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How Does [Invisalign] Work?

LAST UPDATED: JANUARY 30, 2018

What is Invisalign and How Does It Work?

The luck of the genetic draw means that sometimes you may have less than straight teeth. Or you might have an overbite, with the top front teeth coming down too far over the lower front teeth. Modern orthodontics and dental advances, however, now mean that you aren’t stuck with what Nature put in your gift bag.

FAQ

Is It Really Necessary to Have Straight Teeth?

In a word – maybe. Straight teeth are definitely more attractive from an aesthetic viewpoint. People in the media, for example – whose appearance can make a difference in job opportunities – often choose to get their teeth straightened, even as adults. Those whose appearance isn’t as much of an issue may do just fine with slightly crooked teeth. For both adults and children, however, the real issue behind teeth straightening is oral health. Teeth that are jammed together and teeth that are widely spaced can both contribute to tooth decay. Closely spaced teeth are harder to clean and floss, while wide-set teeth may trap food particles in the spaces. When your teeth are crooked they are more likely to wear unevenly. Technically, this condition is known as malocclusion, and it can cause bite problems, jaw pain and headaches. For people with these kinds of oral health issues, teeth straightening moves over to the “it’s probably necessary” side of the equation.

What Are The Conventional Orthodontic Treatment Options?

The traditional treatment involves metal or ceramic braces that consist of brackets cemented or otherwise attached to the teeth. These brackets are connected with wire, rubber bands or both. They must be adjusted every two to three weeks to gradually move the teeth into the correct position. Since they are not removable, very careful attention to oral hygiene is vital. Food particles can get trapped in the brackets or wires and it can be hard to floss completely. Dietary restrictions are usually recommended to prevent breaking the brackets or wires – foods like popcorn, for example, are usually off the menu until treatment is completed and the brackets can be removed. For children who play sports, the risk of oral injury is a little higher, as even with a mouth guard, wires and brackets can come into contact with the gums. Wires and brackets can also rub on tissues of the cheeks and cause sore spots. For children who participate in band or play a musical instrument, conventional treatment can cause some problems using wind instruments like flutes or trombones. Traditional treatment is often less expensive, however.

How Is Invisalign Different?

The Invisalign system is a completely new concept in straightening teeth. The system consists of a series of plastic aligners that fit over the teeth. Each aligner moves the teeth just a little. The aligners are custom-made from a 3D computer-generated pattern based on molds of the patient’s teeth. The aligner is nearly invisible, as it is made from clear plastic. What patients often appreciate the most, however, is that the aligner is removable. Oral hygiene becomes much easier. If there’s something special on the agenda like a big date or senior pictures, the aligner can be temporarily removed. No dietary restrictions are required, as the aligner can be taken out for meals.

How Does Invisalign Work?

The first step in the treatment process is a visit with an orthodontist, who will assess your child’s mouth and make treatment recommendations. After he or she develops a treatment plan, molds of the teeth are used to enter digital pictures into the 3D computer software which is used to develop the aligners. Every two or three weeks, you or your child will put it a new aligner. In most cases, you only need to see the orthodontist every six weeks or so (much less frequently than with conventional treatment). After approximately 12 to 18 months, the teeth will have become straight. Many patients need to wear a retainer for another year or so to ensure the teeth will stabilize in the new position. This retainer is similar to the treatment aligner in that it is removable and made of clear plastic. Both aligner and retainer must be cleaned at least once a day, but this is easy since they can simply be soaked in the special cleaning solution or in vinegar for five minutes, then thoroughly rinsed with plain water.

Straight teeth – whether for cosmetic or oral health reasons – are possible for nearly anyone, no matter what their age. Please contact us at Papandreas Orthodontics if you have questions or need more information. We will also be happy to schedule you or your child for an appointment to assess your oral health and can discuss payment options or any other concerns you may have.

Call Papandreas Orthodontics to Schedule Your First Orthodontic Appointment

Dr. Samuel Papandreas provides expert orthodontic care for adults, teenagers and children at his facilities in:

• Brunswick, Ohio
• North Royalton, Ohio

His patients are fitted with customized orthodontic devices that include:

• Braces – color-matching ceramic or metal devices
• Retainers – worn at night when your braces are removed
• Invisalign aligners – clear plastic devices
• Palatal expanders – worn before your orthodontic treatment begins

You can schedule an appointment with Papandreas Orthodontics to learn about the best type of orthodontic treatment for you and your children to improve your smile correct your dental bite.

Papandreas Orthodontics
3511 Center Road, Suite B
Brunswick, OH 44212
tel: 330-558-9092

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14200 Ridge Rd
North Royalton, OH 44133
tel: 440-582-8585

Metal Braces on teeth

Are Teeth or Jaws the Problem When Teeth are Crowded?

Common problems

A common problem we see every day at Papandreas Orthodontics is crowding of teeth. This problem is often accompanied by protruding or “buck teeth”. Crowding can give the appearance the teeth are oversized or too big for the size of the jaws. However, this is not always correct. Often, it is not a tooth problem, but because the size of the jaws is too small or narrow to accommodate the teeth.

Before and After Crowding Rochester NY

 

Orthodontic improvements

Throughout the years, orthodontists have approached this issue in different ways. In the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, the most common practice was to remove permanent teeth to make room. Dr. Samuel Papandreas recognizes that tooth extractions may not be necessary with many crowded jaw situations. The removal of permanent teeth may result in a lack of lip support or reduction of a patient’s profile. While the reduced profile may be acceptable in younger years, the reduction becomes more pronounced with the aging process and less flattering as they grow older. For this reason, correct treatment diagnosis when considering tooth removals is critical to the outcome of a good long term result.

