Is Invisalign right for me and is it the only option available to straighten my teeth?

There are different methods of straightening your teeth.  There are traditional braces, Invisalign, Veneers or composite bonding that come to mind. There are pros and cons to each.   It is up to you and your dentist to determine which technique is best for you.   Not every modality will be an option for every individual.  As a dental professional, I make recommendations based on what I believe will bring the best results as well as compliance of the patient.  After all, what good will it be to put a teenager in Invisalign if he chooses to not wear them?  Or, what good would it be to put a teenager into traditional wire braces if he refuses to brush his teeth leading him to have teeth with many cavities after the braces are removed?   These are some thoughts and concerns you should share with your dentists. The following are some of the pros and cons of each modality.


Traditional braces:
Traditional braces work for everyone.  In some cases they can achieve better results than Invisalign.   For difficult cases, traditional braces are the only modality that should be used.  The problem with traditional braces is that it should only be used on individuals who are compliant with their brushing and flossing.  In addition to cavities, irreversible stains are likely.

Invisalign is relatively new on the market.  Although it is not always a replacement for traditional braces, in many cases it can achieve the same results at a quicker rate.  Invisalign are clear braces that are worn 24 hours a day.    They are only removed for eating, brushing and flossing.  On average you will have to see your dentist once every four weeks to exchange out the trays for two new sets.   Because they are removable, it makes it easy to floss and brush after eating. Teenagers and adults love them because they are almost invisible.  There are two downsides to Invisalign.  The first is compliance.  Teenagers will take them out and leave them out for hours or days.    This can extend treatment time by months.  In addition, if left out long enough it could meaning having to scrap the entire treatment because the process will be useless.  The other downside is that reshaping (interproximation) in between teeth to gain space may be required.   As a general rule up to 1 mm between teeth are acceptable.  I  generally do not like to exceed .4mm of reshaping.   Invisalign is usually quicker than traditional braces and usually can be completed within a year.  Another nice thing is that if you are not completely happy with your final results,  it can be resubmitted for change several times with no additional costs to you.

I have seen  advertised through Groupon and all over the Internet for very low amounts, sometimes below cost.   Make sure when you get a quote that it includes the entire treatment costs.   There should be no extra costs for re-submitting a case,  for retainers or for longer duration cases  . All fees should be discussed up front.  The only time there is any additional cost is when the patient is not compliant, therefore having to scrap the case or having to submit for “mid-course corrections”.  There are two main types of Invisalign – Invisalign full and Invisalign express.    Express is for very minor movements.  All Invisalign cases that are completed under 10 trays (20 weeks) are considered express.   Each tray should be worn for two weeks. Express is usually cheaper than full.  All cases that don’t fall under express are considered full.  Know what you are getting.  At Oasis Dental Arts, everything is included in our fees, with exception of none compliant patients (as discussed above).

Veneers are a fast way of straightening your teeth.  In addition to straightening, it can cover up imperfections and give you a whiter and brighter smile in a matter of a couple of weeks.  This treatment is ideal for individuals who want a beautiful smile in a short time such as brides-to-be or movie stars.  Veneers are made of strong porcelain shells that are bonded to your current teeth to correct misalignment or imperfections in the smile.  For teeth that are  misaligned and protruding, reshaping may be needed.

Composite bonding (fillings)
Composite  bonding  materials can be used to fill imperfections in the smile.   These imperfections can be stains, mal- formations, or spaces between teeth.   Cosmetic filing is the cheapest of the options.   Of the options in this blog, the least number of people qualify for these fillings.    In addition, the life of the filling is largely based on the patient’s oral hygiene.   They generally have a shorter life span as compared to the other options.   I had some cosmetic bonding done by my sister, who is a dentist, about twenty years ago and they  still look perfect.

There are different methods to achieve a beautiful white smile.  Not ever technique is right for everyone.  Discuss all your options with your dentist. If you have any questions give us a call and schedule for a complimentary consult.  Call now at (858) 271-1010.