The science of straightening and aligning adult dentition is called orthodontics. Traditionally, fixed braces are used to perform orthodontics. The more comfortable alternative to braces is by using clear aligners. These aligners are removable, and, therefore, do not impact much on eating and maintaining excellent oral hygiene.
With clear aligners, adult teeth become straight and aligned by wearing a number of sets of the custom made aligners, in sequence. Each set needs to be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day, and for one to two weeks at a time before moving up to the next set in the sequence.
At The Myofunctional Centre, our preferred clear aligner system is Invisalign, because it has been available the longest, with the most amount of research behind it, making it reliable in regards to product quality and treatment outcome.
The additional advantage of using clear aligners to perform orthodontics from our point of view, is that because there are no sharp metal brackets nor wires, the patient is still able to practice their orofacial myofunctional therapy exercises, allowing the corrections of the functions at the same time as the forms. This is very important to us, due to our belief and philosophy that form follows functions, especially when the individual still has natural growth potential.
As an added bonus, clear aligners, as the term suggests, are clear. Hence, they are virtually invisible, and often are inconspicuous to others.
Can Invisalign treat all orthodontic issues that fixed braces can?
The Invisalign technology is now extremely advanced, allowing the system to be able to effectively treat almost all types of orthodontic issues. On very rare occasions, Invisalign is not the appropriate treatment option. Just like fixed braces, each individual needs to have thorough evaluation and record analyses to work out if they are suitable for treatment or not.
How long does Invisalign treatment take?
Research have shown that Invisalign takes, on average, 6 months faster than fixed braces, for comparable cases. Each individual has different issues to begin with, and the actual length of treatment differs, based on the level of severity and how the patient’s teeth respond. Some may only require 6 months, some 3 years, and everything in between.
Are Invisalign aligners safe to use in the mouth?
These aligners are made of BPA-free plastic materials. Each set of aligners are individually packed, sterilized and sealed. They are not opened until the patient is ready to begin wearing that particular set.
How much do they cost?
Every individual has different issues to begin with. The cost of the treatment depends on how severe the issue is. If the treatment is more involved and complex, then the cost is usually higher. On average, the cost of Invisalign are comparable to that of fixed braces. Initial evaluation and record analyses are always necessary to determine the suitability, treatment plan and estimate, for each patient.
Do you still need to wear retainers after Invisalign?
Because orthodontic treatment means the adult teeth are being moved, just like fixed braces, retainers are required at the completion of Invisalign. We prefer to provide removable clear retainers, because they can be removed for oral hygiene practice and for eating. These retainers usually need to be worn full time for the first 6 months after the Invisalign treatment, and if the teeth are stable, then every night to sleep indefinitely. At The Myofunctional Centre, we do have a point of difference, in which the majority of our Invisalign patients also receive orofacial myofunctional exercises. This leads to better long term stability of the teeth and bite due to better functions of the muscles of the mouth and face, in particular the tongue, the lips and the cheeks.