Invisalign: A Clear Alternative
Everybody wants a great smile,
but a lot of us need help getting there. More and more people are having
success with clear orthodontic devices called aligners. By using a
series of clear removable aligners, Invisalign straightens your teeth
right before your eyes. We change them about every two weeks, and your
teeth can move—little by little, week by week—until they have moved to
the final position that's been prescribed. Invisalign is comfortable to
wear and is also removable so you can eat, drink, brush, and floss as
One of the primary concerns people often have about dental
braces is the aesthetic impact of the metalwork on their smile.
Especially for adults, the prospect of wearing unattractive metal braces
for long periods of time can be very discouraging. Invisalign® offers
an almost invisible aligning system that straightens teeth fast and
contains no metal.
Invisalign® treatment consists of a series of
custom-made aligning trays. The dentist changes the trays every several
weeks to fit the new tooth configuration. In addition to the reduced
visual impact, Invisalign® aligning trays can be temporarily removed for
important occasions – meaning that treatment duration is
patient-controlled. A great number of people report complete
satisfaction with both the Invisalign® treatment and the stunning
What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. No one may even notice
that you're wearing them, making Invisalign a seamless fit with your
2) Invisalign aligners are removable. For the best
results and a timely outcome, aligners should be worn for 20 to 22
hours per day. However, unlike with braces, you have the flexibility to
remove your aligners to eat and drink what you want during treatment.
And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally
would, for fresh breath and good oral hygiene
3) There are
no metal brackets or wires that could cause irritation to your mouth, an
advantage over traditional braces. Plus, since your office visits
during treatment don't involve metal or wire adjustments, you'll likely
spend less time in the doctor's chair
4) Invisalign allows
you to view your virtual results and treatment plan before you start so
you can see how your straightened teeth will look when your treatment is
complete. Instead of imagining how much better it can be, you'll be
able to see it for yourself
What kind of bite problems can Invisalign® correct?
corrects the same dental problems as traditional metal braces; the only
difference is that Invisalign® trays are almost invisible to the naked
eye, and can be removed at will.
Here are some problems that are commonly corrected with Invisalign®:
Overcrowding – This occurs when there is too little space for the
teeth to align normally in the mouth. Overcrowding can cause tooth
decay and increase the likelihood of gum disease.
gaps between teeth – This can sometimes occur because teeth are missing
or because the jaw continues to grow abnormally.
Crossbite – This common dental problem occurs when one or multiple
upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. As a consequence, uneven wear
can lead to bone erosion and gum disease.
4) Overbite – This
problem occurs when the upper teeth project further than, or completely
cover, the lower teeth. Eventually, jaw pain and TMJ may occur.
Underbite – This is the inverse of the overbite; the lower teeth
project further than, or completely cover, the upper teeth. Eventually,
jaw pain and TMJ can occur.
What advantages does Invisalign® offer over traditional braces and veneers?
dental braces, Invisalign® aligning trays, and dental veneers are three
different ways to perfect the alignment of the teeth. There are many
different considerations to make when deciding which treatment will be
best, and each of these options works better in certain situations.
differs from traditional braces in that the aligning trays are fully
removable. This means that more discipline and commitment is required
from the patient. This is not usually a problem since the trays are
comfortable and nearly invisible. Almost identical results can be
obtained by using either treatment.
Invisalign® is preferable to
veneers in many cases because unlike veneers, Invisalign® actually
straightens the teeth. Veneers are thin covers that the dentist
permanently affixes to the teeth. Teeth must be etched beforehand,
meaning that to remove dental veneers, an alternative covering must be
constructed. In addition to being somewhat expensive, veneers can break
and often last for less than 20 years.
What does Invisalign® treatment involve?
first step after deciding to move ahead with Invisalign® is having a
digital 3-D laser scan of your mouth using our Itero scanner so your
custom aligners can be made. They will also need some other photos and
panoramic x-rays of your entire mouth. After starting treatment, you
will need to wear your aligners as much as possible, removing them only
to eat, brush, and floss. Each set of aligners will be worn for about 2
weeks - each set brings your teeth closer to their final position. Most
patients go through 18 – 30 sets of aligners in about 9 – 15 months
before their teeth are properly aligned, but the amount of aligners and
total time will vary for each patient. After completion of treatment,
you should expect to wear a retainer each night to prevent your teeth
from drifting and undoing the treatment.
What are some considerations when wearing Invisalign® trays?
with Invisalign® aligning trays may take several weeks to get used to.
The trays should be worn constantly, except when eating and drinking.
It is important to remove the trays when consuming food or drink
because food can become trapped between the tray and the teeth, causing
Usually, new trays are necessary every two weeks,
and progress between appointments can be seen with the naked eye. There
is no doubt that Invisalign® aligning trays have revolutionized
orthodontics. Invisalign® is renowned for being both comfortable and
Who is the best candidate?
It is for all ages.
It can be used to help patients with a variety of issues - widely
spaced teeth, an overbite, an underbite, overly crowded teeth, or a
cross bite. Patients must be willing to commit to wearing the aligners
at all times unless they are eating, brushing their teeth, or flossing.
Patients will also need to return to Dental Associates of Arlington
every 4-6 weeks during their Invisalign treatment so Dr. Swift can check
their progress and make adjustments as needed.
While most people
think that braces are only for children and teenagers, Invisalign® is
perfect for adults who had braces as teenagers but never wore their
retainer. It's also great for adults whose parents couldn't afford to
give them braces but who now want to have their teeth straightened.
What is the general maintenance a patient has to do?
the patient comes to see our cosmetic dentist for their first set of
aligners, the our cosmetic dentist will will go over how to care for
your Invisalign® aligners. When not in use, the aligners should be
placed in a container that will be provided. At least weekly they need
to soak for a couple of hours in a cleaning solution. The dental staff
will also go over a few of their own cleaning tips that have helped many
of their patients keep their aligners in their best condition.
you’ve completed treatment and achieved your perfectly aligned smile,
it’s important to maintain your results. Invisalign® offers Vivera®
custom made retainers to wear each evening, the first one of which we
provide at no charge. Using the same imaging technology, Vivera®
retainers are 30% stronger than other clear retainers and are both
durable and effective at keeping your teeth in place. Vivera® can also
benefit patients who had traditional wire braces if they need a great
How do I get started with Invisalign?
simple — Contact us today at 781-648-0279 to schedule a free Invisalign
consultation! We will perform a Smile Assessment to see if Invisalign is
right for you.
Many patients come into Dental Associates of
Arlington to get a complete Smile Makeover. We serve communities like Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Lexington, Medford, Somerville, Watertown, and Winchester.
For some patients
Invisalign® is the first step in their total Smile Makeover treatment
plan, as just like a house, a good foundation with the teeth in proper
alignment will make any cosmetic work last much longer. However, for
some patients Invisalign® braces by themselves along with some whitening
may be all they need to get the smile they desire!