Your smile is often the first thing that people notice about you, so make it count with orthodontics. At Dentrix Dental Care, we can improve your look and maintain your oral health with options like Invisalign®.
A beautiful smile is not only a confidence boost, but it indicates that you have a healthy mouth. Crowded, crooked teeth or a misaligned bite can wear your teeth down or increase your risk of oral health issues, such as increased bacteria or periodontal disease. Patients with any of the following issues may benefit from braces or Invisalign® in NW Calgary:
- Crooked teeth
- Misalignment issues
- Spaces or gaps between teeth
How Do Orthodontics Work?
Whether you’re using traditional metal braces or clear aligners such as Invisalign, orthodontics work the same way: by applying gentle, constant pressure on the teeth to shift them into the desired place.
Our bodies are constantly growing, shrinking, shifting, and changing. As new cells replace old cells, slight adjustments are made to our shape and appearance. By applying pressure to the teeth while this is happening, we can move them into the desired position.
This is also one of the reasons why orthodontic treatments take so long — typically 9 months to two years. To make effective, long-lasting changes, the adjustments need to take place gradually and with great precision.
Why Are Orthodontics Important?
The importance of teeth and oral health is consistently overlooked by most people. They simply don’t realise what a vital role their teeth play in their overall health. For most, treatments on their teeth are almost exclusively for cosmetic reasons, unless it’s something like a root canal or tooth extraction.
In truth, teeth are very important to our ability to function properly! They help us eat, they help us speak, and they help maintain the structure and integrity of our jaws. Ask anyone who wears full dentures how much they miss having their natural teeth and you’ll begin to understand what’s being taken for granted.
When teeth are misaligned, crooked, or over-, under- or crossbitten, it can add extra wear and stress to them. If they’re too far out of alignment, speech and eating become notably more difficult.
If crooked and misaligned teeth aren’t corrected, it can result in those teeth become worn down faster. Worn down teeth are more susceptible to chips, cracks, and breakages, and don’t provide the full capability of healthy teeth to chew and break down food. Over time, this can lead to either restorative treatments being needed — such as crowns and veneers — through to the extraction and replacing of teeth.
What can seem like a cosmetic problem today can eventually turn into the complete failure of the mouth in a few years’ time. And as they say, prevention is better than cure.
What Age Can People Get Orthodontics?
Orthodontics can be used once a patient has all of their permanent teeth. Specialist orthodontists do have some tools at their disposal to help guide “baby” teeth during development, but these cases are rare and require specialist attention.
For the rest of us, any time after 11-14 when the permanent teeth are in place is suitable.
Aren’t Orthodontics for Teenagers?
This is a common view held by many people, and society in general.
Early teen years are the best time to use orthodontics, as it gets the teeth into shape from an early age and is generally faster since the bones are still growing and more easily manipulated.
However, many adults need — and routinely get — orthodontics as well. For many years this put busy professionals and those in high-visibility jobs at an awkward situation, as the only solution was expensive, often uncomfortable “lingual braces” that go on the inside of the teeth rather than the outside.
Luckily today we have Invisalign, a clear aligner system that straightens teeth without being noticeable to the outside world. More affordable and comfortable than lingual braces and completely transparent, they’ll reshape your teeth and maintain your appearance at the same time.
What Is Invisalign
We have an in-depth article you can read on Invisalign over [here], but we’ll give a quick run-down of the major points here as well.
Invisalign is an orthodontic system made out of clear plastic aligners. These replace the conventional wires and brackets traditionally associated with orthodontics.
These aligners are custom-designed to fit your teeth, and your teeth only. They fit snugly and precisely over your teeth to apply the pressure needed to begin shifting them into place. Every two weeks, you replace your aligners with the next set in the sequence.
Invisalign aligners are also user-removable. That means you don’t need to avoid certain foods, or go on a special diet. There are also no special cleaning instructions. You can take out the aligners to eat and clean your teeth, then put them back in and go on with your life.
Pros and Cons of Invisalign
Invisalign is an innovative system with many strengths, but there are also some limitations you should be aware of.
Benefits of Invisalign include:
- Clear aligners are very discrete. Many people simply don’t notice that they’re being worn without closer inspection.
- User-removable. This makes maintaining your oral hygiene as simple as it was before you got your orthodontic treatment. It also means you don’t need to make any major lifestyle changes to suit a new braces-friendly diet.
- Computer-guided treatment planning allows for the fastest possible treatment time. While the exact duration of a course of Invisalign is subject to the severity of the case being treated, overall treatment times are generally shorter than treating the same problem with conventional braces.
- More comfortable and affordable than other discrete systems such as lingual braces.
Limits of Invisalign include:
- Not suitable for overly complex corrections. While the Invisalign technology is constantly developing, there’s a limit to the complexity of cases it can effectively treat. Sometimes it can be necessary to go with conventional braces for all of the treatment, or in some case start with conventional braces and transition to Invisalign for the remainder.
- User-removable also means user compliance is incredibly important. The aligners must be worn for at least 18-20 hours a day to be effective. This can make it unsuitable for younger patients who might forget to put their aligners back in after they’ve taken them out. Even some adults don’t feel they can trust themselves to be vigilant with maintaining the necessary hours, and this should be discussed with your dentist.
Is There Anyone Who Can’t Get Orthodontics?
There aren’t really any contra-indicators when it comes to getting orthodontic treatment. The only thing to consider is what type of treatment will best suit a particular case. For example, cases where the jaw needs to be reshaped along with the teeth cannot be treated with Invisalign or generally even conventional braces, and will require specialist attention
For general cases of misalignment, crooked teeth, and poor bites, anyone is a suitable candidate for orthodontics.
Do you offer conventional braces at Dentrix Dental Care?
No. At Dentrix Dental Care we only provide Invisalign clear aligners.
Does Invisalign hurt?
There is very minimal discomfort, as pressure is being applied to the teeth, but there should be no pain. If you do experience pain, it usually indicates an underlying problem that should be examined by the dentist.
How long does Invisalign take to work?
Treatment times are dependent on the condition of the teeth. Simpler cases take less time, more complex cases take more. Some simple cases can be treated in 6 months while other complex cases might take 2 years.
Is Invisalign more expensive than traditional braces?
The cost of Invisalign is fairly comparable to conventional braces. In some cases it will end up cheaper due to being able to treat problems faster.