Everything You Need to Know About Clear Aligners

At Mahlmann & Borders Orthodontics, everyone deserves the smile of their dreams, no matter their age. Dr. Mahlmann and Dr. Borders offer orthodontic treatments that cater to your smile. Every smile is unique, and you deserve a treatment plan that works for you. Popular clear aligner brands like Invisalign have become the norm among popular orthodontic treatments. Even though Invisalign has been around for over 20 years, the technology is still progressing a little more each year. At Mahlmann & Borders Orthodontics, you’ve got treatment options galore. 

More People Qualify for Clear Aligners Than Ever Before

In the early days of clear aligners, patients had to fit strict, limited criteria that made it difficult to qualify for treatment. There was only a certain degree of tooth misalignment that they could correct, and anything beyond that would mean wearing invisible trays wasn’t going to work. Braces were your only option.

Today that’s no longer the case. Advancements in clear alignment therapy have expanded the type of malocclusion (misaligned bite) cases that can effectively — and predictably — be treated with Invisalign. So if you were told you didn’t qualify for clear braces 8 or 9 years ago, it might be time to get a second opinion! Even more aggressive tooth discrepancies can often be corrected thanks to years of tweaking the technology. Our Invisalign dentists have the before and after photos to prove it!

Treatment Times Have Decreased Over The Years

As new technological advancements have come about, the average length of treatment for Invisalign has significantly improved. While the exact length of each case is dependent upon your unique tooth alignment and whether you wear your aligners as directed, our dentists can at least give you a fairly accurate estimate during your Invisalign consultation. As soon as we know how many sets of trays you’ll need to move your teeth, you’ll know how long the overall treatment will take. On average, it’s around 12 months.

However, short-term accelerated braces options are also available in certain cases. Meaning that if you only need to straighten a few front teeth, you can use clear aligners and have a straighter smile in a period of just 3-6 months or so.

There’s Are Options for Teens and Young Patients

Even though Invisalign was initially introduced and originally targeted at adults, teens have wanted to get in on the action too. Although some teenagers do have a bit of a time trying to keep up with removable aligners (fixed braces might be better in those cases), others are quite responsible. The option of wearing clear braces instead of metal brackets appeals to some teens.

The Invisalign Teen line of aligners is similar to traditional clear trays but with a few added perks for younger patients. For instance, they were the first Invisalign product to feature built-in wear indicators to remind your son or daughter when to change them out. They also include limited built-in replacement protection if your child accidentally misplaces a tray at school.

Everything You Need to Know About Clear Aligners

Your Tooth Movement is Digitally Analyzed

Invisalign’s virtual treatment planning process virtually “moves” your teeth in the computer software to the desired location and alignment. Each tooth is individually adjusted alongside its neighboring teeth, with all of the arch being fine-tuned in each corresponding phase of therapy.

After your tooth movement is digitally mapped, a series of 3D-printed alignment trays are created for each segment of tooth movement. So long as you change your trays out as directed (usually every two weeks) and replace them with the next in the series, your teeth will follow along with the virtual care plan that was created before your treatment started. Occasionally we might need to fine-tune something here or there, but everything is scanned into the digital platform, so you’ll never need any messy impressions.

Good For Your Oral Health

Yes, there are actual dental health advantages to having straighter teeth. When your teeth are properly aligned, you’re statistically less likely to get cavities, gum disease, or develop TMJ disorder compared to people with crooked or gapped teeth. If you already have certain areas in your mouth that are harder to clean — due to tooth misalignment — or are wearing down prematurely, then you could benefit from clear aligner therapy.

Some dental experts go as far as to say that adding Invisalign to your periodontal care plan is an effective way to help combat gum disease. The reason is that you’re both straightening your teeth while also enjoying the convenience of appliances. There are no extra areas for food or plaque to build up.

You Can Whiten Your Teeth at the Same Time

Did you know that your Invisalign or similar clear aligners brand could also double as a whitening tray? Since your aligner is snuggly fitted to the contour of each of your teeth, you can also place a small dot of whitening gel inside of each space to brighten your smile at the same time.

Just keep in mind that you’ll want to get a professional-grade whitening gel from our cosmetic dentist’s office. It’s modestly priced (usually more affordable than over-the-counter systems), and you’ll get way better results in far less time.

Everything You Need to Know About Clear Aligners

Get a Clear, Confident Smile At Mahlmann & Borders Orthodontics 

The first step of your smile success story begins with getting the correct information. At Mahlmann & Borders Orthodontics, we offer customized treatment plans so that you can get the best oral healthcare. If you’re excited to get the smile of your dreams, please give us a call or stop by our office in Richmond to schedule your visit.