It used to be that metal braces that stayed in your mouth for years were your only option if you needed orthodontia. Unfortunately, in addition to being unsightly, they were painful, difficult to clean, and prone to breaking if you chewed on something too hard or sticky.
Then, in 1998, the FDA approved a revolutionary new form of orthodontia called Invisalign®. Its custom-molded, clear trays fit over your teeth almost invisibly, making them quite discreet.
In addition, Invisalign trays don’t affect how you eat, they don’t cut into your gums, they’re easy to clean, and they handle most of the same mild to moderate dental issues that regular braces treat. What’s not to like?
At the dental office of William M. Schneider, Dr. Schneider and his team provide comprehensive dental care for their patients in Walnut Creek, California. That includes offering clear Invisalign aligners for those who need mild to moderate orthodontic treatment.
The effectiveness of the treatment increases for those who wear the aligners at least 20 hours a day. Here’s why.
Metal vs. Invisalign
Traditional metal braces work by tightening wires in brackets placed over the teeth, shifting the teeth to their correct locations over a period of about 18 months to three years.
As we noted above, they’re often painful and difficult to clean, but they do have an upside — they have a 100% compliance rate, since you’re unable to remove them.
Invisalign does the same thing traditional braces do, but in a totally different way. It uses a system of clear plastic aligners (trays) made out of a pliable, patented thermoplastic called SmartTrack®.
These custom-molded aligners are virtually invisible, so you can smile without anyone knowing you’re having work done. You switch out each set of aligners after about two weeks for another that’s a little tighter than the one before, gradually shifting your bite.
With Invisalign, you can eat whatever you want since you remove the trays when eating and drinking, brushing and flossing, and cleaning them along with your teeth. No more food stuck in your braces. No more wires to snap or brackets to bend.
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign requires some commitment to the treatment on your part, as you need to ensure you wear the aligners at least 20 hours a day.
If you’re compliant, the process from start to finish should take only 6-18 months — about half the time metal requires. If you don’t comply, you won’t see any results. It’s as simple as that.
Invisalign is ideal for adults and mature teens who have the commitment to wearing the trays for the requisite number of hours each day. If you’d like to learn more about the process, or you’d like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schneider, call us at 925-935-2700 or book online today.