Posts for category: Invisalign
Thanks to an innovative orthodontic option, it's possible to straighten your teeth without metal wires and brackets. Cumberland Park, SA, dentists Dr. Jack Gaffey and Dr. Angela Gaffe help their patients improve their smiles with Invisalign's clear aligner system.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign uses removable aligner trays to realign your smile. The clear trays are designed to fit your teeth snugly, ensuring that they're practically invisible when you wear them. Your Cumberland Park dentist takes a series of digital images, X-rays and impressions that are combined to create a 3D image of your mouth. The 3D image is used to create a series of aligner trays that address your particular orthodontic issue. Invisalign is an excellent option if you have common orthodontic issues, such as an underbite, overbite, crossbite or open bite. If your problems are severe or complicated, metal or ceramic braces may be a better choice.
What are the benefits of Invisalign?
Although appearance is one of the most important benefits for many patients, Invisalign treatment also offers these advantages:
- No Adjustments: You won't require adjustments when you wear Invisalign aligner trays. Simply swapping one set of aligner trays for another at the end of two weeks will help ensure that your treatment is progressing. Aligner trays exert continual pressure on your teeth to help you achieve your straightening goals.
- Excellent Comfort: Invisalign aligners are made of comfortable plastic for your comfort. Since they're wire-free, you'll never have to worry about a cut cheek or lip due to a stray wire.
- No Food Restrictions: Wires and brackets can break or loosen if you eat hard or sticky foods. Fortunately, that's not a problem with Invisalign. You'll remove your aligner trays before every meal and can eat all of the foods you enjoy.
- Easier Oral Hygiene: Brushing and flossing can be very time-consuming when you wear metal or ceramic braces. When it's time to brush and floss, you'll take out your Invisalign trays, follow your normal oral hygiene routine.
- Breaks: Although Invisalign aligner trays are designed to be discreet, you may wish to take them out occasionally. If you're playing a sport or want to attend a special event, you can remove your trays for a few hours.
Straighten your smile with Invisalign! Call Cumberland Park, SA, dentists Dr. Jack Gaffey and Dr. Angela Gaffe at (08) 8271 6233 to schedule your appointment.
Can Invisalign close spaces? Of course it can. To see before and after pictures of how Invisalign closes gaps, scroll to the end of this blog, or check out our youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q97b49it4R0
Bill (patients names are changed for our blog) is a man who had grown up with spacing in his front teeth and he felt that this was getting worse with time. Bill looked around for an Adelaide dentist that would look after his needs and give options for his smile makeover. At his first free consultation, Bill first question was, ‘Can Invisalign close spaces?’ Dr Jack assessed Bill’s mouth and noted that this was possible, his teeth were a good shape, the colour could be improved with whitening and there were other cosmetic dentistry options for him also. All of these options were explored for Bill and then the payment plans for each were discussed.
What options are there to close gaps in your teeth?
What can dental veneers do? - Resin
The first option was dental veneers. Dental veneers can be resin- which are the same material used in dental fillings but highly glossy and look terrific. They can change the shape and/or colour of your teeth. The dentist places them directly onto the tooth usually with little tooth structure removal. This allows the process to be ‘green’ or very conservative. The type of filling material we use can change the shape and colour of the teeth quite dramatically. You can really go as light as some of the lightest porcelain veneers.
Resin veneers are very cost effective and allow for a dramatic smile makeover for an affordable price. They are about a quarter of the price of porcelain veneers. The key aspect of resin veneers is to make sure that you cover enough teeth to make the entire smile appear uniform. If the veneers are just placed on the front teeth, we have the potential a difference in shape and colour. The other problem is that the smile doesn’t achieve that big rounded smile that you would see in Julia Roberts or that type of beautiful Hollywood smile.
What can Porcelain Veneers do?
The second option was porcelain dental veneers which are in our opinion the best way of an ‘instant’ smile makeover. They aren’t instant because it will take a good quality dental laboratory several weeks to construct each porcelain cover for each tooth. However, we make the temporary veneers to be as close to the final product as possible, allowing you to experience the shape and size of the new teeth. We use dental laboratories here in Adelaide and in Melbourne depending on the case. This is important to ensure quality Australian work is used in your mouth.
Bill didn’t want to use porcelain veneers to modify his smile, because he felt the teeth would become too square and not appear the same. He also preferred to have his teeth intact at the end of the treatment rather than having some tooth structure removed in order to place the veneers. In the end these types of choices become a personal preference for the smile makeover.
Bill chose orthodontics to close the spaces in his mouth and deliver the new smile he was looking for. The options were then a choice of clear braces such as porcelain brackets or Invisalign which are a series of clear trays that help to move the teeth orthodontically. Bill wanted to ensure his treatment was as aesthetic as possible and so he elected for Invisalign.
How do we begin Invisalign?
Impressions or moulds of his teeth were taken at the beginning of treatment. This is combined with a series of photographs and x-rays (radiographs) to provide Invisalign with the complete picture. A 3D set up of the teeth is constructed from the moulds and then the Invisalign team moves the teeth to the ideal fit. A lengthy discussion with Jack and the Invisalign team results in many treatment plans being developed. These treatment plans are adjusted and modified until we are satisfied with the final predicted outcome. As Bill’s main concern was ‘Can Invisalign close spaces’, Dr Jack made sure he was completely pleased with the treatment plan to achieve Bill’s request.
