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Our mouths have evolved to house a certain number of teeth, of particular types and with specific positioning. There are many factors that can negatively impact the development and alignment of our teeth, some genetic such having extra teeth, unusually large teeth or a small jaw, or behavioural, such as mouth breathing or tongue thrusting. Crowding is the most common cause of tooth misalignment.
Properly aligned teeth are important not only for esthetic reasons but they also promote better mastication as well as the overall health of our gums and teeth. Many people that suffer from crooked teeth are very averse to having traditional braces affixed to their teeth. They worry about how they look and feel, but more importantly they are very difficult to clean. In addition bacterial plaques that form around attachment points produce hypocalcification (softening of the enamel) on tooth surfaces.
An alternative is provided by Invisalign®, a company that produces clear aligners for teens and adults. Invisalign® aligners are custom made for each individual mouth and shift your teeth slightly over time, horizontally, vertically and even rotate teeth if desired. Following a custom treatment plan aligners are modified slightly over time to provide just the right amount of force in just the right place. They are designed to fit snugly over your teeth making them almost invisible and allow you to brush and floss easily. The treatment period required with Invisalign® is significantly shorter than with braces or other conventional orthodontic methods.
Most dentists working with Invisalign® will provide a free initial consultation in order to explain the procedures and their suitability for your particular needs and conditions. In most cases Invisalign® can correct alignment and position problems but in some cases braces may still be the treatment of choice. If you are a good candidate for Invisalign® treatment your dentist is able to create a remediation plan and through the use of models and radiographic images can show you a computer generated virtual time lapse video of your suggested treatment plan. This will hopefully give you the knowledge to make the right decision.
Invisalign® certainly appears to be a form of treatment that allows patients to take advantage of advances in materials and knowledge to provide easier, faster, healthier and less invasive methods to treat a common dental problem.
Bring back that healthy smile!