John Doe had braces when he was a teenager, but in recent years, his teeth had started to drift back to their original, misaligned positions.
At this point in his life, he has started working his way up in his firm. His colleagues see him as a peer. He doesn’t like the way his smile is changing, but he can’t imagine getting braces again.
He didn’t enjoy it the first time, and besides, he worries that it might make his coworkers think less of him.
Luckily, he lives in Red Bank, NJ, close to the dentist office of Denise DiBona, D.D.S., where he can talk to her about Invisalign instead.
What our John Doe is dealing with is known as tooth relapse. It’s the reason that patients are advised to wear retainers for a short time at the conclusion of their orthodontic treatment.
Humans have known for thousands of years that teeth can be moved. (Some ancient Roman writers mentioned pushing teeth with their fingers to accomplish this.) The methods used to move teeth have become more sophisticated.
You need to remember that your teeth were in their original position before you started your treatment. In a sense, that original position is their home.
The retainer is intended to “retrain” your teeth to accept their new positions as their new home. If you don’t wear your retainer as recommended, relapse can occur.
Moving Relapsed Teeth
If John Doe (who isn’t a real patient) did come to our office, we probably wouldn’t recommend that he wear braces again. Instead, he would be a good candidate for Invisalign.
The transparent aligners are a more discreet way for him to undo the relapse that has started with his smile. For many adults with mild to moderate alignment problems, Invisalign is more comfortable to wear, both physically and emotionally.
With Invisalign, you won’t need to wear brackets, wires, and small rubber bands 24 hours a day. You won’t have to worry about awkward looks from colleagues, customers, and clients.
And you won’t have to feel uncomfortable in social situations when people may ask about your braces.
How Invisalign Works
We already mentioned that Invisalign uses clear aligners to move teeth. The aligners are made of a hard plastic that gently push your teeth gradually into a straight position.
You will wear each aligner for a few weeks at a time. Each time you change aligners, your teeth will be a little closer to their final destination.
Since they are clear, they are practically invisible when they are on your teeth. This means they won’t be a distraction in professional or social situations. You can talk to a potential client or a potential romantic partner with confidence that they won’t be distracted by the metal attached to your teeth.
The Advantages For Adults
In our example above, John Doe has started working his way up in his company, but he doesn’t want to jeopardize the respect he has earned by reminding his co-workers of someone younger.
There are other benefits of Invisalign for someone in John’s position, however.
For optimal results, John would need to wear his aligners for at least 22 hours per day. (As opposed to 24 hours each day with braces.)
That leaves two hours when John can remove the aligners. There are two times when most Invisalign patients will do that — during meals and during their oral hygiene routine.
With braces, patients are supposed to avoid certain foods. This is to reduce the risk of causing a bracket to come loose or wires to break or bend. With Invisalign, John can keep eating all of his favorite foods.
Invisalign can help in another way as well. A typical Invisalign treatment lasts about 12 months on average. For someone like John, who is likely performing a minor correction, the treatment could be even shorter.
See The End Before You Begin
If you have any questions about the effectiveness of Invisalign, ask about the Invisalign Outcome Simulator.
After making a digital scan of your teeth, a computer can show you side-by-side what your teeth look like now and what they could look like at the end of your treatment.
If you would like a glimpse into a possible future, make an appointment for a consultation at the office of Denise DiBona, D.D.S. If you live in or near Red Bank, NJ, call our office at 732-945-5343 or fill out our easy-to-use online form to plan your visit.