Orthodontic Treatment in Cambridge, ON
Oral hygiene is an important component of whole-body health. For residents in Cambridge and other surrounding areas of Ontario, a good dental regiment includes brushing and flossing every day, limiting sugary foods and soda and visiting the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Occasionally, residents may need to see an orthodontist or other specialists for help fixing structural problems with the teeth or mouth, including a misaligned bite or crooked/protruding teeth.
Orthodontists attend three extra years of schooling after dental school to provide patients specialized treatment for their tooth and jaw alignment issues. Putting braces on the teeth to correct crooked or misaligned teeth is one popular option, but for many people, the 18-24 months of living with a mouth full of metal or ceramic is daunting and unrealistic.
Invisalign treatment is an alternative to braces that uses removable clear aligners over time to re-align offset, protruding or otherwise misplaced teeth. It has become an increasingly popular orthodontic treatment over the past two decades as more insurance companies provide help paying for them, and many newer patients are those who would never have considered getting braces: older men and women with socially active roles or jobs that put them in the spotlight, and parents of adolescents or teens who need dental alignments as well. If you or a loved one are looking for a treatment option for bite problems, crooked teeth or gaps and you live in Cambridge, but don’t want the hassle or discomfort of wearing braces for the foreseeable future, Invisalign might be a good treatment option for you and your family. Give us a call on (519) 622-6383 or book a free consultation and we would be more than happy to help.
Invisalign for a Healthy Smile
If you are one of the many Cambridge residents with an aversion to braces, Invisalign might just give you a reason to smile. Like other slow-alignment processes, the Invisalign treatment involves the use of a series of clear aligners (between 12-48 altogether) designed to change the configuration of your teeth over many months. Just as braces place-specific pressure on each tooth to move it into place, each mold of an Invisalign tray is designed to put a particular amount and direction of the force on each tooth to slightly change its position. After one to two weeks, you return to your dentist for the next tray, until eventually your teeth move into alignment and you have a straighter, more confident smile.
Looking for a Orthodontic treatment in Cambridge, ON? Call (519) 622-6383 for a free consultation appointment.
The Orthodintic Treatment Process
The Invisalign treatment plan is straightforward and relatively simple. After a consultation with an orthodontist or a general dentist who is specifically trained in the Invisalign process, your teeth are scanned with an iTero Element scanner that provides them with a high-resolution image of your teeth that can be manipulated on-screen and studied for alignment and other structural issues. Your dentist would use specialised software to map your smile and create an image where the imperfections such as the gaps, protruding or crowded teeth, over or underbites and open bite are corrected. Finally, they use an algorithm to create a series of aligners that produce incremental changes in problemed teeth.
In addition to common bite and structural issues, Invisalign treatment reduces symptoms caused by TMD, including facial joint and muscle pain. This is because misaligned teeth can restrict the Temporomandibular joint from functioning correctly and lead to deterioration and irritation. Fixing the structure of the teeth and jaw can correct alignment issues and allow the joint to move freely.
Slow but Steady Aligners Win the Race
The Invisalign process is not a sprint towards the finish line, but a marathon that requires patience and stamina. For these orthodontic aligners to work correctly, users need to wear them for 20-22 hours a day, taking them out only to eat meals and clean them. You will keep the same aligner in for approximately two weeks before switching to the next tray in the series. Every six to eight weeks you will visit your dentist to check whether you’re making the appropriate progress. The rate at which your teeth move into their new positions depends on many factors, including the condition of your gums, your diet, the shape of your jaw and even genetics. Most patients wear Invisalign for six to twelve months, although those needing more extensive changes may need to use them as long as 18 months.
How Much for a Healthy Smile?
The cost of Invisalign treatment is comparable to that of braces. Prices begin at $3500 and can surpass $7000, depending on the complexity and extent of the modifications required, whether you require special attachments and how many aligners you need to complete treatment. While it is difficult to put a price on a smile, hundreds of thousands of Canadians live on a month to month basis and have to consider the cost of medical care when figuring up a spending budget, and thousands of dollars for an aesthetic improvement can seem too much to spend for many people. However, financing is a viable option that we offer in Dundas & Main Dentistry. Call our dental office on (519) 622-6383 for more details.
Invisalign candidates have other options when deciding how to pay for treatment. You can pay with pre-tax dollars from a healthcare savings account (HCSA) or set up a convenient payment plan with the dentist. Invisalign is also covered by most third-party insurances that cover braces, paying up to $3500 per member. The amount can obviously vary depending on the terms of your insurance policy.
Using Science to Your Advantage
The last twenty years have been busy for engineers at Align Technology. The orthodontic company introduced Invisalign clear aligners in 1999 as an alternative to braces. Since then they have provided more than seven million people with aligners produced with the help of technical tools like imaging software, 3D printers, and mass-customization options.
Align Technology continues to evolve and upgrade its product, making aligners that are both comfortable and effective. It is a patented material they call SmartTrack®, a flexible thermoplastic polymer that is bio-compatible for use both in and outside of the body. The FDA has approved the use of this material as well, classifying it as a Class II medical device with no known allergens, epoxy or Bisphenol A.
Since the advent of scanning technology, most dental offices have discarded the messy and foul-tasting bite molds. By using a digital 3-D model of your teeth and software that is capable of manipulating and modifying this image, the process of straightening teeth and correcting structural issues has lost its tedious and often unpredictable reputation.
Comparing Invisalign to Braces
As an alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign shares many of the same features, including the method by which they straighten teeth (using controlled, directional force over time). But Invisalign and braces are distinctly different in many ways:
- Invisalign aligners are removable. Patients can remove their aligners when they eat or brush/floss their teeth, and also during special occasions.
