Dr. Lai uses the Invisalign® System aligners to treat patients with problems of misalignment and overcrowding. These aligners can straighten teeth without the use of conventional, metal braces. The aligners are crafted from BPA-free, transparent plastic which is approved for medical use. The clear look is very different than braces because they are practically invisible when worn. Using impressions, the Invisalign® system creates custom-made aligners, unique to the contours of the patient’s teeth and gums. This is done using special 3D imaging and x-rays. With the specifications provided from the 3D image, the dentist can create a program which gradually moves the teeth into place over time. Based on the degree of change needed, the dental lab will make a certain number of aligners be changed out regularly.
Most of the time, Dr. Lai will begin by requesting a set of the aligners once the person’s impressions have been acquired. Since the needs of the patient will differ, so will his or her treatment time. The number of aligners needed will be based on the severity of the individual’s misalignment. The Invisalign® aligners are worn during the entire treatment time. They should only be removed to floss and brush teeth when switching sets, and when eating certain types of foods. For most, the aligner set is switched out every two weeks. To be successful, they will need to be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours a day. Unlike metal braces, the aligners don’t irritate the cheeks and gums and are quite comfortable. The treatment program goes on for about a year; however, the timeline will be based on the patient’s exact issues.
While metal braces are the most commonly used the orthodontic tool, they are not the sole option. The Invisalign® System offers unique advantages, namely the ability to be removed. The Invisalign® aligners can be taken out any time a person needs to, such as when eating or cleaning teeth. Invisalign® aligners are also a beneficial option for a person who does not want to feel overly self-conscious because they have visible devices on the teeth. It is also easier to clean teeth because the aligners are removable. This allows patients to brush and floss teeth without wires and brackets being an obstacle to clean around.
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