appointment is primarily a discussion, you can also raise your concerns and the budget you should work with as you begin. Your orthodontist will also ask about your medical and family history to determine whether your condition is genetic or influenced by external factors.

For example, having an overbite may be genetic, or it may arise from improper tongue placement, thumb sucking, or any other tools that cause an outward force on your upper jaw teeth. Once the orthodontist gathers sufficient information, he/she will then inform you of the subsequent processes to undergo. You should remember that each patient's treatment procedure is different, so we do not recommend relying on another person's information over scheduling a consultation.

Acquiring X-Rays, Study Models, and Photographs

Once your dentist recommends invisalign treatment for your dental misalignment, he/she requires a reference point to design the invisalign plates. This is because orthodontic treatment is always customized to a patient's requirements, as each condition is unique. Therefore, having a design reference will equip your orthodontist with information on the type of reinforcement that the invisalign should provide your teeth. Three main sources will help in creating the best treatment for you.

Firstly, the dentist will request you to take X-Ray images that showcase your internal dental structure. Normally, a Lateral Cephalogram and an OPG image are required, as they both display your teeth in cross-section and laterally. The dimensions are useful in creating the invisalign through computer-generated images, as the orthodontic team can easily transfer these images to their computer designs.

Secondly, your dentist will take regular photographs of your teeth’ alignment for further reference. This may also occur during your initial consultation, as only a camera is required. Thanks to the photographs, creating a computer-generated image for further reference and accurate invisalign designs is achievable. The images include a regular photo of your face from the front, as well as a side profile image. These photos can also serve as your "before" images that you can use to compare the success of treatment after completing it and taking other photos.

Finally, study model impressions are also a crucial part of designing your invisalign plates. These models are a replication of your mouth structure, as they recreate the teeth on both jaws. To capture these impressions, your dentist will use a special mold to press hard against the teeth. The force should be enough for your teeth to leave exact impressions on the mold. Once it dries, the study models are ready for use, and you do not have to return to the clinic for any more measurements before the invisalign is ready.

Pre-Treatment Services

Since your dentist will have all the details required to create the invisalign, you will only have to wait a few days before coming in for your fitting. However, some patients may require to undergo pre-treatment procedures to ensure the success of invisalign in moving the teeth. For example, as discussed, patients receiving treatment for overcrowding may undergo teeth extractions to create space for movement.

Additionally, placement of composite in patches may be necessary for some patients. This process is crucial in helping your invisalign plate fit well in your mouth when treatment begins. Thorough teeth cleaning is also a recommended post-treatment process. After the cleaning procedure, you will have a smoother time maintaining good oral hygiene even after having the invisalign plates on the whole day.

Any other serious teeth conditions should also be remedied before fitting invisalign. For example, tooth decay, cavities, and dental abscess conditions should be handled adequately to prevent complications as the invisalign treatment progresses. Afterward, the fitting appointment is scheduled.

The Fitting Appointment

Unlike braces, invisalign fitting is a simple routine that involves wearing the plastic plates and retaining them if they are comfortable. Therefore, your fitting appointment will be relatively short and pain-free, as your orthodontist fits the plastic plates in your mouth and provides further guidelines.

Usually, the plates should fit your teeth well, as the Orthodontist will have used your mouth models to create custom invisalign plates for you. However, some patients may note extreme discomfort that exceeds the expected force to push their teeth. In case of any excruciating pain, please inform your orthodontist and request to have the plates changed. Although you should feel some pressure as the invisalign pushes teeth into new positions, there should be no pain that causes extreme headaches or difficulty chewing and sleeping.

On top of fitting the invisalign, your dentist will also provide further guidelines. Firstly, you should note that your invisalign plates are only effective for about two weeks, so you will need to attend another appointment to have them changed bi-weekly. We recommend you to show up for all appointments, as failure to change the invisalign on time could make your teeth realign to their former positions and revert the progress.

Attending these appointments is also beneficial because you can raise any issues with your orthodontist. For example, most patients may pronounce words slightly differently after first fitting the plates, as they interfere with teeth and tongue contact when speaking.

Teeth sensitivity is also a common effect of invisalign, as your teeth are being displaced to new positions with the exertion of force. If you face intense pain, your orthodontist can recommend pain relief medication to manage your symptoms and help you minimize the urge to remove the invisalign plates.

Care Tips that Benefit the Treatment Process

As with most dental procedures, your dentist will provide several after-care tips that help you adjust to the invisalign. These tips will also help you attain progressive results and maintain your oral health until the final treatment stage. Some important tips to uphold are:

Wear Your Invisalign as Recommended

Although your mouth may feel awkward and tight at first, wearing your invisalign for at least twenty hours per day is crucial for noticeable changes in teeth alignment. Therefore, you should only remove the plates when eating or drinking, or other activities that may affect the plates. For example, playing a windpipe instrument may be difficult with the invisalign, so you can have them off and return them after the session.

Clean Your Teeth and Invisalign Plates Everyday

Maintenance of oral hygiene is also paramount for successful treatment. We recommend brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal if possible or at least twice a day. Similarly, you should clean your invisalign with a soft-bristle toothbrush to prevent bacteria from breeding.

Avoid Brightly Coloured Food and Drinks

Consuming brightly colored food and drinks will stain your invisalign plates, making them less discreet and generally discolored. Hence, we recommend removing the invisalign when having these foods and drinks and brushing your teeth afterward to avoid staining.

The Cost of Invisalign Treatment

invisalign treatment costs between $1800 to $4000, depending on the clinic you visit. While most insurance companies do not cover orthodontic treatment costs, we are happy to discuss payment options. Our payment plans should ease the financial pressure of making upfront payments.

Contact an Orthodontic Clinic Near Me

Having your teeth properly aligned is a beneficial process, as it improves your oral health and general confidence. Choosing to undergo treatment can also help you discover more about your health, especially when discussing your medical and family history. Since orthodontic treatment targets an improved dental structure appearance, your orthodontist should be highly experienced and conversant with invisalign technology to complete the alignment successfully.

With the help of a certified orthodontist, you can acquire an improved smile that will also benefit your general oral health. Our compassionate and well-experienced team is ready to provide the best orthodontic services for you or your loved ones at Washington Dental if seeking treatment in Carson, California. Contact us today at 310-217-1507 for more information on invisalign treatment.