January 30th, 2017
If your teeth appear crooked and feel painful, it could be the result of teeth crowding – when there’s not enough room within the jaw for your teeth to come in naturally. Teeth crowding can be uncomfortable and can lead to a range of severe dental issues, but with Invisalign, it can be treated discreetly and relatively quickly and painlessly.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a clear aligner system designed to treat the same issues as traditional metal braces – without the unsightly and often painful metal brackets. Invisalign uses a series of custom-fitted clear plastic trays, worn for 2 weeks (one week now when using AcceleDent) to gently shift and straighten the teeth into the desired position.
The nearly invisible plastic trays are generally more comfortable than metal braces, and they don’t impede most daily activities. Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign trays are removed for meals, making them easier to keep clean. The ease of use and inconspicuous design make them popular among adults eager to achieve a better smile.
The Dangers of Teeth Crowding
Teeth crowding occurs when the teeth don’t have enough space to fit in the jaw. Teeth that come in too close together can, over time, begin to twist or rotate and become severely crooked.
Crooked teeth can cause excessive pressure in certain parts of the mouth, leading to premature wear, including chipped or fractured teeth, or teeth with worn edges. Premature wear can, in turn, cause tooth sensitivity, recessed gum lines, and even tooth loss. Excessive pressure on the jaw itself, also a symptom of crooked teeth, can cause jaw pain and even severe headaches.
Teeth crowding can also lead to more severe issues such as tooth decay and increased risk of gum disease, because the tight spaces make it more difficult to sufficiently clean between the teeth.
How Can Invisalign Help?
If you’re concerned that your teeth might be crowded and think that Invisalign might be the solution for you, the first step is to make an appointment for a consultation to determine if you’re a candidate for the treatment.
To begin treatment, your provider will take x-rays and a 3-D scan of your teeth and use them to create a three-dimensional Invisalign profile of your mouth. This 3-D map of your mouth will help the provider determine the appropriate course of action. The 3-D imaging software allows them to show the projected changes for each tooth along each step of the process and provides a timeline for treatment – generally about a year for adults.
Based on the images and treatment plan, a series of custom-created clear plastic aligners will be created for your specific treatment, each designed to be worn for 20-22 hours a day, for approximately two weeks. At the end of each two-week stage, teeth should have shifted to fit the mold and will be ready to progress to the next aligner. Throughout the process, your provider should check about every six weeks to ensure the treatment is going as planned.
The Invisalign trays work to gently guide your teeth into a better position, so they bite and wear more evenly, which promotes stronger, longer-lasting teeth as well as overall dental health. They’re simple to clean, and because they’re not worn during meals, it’s easy to keep them, as well as your teeth, clean and healthy.
Tooth crowding might not seem like a serious issue but left untreated, it can cause a host of dental problems. For more information about Invisalign and to take the steps for a straighter, healthier smile, contact Dr. Aneszko or Dr. Stino today.