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Invisalign® in Denver – What You Need to Know Before Visiting the Dentist

Your self-confidence. Your perspective. Your life. With Invisalign® you get the smile you have always wanted. In fact, you hardly need to change your usual daily routine for it.

Comfortable, transparent and removable – Invisalign® provides a beautifying effect without restrictions in everyday life. These advantages have been seen in over 2.5 million people around the world. Are you ready for your new smile?

Today, more and more people in Colorado are making the clear choice instead of braces. So whether you need a preferred Invisalign® provider in Colorado Springs, Denver, Boulder or anywhere else along the Front Range, you’ve come to the right place.

An Overview of the Invisalign® System

Although almost everyone wants a perfect smile, many people were once hesitant when it came to braces. The traditional versions were made of metal, clearly visible to others and notoriously uncomfortable. Some feel the social repercussions of spending a year or two in flashy metal braces are not actually worth a perfect smile that could last a lifetime.

With Invisalign®, misaligned teeth can be corrected by a series of individually-made aligners designed just for you. These are comfortable and fit to your mouth only. These removable trays are almost invisible to the naked eye. Every two weeks, you put on a pair of new aligners – and little by little, week by week, your teeth move to their pre-determined permanent location as determined by your dentist.

If you or your teen is among the millions who fear the pain and social stigma associated with metal braces, you’ve probably been considering Invisalign®. This system of clear aligners removes the visibility issue associated with traditional braces and eliminates much of the irritation and constant trips to the dentist as well. While the ultimate decision of whether or not this system is right for you or your children falls on your dentist, you should consider a number of factors before asking about Invisalign®.

What is Invisalign®?

Invisalign® consists of a series of smooth, BPA-free plastic trays that work to slowly and effectively align your teeth through precisely-placed and controlled movements. Unlike conventional braces, Invisalign® controls not only the amount of each movement, but also the time of those movements. In each treatment stage, only certain teeth are moved according to the specifications of your individual treatment plan for each stage. This creates extreme efficiency, with which the teeth are placed according to the planning of your dentist.

Your dentist and Align Technology, the company responsible for creating the system, work together to create a customized treatment plan for you. Your dentist assesses your unique alignment issues and runs your dental scans through a computer program unique to the Invisalign® system. This program generates a digital version of your aligners and sends those scans to Align Technology.

After that, the company then sends your dentist a suggested plan for treatment, which can be modified as your dentist sees fit. Once a finalized plan is determined, it is sent back to Align Technology for approval; they create the actual aligners and send them to your dentist. Your teeth may not respond to treatment as planned, so adjustments can be made at any time during the course of treatment.

Treatment could take anywhere from three months to two years depending on the complexity of your case and how well you stick to the system’s requirements. Each aligner should be worn at least eighteen hours each day for two weeks. If you look closely, you can already begin to see changes in your smile after the first aligner, but full results will not be visible until treatment is complete.

Can Any Dentist Perform an Invisalign® Treatment?

Invisalign® is compatible with virtually any treatment plan, but it requires special training. All dentists who want to treat patients with Invisalign® must attend additional training. Over 82,000 dentists and orthodontists worldwide have already been trained to treat patients with Invisalign®.

How Old Must a Patient be to Undergo Invisalign® Treatment?

Experienced dentists can treat misaligned teeth with Invisalign® in most adults and adolescents. When it comes to young people, you should check with your dentist to see whether Invisalign® Teen could be the right treatment option for your child.

How Long Does the Treatment Last and is it Painful?

The total time depends on the complexity of the treatment. Generally, it corresponds to the duration and the length of treatment with traditional braces. A typical treatment is completed after a period of between nine and eighteen months.

In some patients, pain can come at the beginning of a new stage of treatment. When a patient places a new aligner, they may temporarily feel slight discomfort. This usually goes away after a few days. The affected patients usually report a feeling of pressure which this is normal. It is a sign that the aligners are working properly since they are bringing your teeth gradually into their desired position.

How Often do Invisalign® Users Need to Schedule Follow-Up Visits?

In general, follow-up appointments are just as often as with conventional braces. However, the cost per session is significantly lower, as adjustments to wires and brackets are not needed. Most patients find their follow-up appointments are to ensure that the treatment is proceeding as planned, and to take the next aligner sets. The exact time intervals are based on the treatment your dentist has laid out for you.

After Completion, Will I be Required to Wear a Retainer?

It is important after each orthodontic treatment to wear a retainer so that the teeth can be stably maintained in their new position. In order that your teeth maintain the ideal position, you should follow the instructions of your dentist. Often the last aligner can be used temporarily as a retainer until a decision can be made by your dental practioner. They can advise you in relation to longer-term retention options.

Invisalign® Benefits

First and foremost, the aligners are virtually invisible. In fact, many people will not notice you’re under orthodontic treatment. Therefore, Invisalign® fits perfectly with any lifestyle, especially if you have everyday interaction with other people. The aligners are also removable. Unlike metal braces, patients can eat and drink whatever they want during treatment. For this, and for cleaning teeth, take the aligners out. Your oral hygiene is vital to making the system work, not to mention it keeps your breath fresh!

The Invisalign® system, in contrast to traditional fixed braces, has no metal wires or brackets. In general, there are less adjustments by the dentist. With Invisalign® you can see the planned final state before the start of therapy in a virtual 3-D model and treatment plan. That way, you know from the beginning how your teeth will probably look once the treatment is over.