Due to these aesthetic considerations, extensive research, and technological advancements in the field of orthodontics, many orthodontists have altered their view on how best to deal with crowded situations. Today, a non-extraction therapy is preferred rather than extracting permanent teeth in most treatment plans for children and adolescents. Instead, the treatment focus is on encouraging jaw growth to properly house all the teeth and is most successful when children and adolescents are still growing and developing.

This type of treatment usually is based on the use of specialized appliances and newly designed braces which can move teeth further and faster than traditional braces of old. Successful non-extraction therapy results in a more pleasing long-term facial balance and improved bites. It is recommended that children be checked out by an orthodontist by age 7 or 8 to find out if they are a candidate for this type of treatment.

For more information contact our office for a complimentary orthodontic consultation. Dr. Papandreas and the Papandreas Orthodontics Team will be happy to help you determine if your child would benefit from this type of orthodontic treatment.

Papandreas Orthodontics
3511 Center Road, Suite B
Brunswick, OH 44212
tel: 330-558-9092

Are Teeth or Jaws the Problem When Teeth are Crowded?

Oral Piercing – Is it Worth It?

Oral piercings of the tongue, lips, and cheeks are growing in popularity and acceptance, and are considered a way to express ones personality in an art form like tattoos. However, did you know the human bite can be more “toxic” than an animal bite? Keeping this in mind, imagine what could happen to your mouth with oral piercings that collect additional food and debris (that breed bacteria and germs) while banging against your teeth over 1500 times a day when you swallow… Read more

Are Your Teeth Sensitive to Hot or Cold? Find Out Why…

Layers of TeethHave you ever experienced sensitivity in your teeth when drinking hot coffee or eating ice cream? How about when brushing your teeth? Ever wonder why this happens? Most of the time it is due to enamel wear of teeth. When this happens, the dentin (sensitive part of the tooth) is exposed and left vulnerable to all kinds of painful experiences, depending upon how severe.

Read more

The Skinny on Orthodontics

Fun Facts about OrthodonticsPapandreas Orthodontics would like to share with you a few fun facts offered by the American Association of Orthodontists ( AAO ) we think will be of interest.
• The first mechanical treatment for correcting malaligned teeth was suggested by Gaius Plinius Secundus (A.D 23-79).

• Famous orthodontic patients include: Tom Cruise, Kathryn Heigle, Hale Irwin, Cher, Diana Ross, Phyllis Diller, Chelsea Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Daisy Fuentes, Fay Dunaway, and Brandi.

• There are nearly 4 million people in orthodontic treatment throughout the United States. One in 5 orthodontic patients are adults. Read more

Mouth Guards Should be Mandatory for Sports…Protect Your Teeth

Sports InjuryYou may not realize it but mouth guards are worth their weight in gold. If you think about it, the use of mouth-guards and the reasons for using them isn’t that far removed from orthodontic technology and the principals at Papandreas Orthodontics we employ to create a beautiful and healthy smile for our patients! Read more

Orthodontic Warning Signs

American Association of Orthodontics logoThe American Association of Orthodontists recommends that parents understand the early warning signs of an orthodontics problem and recommends kids be evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7 – 8. Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and a greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Well timed intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

There are many different types malocclusions or bite problems that require orthodontic treatment at Papandreas Orthodontics. Below is a list of the most common orthodontic problems seen today in children, teens and adults.

Contact our office to schedule a consultation to determine how we can help you with your orthodontic needs. It is not necessary to have a referral from you general dentist to take advantage of this complimentary service we provide to all our patients. Read more

Sports Drinks – Can They Damage Your Teeth?

 

Sports Drinks Damage Tooth EnamelLollipops are a cavity on a stick and soda is pure sugar in a can. Candy and soda cause your teeth to decay. You’ve been taught this since grade school. This is not news, is it? Well, what about the fact that sports drinks ruin your teeth, too? Heard that one before?

The team at Papandreas Orthodontics want to make sure you understand sports drinks can damage healthy teeth. Actually, “erode” is more like the term, especially around the brackets while wearing braces. These sort of drinks erode your teeth by “demineralization,” or reducing the minerals in the outer tooth enamel and also the dentin (“dentin” is a yellowish, calcified tissue underneath the tooth enamel). It doesn’t affect the enamel underneath the braces covered by the brackets. Read more

Do Parents Worry if Their Child’s Baby Teeth Aren’t Falling Out?

Losing Baby TeethWhen parents visit Papandreas Orthodontics, it is not uncommon for parents to worry if their child’s baby teeth do not fall out on time. Infants rollover, sit, walk, and talk at different stages of their development. The same is true when your child is losing baby teeth. There are some developmental issues which require professional attention, but in general, what should parents expect when their kids start losing baby teeth? Read more

Not All kids are Happy Wearing Braces in North Royalton OH – Good Communication Paves the Way

Unhappy Orthodontic Patient Rochester and Pittsford NYOrthodontist Dr. Samuel Papandreas knows that not all kids are happy about wearing braces, especially teens. If teeth are slow erupting, a problem develops during a pubertal growth spurt, permanent teeth don’t erupt properly, or finances were an issue, your child may not be a happy camper. Wearing braces between the ages of 11-14 is the most common age for treatment and normally the age of least resistance in most cases. However, after that, be prepared for opposition.

Your first discussion sets the stage for how your child accepts or rejects the news they require treatment at Papandreas Orthodontics. Allowing your apprehension and fears to surface can impact how your child responds. Read more