- Braces are typically composed of metal or ceramic, where Invisalign trays are made of plastic, providing a more comfortable fit without scraping or cutting the gums and cheeks.
- Invisalign aligners are specifically produced to be invisible. Braces are usually metallic, although more expensive styles now feature clear/tooth-colored ceramic and wires to provide the illusion of invisibility.
- There is more personal accountability associated with Invisalign than with braces. The orthodontist is responsible for ensuring that braces are put on correctly and tightened as needed. The freedom to remove your Invisalign aligners places much of the responsibility for success on your level of commitment. If you regularly forget to put your aligners in or leave them out much of the day, the treatment will not be effective.
When Invisalign Needs an Assist
Invisalign is an agile method for people looking to straighten their smile, but the treatment isn’t suited for everyone. Invisalign does very well at correcting mild to moderate alignment issues, but for larger structural issues braces provide the best overall results, particularly when fixing the problem requires moving molars or rotating multiple teeth into alignment. It can also prove difficult for patients with bridgework since the aligners fit over each tooth individually.
Invisalign has its limitations, but the company has also worked to provide options to address them. SmartForce® attachments are small “buttons” that glue onto problem teeth and provide leverage for the aligners to push against to move them into alignment with the right amount of directional force. Orthodontists can remove these attachments after the treatment is finished.
If you are a resident of Cambridge, ON or any of the surrounding cities such as Kitchener, Waterloo or Guelph, let Dundas & Main Dentistry know by booking a Free Consultation appointment and we will ensure well and affordable treatment.
Life with Aligners
Invisalign aligners are more comfortable than braces, but it will still take some time to adapt to wearing them all day. The first few days after a new aligner can irritate your gums and cause tenderness and a sensation of pressure against your jawline as your mouth adjusts to the different shape and feel of the aligner. Rough edges on the aligner can lead to ulcers so it is important to get those fixed by the dentist as soon as possible, but general soreness is common and can be treated by using cold compresses and pain relief ointments or tablets. If the pain continues you can take the aligners out for 30-60 minutes and suck on some ice.
Aligners can cause changes in the way you talk and in the general shape of your mouth. Adjusting to the presence of the trays can cause you to develop a temporary lisp. This should go away as your lips and tongue re-learn how to form words around the aligner. If the lisp continues for more than a few weeks it may be from imperfections in the mold of the aligner, which can be fixed with a trip to the orthodontist to re-shape the mold.
Removing your aligners too much or for hours at a time can hinder their effectiveness. Take them out occasionally for meals, cleaning and special occasions, but otherwise they should be left in for 22 hours each day. If you are a constant snacker, it may be difficult to keep your aligners in like you should, since you’ll need to wash your trays every time you eat. You can use your aligners strategically to help break negative eating habits and lose weight in the process.
Invisalign for Children
Many dental problems start before a child’s adult teeth have even come through. The shape of the jaw and the layout of the baby teeth can reveal potential problems in the future. While some people scoff at the idea of taking a child to an orthodontist before their permanent teeth have all come in, but many orthodontists say that children should have their first appointment at around age 7, when the permanent teeth first start coming through the gums. With Invisalign’s Phase 1 treatment, children from 6-10 years old use aligners to make space or save room for permanent teeth and fix narrow arches. Tweens and teens with bite issues caused by malocclusion can benefit from aligners that provide mandibular advancement. These specially designed aligners use “wings” to push the lower jaw forward in order to line up with the upper jaw.
Tips to Maximizing the Invisalign Experience
You can maximize the benefit of your Invisalign treatment by taking care of the aligners and using them correctly. Like braces, they only work if you can keep them doing their job. For people with braces, this is relatively simple, just clean them and visit the orthodontist for adjustments regularly. It can be more difficult to maintain progress for Invisalign users who have to worry about causing damage to their aligners from food residue or contact with heat. Here are some tips to keep your Invisalign treatment running smoothly.
Avoid hot drinks like coffee and tea while you’re wearing your aligners. Heat can warp the aligners, effectively making them useless. In addition, coffee and some light-coloured beverages can stain the aligners.
Brush your teeth after eating to avoid potential staining or scratching of the aligners. Also avoid smoking, since cigarettes contain a variety of substances that will stain the trays. Some common culprits responsible for staining include pasta sauce, blueberries, and sports drinks.
If you have a problem with excessive salivation at night from the aligners, lay on your back and try to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth. If you have difficulty sleeping for more than two weeks, talk to your orthodontist.
Dundas & Main Dentistry offers a free consultation for Cambridge residents that can help you decide if Invisalign is your best treatment choice. We have financing options available and can answer your questions 7 days a week.
The Whole Picture
The advantages of Invisalign can be summarized as follows:
- Clear aligners provide a definite advantage over traditional braces and can treat a variety of bite problems effectively in a comparable timeframe.
- Invisalign can treat crooked and protruding teeth along with TMD symptoms caused by structural issues.
- The price of clear aligners is reasonable and falls within the same range as braces. In addition, the price is often reduced or broken into smaller payments by dentist offices and insurance companies.
- Invisalign dental treatment qualifies as one of society’s great equalizers, as it gives everyone the chance at a perfect smile without the stigma of metal braces. With the confidence that comes from a healthy, beautiful smile, Cambridge residents can see the world as one of potential and opportunity.
Need Invisalign treatment in Cambridge, ON? Call our office on (519) 622-6383 or click for free consultation.
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