As more and more adults have come to recognize that a well-aligned bite is a healthy bite, they’ve created a new population for orthodontic work. However, most adults — and a growing number of teens — want a more discreet approach than a mouth full of metal brackets and wires can provide.
Fueled by this growing need, in 1998, the Food and Drug Administration approved Invisalign®, a revolutionary new system that uses clear plastic aligners to do the job. They’re practically invisible, they’re discreet, and they can handle most mild-to moderate issues that regular braces do — over a much shorter period. To date, over 8 million people, including 1.4 million teens, have used Invisalign to make their smiles the best they can be.
At the office of expert dentist Nataly Vilderman DDS in San Francisco, California, we understand the appeal of orthodontia that doesn’t announce its presence. That’s why we’re proud to be a certified Invisalign provider. But is Invisalign right for you? Keep reading to learn more.
Invisalign trays are made of a clear, flexible, patented thermoplastic called SmartTrack®, and they’re manufactured in the company’s own laboratory facilities to ensure the highest quality. These trays are so strong, they can shift teeth to their desired end positions, but they’re so comfortable, you can barely feel you’re wearing them.
You wear each pair of aligners for about 14 days, after which Dr. Vilderman replaces them with a new set. The new trays will be slightly snugger than the previous ones to maintain the pressure on your teeth, moving them according to your treatment plan.
Unlike metal braces, which have a 100% compliance rate since they can’t be removed by the patient, you have to be somewhat more responsible with Invisalign to ensure you get the maximum benefit. You have to wear the aligners 20–22 hours/day, but you must remove them (they slide out easily) when you eat and drink, to prevent stains; when you brush and floss your teeth; and when you clean the trays themselves; and you need to remember to put them back in after you’re finished.
Invisalign can treat mild-to-moderate alignment problems, including:
Invisalign comes with a number of important benefits compared with traditional braces:
Your journey with Invisalign starts with a consultation with Dr. Vilderman. He takes a detailed oral and medical history, performs an oral exam, and discusses your dental and orthodontic goals with you. That gives him both the start and end points for the teeth that have to move.
And because Invisalign is advanced technology, the doctor won’t need to take messy molds of your mouth. Instead, the Invisalign process uses the iTero Element® scanner, a small and easily maneuverable device that creates a 3D, digitally accurate model of your teeth and gums. The images are uploaded to a computer, where the software uses them to develop a detailed treatment plan. It even shows you the progression your teeth will take over time and lets you see what your mouth will look like when the treatment is done.
The Invisalign lab constructs the actual aligners, shipping them back to the dentist to be fitted. Dr. Vilderman will ensure your first set fits perfectly before you leave the office, then you’re ready to go! We see you for follow-up appointments every six weeks or so to ensure everything’s going to plan.
If you’re thinking about orthodontic work and wonder if Invisalign is right for you, contact our staff to set up a consultation with Dr. Vilderman. Call us at 415-665-7800, or book online with us today.