In the last several years, modern orthodontics has seen a number of improvements in technology that, along with new innovative techniques, have resulted in a wide variety of orthodontic treatment options. Here at Brodsky Orthodontics, we’re now able to offer a bigger selection of treatments to patients, with something to suit every orthodontic need. Although many of these treatments are more stylish and comfortable than ever before, we still have patients who are concerned about the impact traditional metal braces may have on their appearance and lifestyle. Today’s braces are sleeker, lighter, and more customizable than any previous designs, but they are a fixed orthodontic appliance. As such, they will have a little bit less freedom and flexibility than one that is removable. If you’ve been thinking about undergoing orthodontic treatment but aren’t sure if you’re ready for the kind of commitment traditional braces require, the Invisalign clear aligner system could be the answer!
Invisalign is our most popular alternative to traditional braces. It allows us to give you the same beautiful results but without the use of any brackets, metal, and wires. For teens and adults who prefer a discrete look with fewer restrictions, it’s a fantastic option. Drs. Joel and Charles Brodsky can tell you firsthand about how successful this system can be, having been Invisalign patients themselves! But what exactly is Invisalign, and how does it work to give you a smile that’s aligned and fully functional? Keep reading below to learn more about this exciting orthodontic treatment!
What is the Invisalign clear aligner system?
Instead of brackets and wires, Invisalign uses a series of clear, customized aligners to straighten your smile and improve your overall oral health. We create these removable aligners by generating a precise 3D image of the teeth using x-rays and digital impressions. Although the aligners themselves may not look like much more than simple plastic trays, they are constructed of a special thermoplastic resin that’s strong enough to move your teeth into alignment. When worn as directed, Invisalign clear aligners have proven to be just as effective as traditional braces.
How does the Invisalign treatment process work?
When you are exploring the idea of orthodontic treatment of any kind, your first step should be an initial orthodontic consultation. Here at Brodsky Orthodontics, we’re so confident in our staff and the services we offer that this first appointment with us is on the house!
During this initial consultation, one of our three experienced orthodontists will perform a complete examination of your teeth and jaws, discuss any orthodontic issues found, and determine if you are a candidate for Invisalign. They will then map out a precise treatment plan for you. This plan will be completely customized according to your specific orthodontic needs, your preferences, and your desired goals. It includes all the movements we want your teeth to make and an estimate of how long we expect your treatment to take. We will also give you a sneak peek of what your new smile will look like using our digital outcome simulator!
If our doctors believe you will be a good fit for the Invisalign system, we will begin the process of custom designing aligners for you using the aforementioned 3D scan of your teeth and gums as our guide. The Invisalign aligners are made with a special material they call SmartTrack, which keeps the plastic trays smooth, comfortable, and almost invisible. Because every case is different and every patient responds to treatment in their own way, we are unable to offer a one-size-fits-all answer for how long treatment is likely to take. However, the average total treatment time generally tends to be between 9-15 months, and the average number of aligners could be anywhere from 24 to 36. This will vary from case to case of course.
In order for the Invisalign system to work, patient compliance is a must. That means wearing your aligners exactly as directed by our doctors. Aligners should be kept in for 20-22 hours every day, throughout the course of treatment. You should only remove them to eat, drink anything other than water, or when you’re brushing and flossing. Invisalign depends on your commitment to work! If you aren’t wearing your aligners as directed, you won’t be able to achieve the desired results.
During the treatment process, we will switch you to a new set of aligners typically every week. We will also see you in our Lakewood office every 8-12 weeks for regular check-ups to ensure treatment is progressing as planned.
Does Invisalign have any advantages over traditional braces treatment?
When it comes to Invisalign, the biggest benefit for most patients is the invisibility factor. Being able to complete orthodontic treatment without announcing it to the world is important to many of the Invisalign patients we treat. Aside from clear aligners, this system has a number of other advantages thanks to their removability. These include:
No food restrictions
When you wear braces, the food restrictions that accompany them can be one of the biggest learning curves to deal with. To protect the brackets, wires, and bands, patients must steer clear of anything that is too crunchy or chewy, like popcorn, certain raw fruits and veggies, and many chips, candies, and sweets. Even though the payoff is worth it in the end, having to forego some of your favorite foods can be a little frustrating. Because Invisalign uses a removable orthodontic appliance, you are able to take the aligners out anytime you eat. Not having to worry about which food you have to stay away from can give you a little more freedom as you work towards a straighter smile!
Your dental hygiene routine will be easier to maintain
Having a good oral hygiene routine is important to every smile, but it becomes even more critical when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. The wires and brackets that come with braces can trap food debris and bacteria, making brushing and flossing effectively a bit tricky, especially in the early days. It couldn’t be easier to keep your teeth free of bacteria and plaque with Invisalign! Since the aligners are designed to be removed before you begin brushing and flossing, your dental hygiene routine should be a cinch. Cleaning your aligner is also a simple process. There are special kits available that are designed specifically to clean Invisalign aligners, or they can be gently cleaned using denture crystals and a soft toothbrush.
Added convenience, flexibility, and freedom
For patients who regularly participate in sporting activities, Invisalign aligners can be especially beneficial. Simply remove the aligner prior to practice or a game, replacing it with a mouthguard to help keep your mouth and teeth safe. They can also be helpful for musicians, since there is nothing to get in between the patient and their instrument. Do you have a special occasion coming up? When it comes to one-off events like weddings, prom, homecoming dances, and senior pictures, Invisalign aligners can be removed to allow your natural smile to show through and be the only thing people remember!
Am I a good candidate for Invisalign?
The Invisalign clear aligner system is designed to be used by our teen and adult patients dealing with mild to moderate cases of the most common orthodontic issues. Although there are many issues that can be successfully treated with Invisalign, there will be some cases that are severe or complex enough that they require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner can achieve. Once your complimentary consultation with Brodsky Orthodontics is complete, our doctors will be able to determine if Invisalign would be a good fit for your specific orthodontic issues, or if a more traditional orthodontic approach is indicated.
Invisalign continues to gain popularity with patients and orthodontists, and is currently the most recommended alternative to traditional braces treatment. Drs. Charles and Joel Brodsky have used Invisalign in over 2000 cases, resulting in a special DIAMOND PLUS designation, indicating that they have expertise with the system that most other orthodontists in the area do not. You can click here to see some examples of how we’ve been able to change smiles, attitudes, and lives for the better with the Invisalign clear aligner system!
If you’re in Lakewood or the surrounding communities, and want to know more about what the Invisalign clear aligner system can do for you, why not reach out to us today? We’d love to schedule a complimentary consultation for you so we can walk you through the process and answer any questions or concerns you have. With three Invisalign specialists and our talented team behind them, you’ll be getting only the very best in clear aligner therapy in the Lakewood and Long Beach areas. The best smile of your life is waiting for you at Brodsky Orthodontics!