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?"