Invisalign for Memphis Adults
In recent years, we’ve seen the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment skyrocket. In fact, about 25% of all current orthodontic patients are over the age of 18! There are a number of reasons for this increase. As we get older, we often become more aware of the connection that exists between our oral health and our overall health. Misaligned teeth make it difficult to brush and floss effectively. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Oral issues may also cause aches and pains in the jaw, head, neck, and shoulders. For those experiencing these symptoms, orthodontic treatment can have a positive impact on the entire body!
Many adults began the orthodontic treatment process in their younger years, but weren’t able to complete it. Some do complete their orthodontic treatment, but fail to wear their retainer as directed afterwards, resulting in the teeth shifting back to their previous positions. In adulthood, previous orthodontic patients may want to complete any interrupted orthodontic treatment, or redo the entire process. For others, this may be the first time they’ve had the ability to correct orthodontic issues or to achieve the kind of straight and healthy smile they’ve always wanted. Whatever the reason for seeking orthodontic treatment later in life, it’s never too late to change a smile you don’t love! Yet many adults put off beneficial treatment because they’re not sure traditional braces are a good fit for their lifestyle.
The Invisalign clear aligner system
If this describes you, you’ll be happy to know another option exists - the Invisalign clear aligner system! Invisalign is our most popular alternative to traditional braces, and it allows us to give you the same beautiful results, but without the brackets, metal, and wires. Instead, Invisalign uses a series of clear, custom-made plastic aligners to straighten your smile. We create these removable aligners by generating a precise 3D image of the teeth using x-rays and digital impressions. Although the aligners themselves look like simple plastic trays, they are constructed of a special thermoplastic resin that’s strong enough to move your teeth into alignment.
When worn as directed, Invisalign clear aligners have proven to be just as effective as traditional braces at successfully treating a number of common dental issues, including:
- Overbites, which occur when your upper front teeth overlap with your lower front teeth. Most people will have at least a little bit of an overbite, but when it’s too large, it can cause excess wear and tear and pain in your jaw.
- Underbites, which occur when your lower front teeth are in front of your upper teeth. This is often caused by the lower jaw being too far forward, and it can make it difficult for you to speak and even chew properly.
- Crossbites, which happen when some of your upper teeth sit inside your lower teeth when you close your mouth. This can cause your teeth to wear down or chip and your gums to recede.
- Spacing issues, or gap teeth, generally occur when you have extra space between two or more of your teeth. Gap teeth can create pockets in between your teeth and gums where food debris can get stuck and bacteria can grow, making gums tender and sore.
- Open bites, which occur when your upper and lower teeth don't touch even when your mouth is closed. This can make it hard to chew or cause difficulty with biting certain foods.
- Crowding issues, which can happen when there isn’t enough room in your jaw for the teeth to fit normally, causing them to bunch up, overlap, twist, or get pushed to the front or the back. Crowded teeth can make it hard to brush and floss well, giving plaque, tartar, and bacteria a chance to build up. If left untreated, this can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
What benefits does Invisalign offer for adults?
The most obvious benefit for our adult patients is the invisibility factor. While Invisalign isn’t invisible, being able to complete orthodontic treatment discretely is important to many of the Invisalign patients we treat. Invisalign allows you to attend to the business of your daily life without feeling self-conscious about your decision to invest in orthodontic treatment. A clear aligner system like Invisalign is the ideal solution for straightening your teeth in a reasonable amount of time with only a minimal impact on your life!
Food restrictions can be one of the biggest learning curves that come with traditional braces. Even though the payoff is well worth it in the end, having to forego some of your favorite foods along the way can be frustrating. Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed every time you eat or drink anything other than water. Not having to worry about staying away from certain foods can give you a little more freedom as you work towards a straighter smile!
The Invisalign system also makes it easier to maintain an excellent dental hygiene routine while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. The wires and brackets that come with braces can trap food debris and bacteria, making brushing and flossing a bit tricky, especially in the early stages of treatment. Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed before you begin brushing and flossing, so it takes very little effort to keep your teeth free of harmful bacteria and plaque.
Cleaning your Invisalign aligner itself is a simple process. There are kits available that are designed specifically to clean Invisalign aligners, or they can be gently cleaned using nothing more than denture crystals and a soft toothbrush.
Metal braces have a few different components that can sometimes cause discomfort. The brackets and wires may slip or shift, poking into the sensitive tissue of your cheeks, gums, and mouth. This can cause soreness and irritation. Invisalign aligners are made of a smooth plastic material, and are custom-designed to fit comfortably over your teeth. Because the aligners must be worn 20-22 hours daily to be effective, this is a particularly important feature!
Fewer dental visits
Adult life can sometimes feel like one meeting, school event, or sports practice after another, and orthodontist appointments are just one more thing to pencil in! Because there are typically no adjustments necessary with Invisalign aligners, your checkups won’t be quite as frequent and they don’t tend to last as long. As long as you’re switching out your aligners according to your Dr. Fagala’s schedule, your teeth-straightening should stay on track without too much extra time spent in our office. We do like to monitor your progress and mid-course changes are sometimes necessary, so regular appointments with an Orthodontist are necessary, but are still less frequent than with traditional braces.
Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?
The Invisalign clear aligner system is designed to be used by our teen and adult patients who are dealing with mild to moderate cases of the most common orthodontic issues. Although most of these issues can be successfully treated with Invisalign, there are some severe or complex cases that may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner can achieve. Once your complimentary consultation with Saddle Creek Orthodontics is complete, Dr. Fagala will be able to determine if Invisalign would be a good fit for your specific orthodontic issues.
Invisalign gives you straighter teeth and a healthier mouth
While a beautiful smile is undoubtedly one of the biggest benefits of completing Invisalign treatment, it’s not the only one! By correcting any misalignments and achieving a proper bite, Invisalign can help improve your overall oral health. As we mentioned above, crowded or crooked teeth can be difficult to clean thoroughly, causing swollen gums that create an opening for bacteria to grow, increasing your risk for developing gum disease and tooth decay. An improper bite can also cause jaw pain, speech impediments, and chewing challenges that may lead to digestive issues. Invisalign can correct these issues while your treatment remains practically invisible to others!