Sometimes Invisalign treatment plans are too long or ask for too much smoothing of the teeth. We aim to make the treatment plan as smooth as possible and reduce the amount of time taken.There are a number of factors that we identify and analyse to make sure the outcome is as predictable as we can make it. Can Invisalign close spaces if the bite needs to be corrected? This is another focus in which Dr Jack will take into account when designing your treatment.
Before and after pictures of Invisalign Treatment plan
Bills treatment plan:
Once the plans from Invisalign are approved, the trays are processed and delivered to our practice. Invisalign sets up ‘tags’ or buttons that are little bumps of filling material bonded to your teeth. In our practice we place them on at the second tray. The first Invisalign retainer we place does not have the buttons on them. This makes the tray easier to remove. The effect of the Invisalign trays is to stretch the ligaments that join the tooth to the bone and allow tooth movement, making the tooth a little bit wiggly during the process. This means that when we put the bumps on the teeth in tray number 2, you can get the Invisalign trays on and off the teeth easier. We have found that putting the Invisalign tags on the first tray tends to make the patient experience difficult; removing the trays is very challenging. There are some funny YouTube videos showing just how hard this can be.
Putting the tags on is the longest appointment for Invisalign. We allow 30 minutes for this appointment. It involves brushing the teeth to clean the surface. Preset trays from Invisalign are filled with the filling material and this is bonded to the teeth. The tags allow for the teeth to move during treatment and act like the handle on a door, it is easier to turn the tooth with them on.
Do I have to keep coming back for each Invisalign tray?
We give multiple sets of trays for you to change every 1.5 to 2 weeks. Jack then reviews the progress over time. Bill returned every 6-8 weeks to change his trays. Each Invisalign retainer is slightly different from the last. As they change, the teeth move with them correcting the gaps.
That is how we ended up with the final result that is shown here. You can see the spaces in his teeth have closed and Invisalign has closed his gappy teeth. Bill was very happy with the final result as you can imagine, a straight smile that has given him the chance to smile with confidence.
Before and after pictures of closing gaps with Invisalign
So can Invisalign close spaces? You betcha!
Some of the questions we get about Invisalign are "will Invisalign improve my bite?" The answer to this is maybe. It depends on what sort of problems you have with how your teeth come together. Invisalign is great for improving how teeth are twisted or gaps in the teeth. If you are looking to pull your front teeth back in your mouth, this is going to be a little trickier to achieve.
First of all what makes up a bite? It is really how your back teeth come together. Ideally we want your teeth to be meeting in between each other. Like this
So this shows the back teeth sitting in between each other and just some problems with the front teeth. This is the ideal case for Invisalign to treat.
This next case is a little harder but still a great case with Invisalign.
Teeth need to fit together like cogs on a wheel.
How far can we go with overlapping front teeth? If the bite is good but there is significant crowding at the front, we still have a great opportunity to use Invisalign.
However, a lot of overlapping of the teeth requires quite a bit of work to straighten. ===> like this case below!
As you can see, the front teeth are quite crowded but look terrific once they have been straightened using Invisalign. If your back teeth are fitting well together, then it is going to make it so much easier to straighten the important front teeth
We are now proud to offer Invisalign to our customers in addition to the 6 Month Smiles (cosmetic orthodontics program). Dr Jack Gaffey has recently trained with Sydney Orthodontist Dr Morris Rapaport and can now offer the Invisable braces everyone is talking about. These clear plastic aligners can straighten your teeth without the traditional braces. The process takes longer than Six Month Smiles (usually 4-9 months) but means Adelaide patients who do not want ordinary braces on their teeth now have a different option.
The way Invisalign works is similar to a flip book cartoon that you used to make in school. You could draw a stick figure on the side of your page and by making small changes to the figure on each page, eventually the cartoon stick figure could move, bend or even jump up and down. Invisalign aligners work the same way. A mould of your teeth is taken in the beginning of treatment, then the ideal shape for your smile is designed by the dentist. Each fortnight, the patient will wear a new plastic alignerwith very minor changes from the aligner that was used in the previous fortnight. The movements of each tooth in a fortnight would be as small as 0.25mm or 1 degree of rotation, but as time progresses and new aligners are used each fortnight, the teeth slowly move into their final position. Just like the stick figure moves in the kids flip books through minor changes between each drawing, the teeth move through minor changes every 2 weeks.
Does this mean that the patient has to come and see us every 2 weeks, of course not. We are able to issue 2-3 retainers at each visit and rely on our patients to change the retainers over after 2 weeks, but the straightening of the teeth must be monitored by the dentist to ensure the desired results are being achieved. Invisalign requires you, as the patient, to wear the clear aligners 22 hours per day to get the teeth to move. If patients don't wear their clear Invisalign aligners long enough each day, movement slows and as a result the treatment can lengthen in time. With Invisalign, success of the treatment depends on the patient following the program and wearing the retainers for the right amount of time.
One of the clear messages from the course this week was that there are now different options to improving a smile but it requires a comprehensive plan before starting. Especially when straightening Adult teeth it is important to consider all of the options and decide what is best for the patient. At Cumberland Dental, we aim to make our patients a clear part of the decision process in the selection of treatments, it is certainly a tailored approach, not a one size fits all program. Sometimes veneers are needed to improve or straighten the teeth, other times it is reshaping of the teeth. Whether you need braces or not, you need to ask yourself, "what is is that I really want to fix with my smile and how do I want to do it?"