Invisalign® Braces Straighten Teeth Almost 'Invisibly'Invisalign® Braces Straighten Teeth Almost 'Invisibly'

The process for straightening teeth is often one that patients don't look forward to because metal braces can sometimes be uncomfortable and awkward. The good news is that with dental advances, the same results can now be obtained without the side effects often experienced from traditional braces.

Instead of using wires to loosen and move teeth, the new 'invisible' version called Invisalign® uses clear aligners that slip over teeth and move them over time. While traditional braces are put on once and adjusted throughout the timeframe in which they have to be worn, the 'invisible' version requires a series of aligners, which create the desired movement in teeth.

A visit to the dentist and a preliminary examination can determine whether or not a patient is a good fit for Invisalign® braces. If the answer is yes, the dentist will create a detailed treatment plan and an impression or mold of the patient's teeth will be sent to a dental lab where a 3D digital model is created using a CT scanner. That model is then used to design the series of aligners that will be used to bring about the desired results on the patient's teeth.

The aligners are made from a thermoplastic material and look similar to the tooth-whitening trays used by dentists. The number of aligners that are required depends on each patient and the problem that the braces will solve or correct. Aligners are custom- made in a dental laboratory for each patient and the length of time that the invisible braches have to be worn is typically from six months to a year...eighteen months maximum for teeth that need more adjustment.

Because of the metal bands and wires that are used to loosen the ligaments around the teeth, traditional braces can be uncomfortable. With the invisible version, there can sometimes be some mild pain or discomfort when a new aligner is placed because of the pressure it puts on the teeth to move them, but the discomfort doesn't last long as the patient's mouth adjusts to the new aligner.

Eating with traditional braces can be awkward and brushing and flossing can seem impossible to do, but the aligners only have to be worn for a minimum of twenty hours a day, and can be removed for eating and brushing. Yet for most people, the most advantageous part of having invisible braces is just that...they are practically invisible.

There can be a few 'drawbacks' to the invisible version of braces. For instance, good oral hygiene is imperative because if aligners are put back into place after eating and the teeth haven't been brushed, food and plaque are packed against the teeth, creating a perfect environment for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. And, when traditional braces are placed in the mouth, they stay there, but the invisible versions can be removed, which means it is totally up to the patient to ensure that the aligners are worn for a minimum of twenty hours a day. Because of these requirements, the Invisalign® braces are typically not a good option for younger patients, but are best suited for teenagers or adults.

While Invisalign® works well for people with crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, crossbites, crowding and gaps between teeth, they are not appropriate for cases where teeth are missing or a lot of movement is required.
by Dr. Susan Wells
References and Bibliography
Dr. Susan Wells DMD has been a warrior dentist practicing dentistry in Warrior, Alabama since 1978.  She treats patients for all aspects of general dentistry including preventive dental care oral hygiene instruction and full scale exams and cleanings. To find out more visit her site at
Rated:NR/0 Votes
Add To My Article Reading List
Add To My Article Reading List
Print Article
More Article By Dr. Susan Wells
More Article by Dr. Susan Wells
More Articles From Medicine
More Articles From Medicine
Related Articles and Readings
Quick Guide on Dental Braces By: Anna Brandy
Medical Statistics say that in nearly 50 per cent of people, teeth are irregular, crooked or not aligned. With advances in the field of dentistry, particularly in the branch of orthodontics which deals with correction of irregularities in the teeth and jaws, the treatment of such teeth is not difficult. ...
Invisible Braces Viable Solutions By: S Wilson
Invisible braces, like Invisalign, are most popular among adults. For children and young teens, having traditional braces cemented to their teeth is almost a rite of passage. Wearing braces is so common among pre-teens and teens that it's completely socially acceptable. A young woman or young man may not enjoy ...
Invisalign Braces: See the Truth? By: Adriana N.
If you have a child that has ever been through treatment with old school metal braces, you know how hard it can be It all starts out with spacers which make way for full metal ...
Braces Aren't For Kids Anymore! Learn About Adult Braces and Tooth Alignment By: Mark Etinger
I remember that time when my parents took me to the orthodontist I was about 13 years old and I prayed and prayed to hear the doctor say ...
Braces In Miami -- Solutions To Obtain Beautiful Pearly Whites By: Mary Sykes
Having an appealing look is something that is a consistent practice. Humans continuously possess a yearning to be attractive and for a valid reason. ...
The information provided in this article and/or the comments is the sole responsibility of their respective authors and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of  does not endorse any article and/or comments published by our web users unless otherwise noted. 

Member Panel

login to submit articles and more


  • » Active Categories: 419
  • » Active Articles:252603
  • » Active Authors:31917
  • » Active Members: 38237
  • » Statistics Updated:
    - Tue Sep 1st, 2020 09:28AM EST