As your Longmont Invisalign specialist, we can help straighten your teeth. Dr. Hedrick has been helping patients with clear aligners for years with excellent results. In fact, she does approximately 30 Invisalign cases per year which is most likely more than any other individual dentist in Longmont, CO.
What is Invisalign?
Also known as clear aligners, Invisalign are removable clear trays that gradually straighten teeth. They’re a more modern option to traditional metal braces.
Invisalign is capable of similar results to metal braces but come with several benefits. For example, they are clear which means they are more aesthetically pleasing.
The most common brand name of clear aligner is Invisalign. Recently the name Invisalign has turned into a generic term (like Chapstick, Kleenex, or Q-Tips) and can refer to any brand of clear aligner.
Brands of Clear Aligners that Longmont Dental Loft Uses
The most common brands of clear aligners that dentists use is Invisalign and Sure Smile. Both are highly reputable brands and have great products. We have had terrific results with both brands at Longmont Dental Loft and both are of the highest quality.
This was the first clear aligner on the market and the FDA approved it in 1998. Since then, Invisalign has been used on approximately 3 million patients. Their aligners are manufactured in Mexico and treatment planned in Costa Rica.
A more recent brand is Sure Smile. It was launched in 2018 to offer patients more treatment options and improved pricing. Dentsply Sirona is the manufacturer and they happen to be the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental solutions. Their aligners are made, and treatment planned in Dallas, Texas. We really love Sure Smile because all the treatment is supervised remotely by a licensed orthodontist.
What are the Risks of Mail Order Clear Aligners?
You’ve probably seen commercials on TV for mail order clear aligners. The most common brand of mail order aligner is Smile Direct Club. They promise low cost aligners that you can get without going to the dentist. Over the past several years this method has become more popular.
The mail order process starts by acquiring a 3D image of the patient’s teeth. This is done either with an at home impression kit or by going to a local shop for a scan. After the 3D image is complete the mail order company will send the patient a series of clear aligners to wear over a set period.
The main reason people go with mail order aligners is cost. Since there is no supervision by a trained dentist or orthodontist the price is lower than getting clear aligners from a dentist. However, you usually typically get what you pay for and clear aligners are no exception. Mail order aligners come with many risks which include:
Moving teeth is a medical procedure and it’s safest under supervision of a dentist or orthodontist. Using aligners in an unsupervised manner increases the chances of damage to teeth and gum tissue.
No Comprehensive Exam
Since it’s mail order, there is no comprehensive exam before treatment. Dentists will do a full exam prior to treatment to ensure all issues are addressed.
No Supervision During Treatment
After you start treatment, the original treatment plan may need to be modified. With mail order aligners there is no supervision during treatment. This means deviating from the original treatment plan isn’t often feasible and changes in the mouth can be overlooked.
Advantages of Invisalign Over Braces
There are many advantages of Invisalign vs. braces. Some of them are:
- Comfort: Clear aligners are more comfortable than traditional braces. They are made of smooth plastic that won’t rub and irritate your gum tissue.
- Removable: Not only does this come in handy when eating, but flossing teeth with metal braces is extremely difficult.
- Esthetically Pleasing: We’ve never heard anybody say that they like the look of metal braces. Luckily, clear aligners are practically invisible it looks like you’re not wearing aligners.
Why Get Invisalign?
People get clear aligners for different reasons. Sometimes it’s for cosmetic reasons. If your teeth are crooked, then Invisalign will give you a beautiful smile.
As opposed to cosmetic reasons, sometimes people get Invisalign for functional reasons such as tooth wear. When teeth are positioned incorrectly, it can cause premature tooth wear. By straightening teeth, Invisalign can prevent this.
Clear aligners can help address the following issues
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Gap in teeth
- Open bite
- Premature wear
Clear Aligner Process
During the initial visit Dr. Hedrick will take a 3D image of your mouth using an iTero scanner. She will then upload all the data and can show you exactly what your mouth looks like in 3D on a computer screen along with what your teeth will look like after Invisalign.
Dr. Hedrick will analyze all images and create a fully customized treatment plan. During this phase, Dr. Hedrick will let you know how many sets of trays you will have as well as the duration of the treatment. Dr. Hedrick will then submit the treatment plan to Invisalign or Sure Smile.
Your custom aligners are created and shipped to our office in a matter of weeks.
Clear Aligner Treatment
Every 1-2 weeks you will switch to a new set of aligners. The exact schedule may be modified after starting the process and will be directed by Dr. Hedrick. Each set will gradually shift the teeth into place until we reach the desired results. Typically, the entire process takes 9 to 18 months depending on how much movement is needed.
Since aligners are a medical device, it’s important to come into our office on a regular basis so Dr. Hedrick can make sure everything is on track and determine if modifications are needed. Typically, we have Invisalign patients come into the office every 4-6 weeks during treatment.
How Does Invisalign Feel?
When starting Invisalign it may feel uncomfortable at first. However, you will get used to it after a few days. In fact, after a while you may stop noticing that you have a clear aligner in your mouth.
Each time you move up to a new set of trays you will notice some discomfort at first. For this reason, we recommend when you move on to the next set of trays to make the switch at night before you go to bed. This way, you’re asleep during the time it would be most uncomfortable. By the time you wake up the new trays will feel much more normal.
Am I a Candidate for Clear Aligners?
Invisalign can benefit a wide range of people from teens to adults. Due to recent advances, we can even do complex cases with Invisalign that could previously only been done with traditional braces.
Not everybody is a candidate for Invisalign. When you come to our Longmont office for a consult, we will take a 3D scan of your mouth and Dr. Hedrick can advise if you are a candidate.
Why get Invisalign at Longmont Dental Loft?
We feel that there isn’t a better place in Longmont to help you with Invisalign. After all, it’s hard to find a dentist that is more skilled and experienced with clear aligners than Dr. Hedrick. She will be sure to provide a great experience and beautiful results. And when you do get Invisalign we can provide many useful clear aligner tips. If you have any questions or would like to see on a computer screen what your smile would look like after Invisalign, please contact our Longmont office at 303-772-6333.