The short answer is – yes. Yes, it can be right for you, your teen or your young child. The Invisalign system of today is exponentially better than what it was at inception. I can say that because I was there to try it in the very beginning and have committed to the Invisalign journey over the last 20 years. I have seen the evolution of the software, the aligner material, the treatment planning enhancements and the growth. I, too, continue to evolve my own practice as Invisalign evolves.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are removable trays that are made from flexible plastic. Your orthodontist designs the desired tooth movements and Invisalign makes the aligners so that they apply the force needed to move the teeth. This plastic is actually a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack® and was created exclusively for Invisalign. Of course, Invisalign aligners are FDA-approved and are free from BPA, BPS, latex, or gluten. They are thin and clear and fit securely over your teeth, while appearing invisible – hence the company’s name, Invisalign. Aligners are changed every week, on average and are extremely comfortable.
Myths About Invisalign
One of the biggest misconceptions about Invisalign is that it should be used to treat adults with ‘mild’ crowding. Yes, that is one use of Invisalign, but here is a list of other conditions that can be addressed using Invisalign.
• Open bites
• Deep overbites
• Moderate to severe crowding
• Implant preparation
• Jaw Surgery preparation
It is worth noting that all of these options depend on a complete and thorough diagnosis with your orthodontist. Severe cases of asymmetry or open bite, for example, may require jaw surgery or other appliances (like an expander) in addition to using Invisalign. The point is that Invisalign can still be part of the journey in a majority of cases.
Who Is A Candidate For Invisalign?
Adults, teens and children ages 7 and up can all be treated with Invisalign. The key is to find an orthodontist to complete an exam and diagnosis and discuss all of the options. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, all children should be examined by an orthodontist by age seven. This age is crucial since many different types of issues can be addressed. Even if your pediatrician or pediatric dentist do not mention this recommendation, it is highly advisable to be proactive and make this initial appointment yourself. Consider it a preventive care appointment! Often extraction of baby teeth can be avoided if an effective orthodontic plan is in place. Orthodontists specifically check for the following:
• Underbites, open bites or crossbites (front or back teeth)
• Missing, extra or malpositioned teeth (visible in the mouth/on X-ray)
• Habits like thumb or finger sucking
• Severe crowding
Personal Experience With Invisalign
One of my favorite stories is of a 7 year-old girl that I treated about 5 years ago. She was diagnosed with a small jaw and a malpositioned developing permanent tooth which was discovered on an X-ray. A removable expander would not fit because her teeth were so short and the clasps of the expander would not latch without pinching her gums. We had two other traditional options at that point: 1) cement a large metal expander that would interfere with eating and tongue space or 2) extract some baby teeth to make room for the developing tooth of concern. Neither option appealed to this patient or parent. So I offered to treat her with Invisalign to expand the jaw and to make space for the developing crooked tooth with the hopes that it would orient itself in a positive direction once enough space was created. Well, it did and Invisalign worked for this 7 year-old. No baby teeth were lost and the patient experience was a positive one. This 7-year old is my youngest daughter. I have been confidently using Invisalign for children as young as 7 ever since.
Why Invisalign Over Traditional Braces?
Although both types of appliances can straighten your teeth, the list of advantages of Invisalign over braces are:
• They are esthetically superior to traditional braces and therefore appealing to adults, teens and children
• Eating, brushing and flossing your teeth when being treated with Invisalign is nearly the same as before treatment
• They are comfortable to wear and do not carry the same likelihood of emergencies experienced with poking wires and broken braces
• The number of office visits can be as little as 25% as that needed for braces
• Treatment is compatible with travel and summer camps
Favorite Feature Of Invisalign
One of my favorite current features of Invisalign is the Virtual Care platform. The weekly photos submitted by patients are clear and incredibly helpful to gauge patient progress and also the areas that need improvement. It is a total game changer, especially now that
so much in the world is virtual.
Retainers are for life! Yes, you heard it correctly. Whether your wisdom teeth are impacted or missing, studies show that teeth continue to crowd over time, especially in the lower front area. Retainers should be worn as prescribed by your orthodontist and, at minimum, every night. As a wise woman once said, you can stop wearing when you stop caring.
Investment In Treatment
Generally, the cost of Invisalign is similar to traditional metal braces. However, this is dependent on the severity and duration of your case. Some dental insurance carries a benefit for orthodontic treatment which lowers the cost of orthodontic treatment for the patient.
Contact Dr. Erin Cohen Today
For more about treatment with Invisalign, to schedule an appointment for a consultation, or to learn more about how Invisalign can improve your smile, contact Lux Orthodontics at 424 279 1444 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more at Luxorthodontics.com
Looking for a new pediatrician in Beverly Hills? Beverly Hills Pediatrics is known as one of the best pediatric practices in the Greater Los Angeles area. With locations in Beverly Hills and Studio City, Beverly Hills Pediatrics also features a pediatric Urgent Care on the weekends for any last minute pediatric needs. Visit their website to find out more.
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional orthodontic advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your orthodontist or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a specific condition.