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If you did an actual poll of teenagers, you may get many different reasons for why they prefer using invisalign instead of conventional braces to straighten their teeth. The most popular answer would be image. Teenagers, especially young teenagers, are very self conscious. The normal metal braces that generations of teenagers have bore with increasing agitation are image “killers.” A mouth full of metal appliances conjures up many ugly mental images that have permeated society as a whole. For many years teens and some adults have had no choice but to put up with the ridicule in order to gain the straight white teeth they dream they will have once treatment is complete.
A brief history of Invisalign
Invisible braces have been a dream for a very long time. It wasn’t until 1997 that the dream became a reality. Orthodontists didn’t accept the new and untested devices at first because the inventors had no orthodontic credentials or expertise. They basically used computer scans of a patient’s teeth and made transparent plastic aligners (molds) to fit the patient’s teeth. The aligners could be changed and adjusted as the teeth moved into the desired alignment. In the beginning, most aligners were created by hand using a computer generated model of the tooth in the desired alignment. Major tests with regards to the viability of the product were soon conducted with the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies.
The new 3D technology simplified the aligner process considerably. Making individual aligners every time a person’s tooth moved was cost prohibitive and was “canned” as a viable process when it was first discovered in 1945. The new technology made it possible to create individual tooth aligners quickly when the invisible brace system was first made public in 1999. As the 3D technology improved, the invisible brace system also improved to a point where the technicians were able to make adjustments for every type of tooth alignment issue.
Due to this advance, orthodontists were now able to provide different types of aligners and customize how many aligners would be needed. For example: Teenagers could now get invisible braces by using a compliance indicator that visually showed how the patient needed to wear the braces and detected when changes were needed due to erupting teeth and movement.
Types of invisible braces
When Invisalign was first introduced in May 2000, the product’s target market was self conscious adults that needed an alternative to the conventional metal braces in their mouths. It proved to be a very viable market for this product. Adults often found the convenience of being able to gradually change their smile over time without the visible reminder a great relief.
Because every person has different tooth issues, the orthodontist first evaluates the patient’s teeth and makes impressions that are sent to Align Technology for processing. Your specially trained orthodontist will then present you with some options for treatment. The Express versions of the invisible braces systems are specifically designed for minor tooth alignment. The G versions of the invisible braces system are geared toward complex tooth alignment issues. The full version is the most recommended version as it has been around the longest. You should have a good discussion with your dental provider before starting any treatment.
Adult treatment options
Here are some of the options:
- The Express 10, introduced in 2005 uses only 10 aligners
- The Express 5, introduced in 2012 uses only 5 aligners.
For more complex tooth issues:
- G3 version, introduced in 2010 first addressed complex tooth issues
- G4 version, introduced in 2011 is an updated version of G3
- G5 version, just introduced in the past year addresses deep bite issues.
Teen treatment options
A teenager’s mouth is different than an adult’s mouth. Their teeth are still erupting and growing. As a result, most dental providers often have to evaluate a number of factors before allowing teens to get invisible braces. Patient compliance and trust issues play a big factor in the correct use of the system. Other dental complications can also be a deterring factor for this system. Fortunately new technologies have come into play helping parents and dental providers keep tabs on the aligners, make adjustments for growing teeth and provide power ridges to support difficult tooth movements.
Much like the adult treatments listed above, the teen will also first undergo an evaluation of the current status of their mouth. Unlike adult treatments however, teens will be evaluated based on what stage of development their mouth is currently in and how responsible they will be in keeping with the program. Patient compliance is a big component on how successful the treatment will be. The ideal situation is for the teen to be able to wear the invisible braces for at least 20 hours a day. Your dental provider should make a determination of what type of invisible braces are needed by accurately noting current conditions in the mouth and assessing where secondary tooth eruptions may occur.
Other good reasons
So why should you and your teen consider invisible plastic aligners over traditional wire braces? Invisible plastic aligners are:
- Easy to remove
- Invisible to others with clear plastic aligners
- No wires to cut mouth and/or lips
- Easy to adjust every two weeks
- Have a quicker and more pain free alignment time in some cases
- Freedom to eat the foods you love.
- Not worrying about breaking the wire(s) by accident (sports injury)
- Being able to play an instrument without worrying about cutting your lips on the wire
The type of braces needed for each patient is determined after a thorough examination from an orthodontist in Centerville. For orthodontic treatment Fairborn residents trust, visit King Orthodontics where there are two orthodontists, including:
Call today to schedule an examination for orthodontic treatment that leads to improved dental health and higher self-esteem.
King Orthodontics, 400 East Dayton, Yellow Springs Rd. Fairborn, OH 45324 Phone: (937) 878-1561 Fax: (937) 433-9530
King Orthodontics – 6460 Far Hills Ave, Centerville, Dayton, OH45459 Phone: 937 433 0830
Samuel B. King, D.D.S., M.S. – King Orthodontics – Specialist in Orthodontics for kids, teens and adults in Centerville and Fairborn.