Is Invisalign® Appropriate for My Teenager?

Your teenager could absolutely be a great candidate for Invisalign®; in fact, the middle and high school years are the perfect time for correcting misaligned teeth and for taking advantage of clear braces. They help reduce the amount of self consciousness your teenager may feel with traditional braces and are less uncomfortable than their counterparts. Still, some common problems exist with teens using Invisalign®, so a specialized system known as Invisalign Teen® has been developed to address these issues.

Invisalign Teen® essentially works in the same way as adult Invisalign® with a few modifications. Cost is based on the complexity of the case rather than age, so the price of the specialized teen version is equivalent to that for adults. The time frame involved is also comparable, as long as your teen keeps his or her aligners in for the recommended amount of time each day. No matter the case, many insurance plans typically provide for  Invisalign® coverage so if cost is a consideration, it’s worthwhile to check your policy.

Pros vs. Cons of Invisalign® for Teens

Invisalign® offers a number of benefits for those of all ages, but the teen-specific program comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks.

Pros:

  • Medically speaking, Invisalign® is no less effective than its metal counterparts. The cost is comparable, and treatment doesn’t take any longer than with traditional braces. The aligners have been found to be much more comfortable than braces; furthermore, invisible teeth straightening methods take away a great deal of the embarrassment and fear of peer reactions for your teen.
  • The aligners are practically invisible, so few people will realize your teen is wearing them unless he or she chooses to make it known.
  • The system can offer some of the same discomforts as traditional braces since your teen’s teeth are still being manipulated, but the smooth plastic prevents most of the irritation metal braces can cause.
  • Invisalign® aligners can be removed while eating and for cleaning, so taking care of oral hygiene is much easier and more thorough with this system. This is especially important for teens to prevent buildup and decay while their teeth and gums are still developing.
  • These clear aligners straighten teeth in about the same amount of time as traditional braces, so your teen doesn’t have to sacrifice speed for aesthetics.
  • Teens with metal braces often have to make repeated trips to the dentist for adjustments and broken bracket repairs. Neither of these is an issue with Invisalign®. You will still need to take your teen in for checkups and to ensure the treatment is working correctly, but those visits will be fewer and farther between with this system.
  • Align Technology and your dentist are well aware that teens may still be losing their baby teeth and have permanent teeth growing in, so space for these new teeth is built into the teen aligners to allow for this. It does not affect how well the aligners will work.
  • Because your teen is still growing and developing, adjustments can easily be made to the treatment plan to compensate for any unexpected changes.
  • The system will not negatively affect your teen’s jaw bone growth.
  • Invisalign Teen® aligners are designed with tiny blue dots that react with your teen’s saliva to indicate the amount of time the aligners are worn. If he or she keeps the aligners in for the full 18 to 20 hours a day, the dots will fade in 2 weeks as expected; otherwise, the dots will fade more slowly. Each aligner can safely be worn until the dots do fade away, but straightening your teen’s teeth will take longer if the aligners are only worn part-time.
  • Invisalign Teen® comes with replacement aligners in case he or she loses one occasionally. If losing them becomes a habit, additional aligners can be ordered as needed.

Cons:

  • Since teens can be irresponsible, lost aligners are certainly an issue. Though the system provides replacements, having to order more repeatedly can drive up the cost of treatment.
  • Your teen may be tempted to remove the aligners more often than necessary for snacking or due to discomfort, which could affect the effectiveness and time frame of the treatment.
  • Aligners must be removed while eating and drinking, and thorough brushing and flossing must be done before putting the aligners back in. Some teens fail to comply with this, so their oral hygiene and dental health could suffer. In some cases, they could also forget to replace the aligners after a meal and cleansing.
  • Invisalign® aligners must be cleaned regularly with a cleanser specifically designed for the system rather than conventional toothpaste. Responsibility comes into play here as well.
  • For teens, jaw bone growth and tooth movement may occur after treatment, so additional treatments may be needed later on to correct future alignment issues.

From a responsibility standpoint, you know your teen better than anyone. If your child is typically responsible, Invisalign® could be the ultimate treatment option. On the other hand, if he or she is constantly misplacing belongings, losing pencils and damaging contact lenses, this may not be the best choice. This doesn’t mean your teen can’t benefit from Invisalign®; it simply means you need to be prepared to push him or her to be more responsible. Also keep in mind the time and financial repercussions of losing aligners or being irresponsible with their use.

Whether or not your teen is willing to put in the work involved should also be considered. He or she must be sure to take the aligners out while eating and to brush and floss before placing them back on the teeth. They must be worn the necessary amount of time each day for the treatment to be fast and completely effective, so your teen can’t succumb to the temptation to leave them out or simply forget to replace them after eating. Cleaning the aligners promptly and appropriately is also vital.

Only your dentist can decide whether or not Invisalign® is the best course of action for you or your teen, but all of you must work together to make the final decision. Make sure your teen understands the responsibilities involved. Follow your dentist’s advice along with your teenager’s tendencies and wishes. In some cases, the opportunity to discreetly gain straight teeth and a perfect smile may be enough to motivate your teen to stick to the system’s guidelines, but encouragement from you is always helpful.

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