The metal bands, wires, and overall irritation of traditional braces have always been somewhat a rite of teenage passage. Millions of teens have suffered though the metal mouth jokes, rubbing bands, and poking wires. No longer does that need to be the case. At his Encinitas and Mammoth Lakes locations, Dr. Comfort offers Invisalign®, an alternative orthodontic system that uses clear acrylic “aligners” to straighten teeth and adjust bites in lieu of the metal bands and wires that come with traditional braces.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign® moves the teeth with a series of computer-designed, clear plastic aligners. These aligners are virtually invisible and fit over the teeth like a thin sport mouth guard. Each pair of aligners is worn for two weeks, ideally from 20-22 hours each day. Those aligners are then discarded and the next pair in the series takes their place. This process continues until the teeth are in their final position. Most Invisalign® patients wear the aligners for about one year to attain the necessary movement.
What kinds of orthodontic work can Invisalign handle?
Dr. Comfort can’t guarantee that every patient is a good candidate for Invisalign®, however the system can be used when mild to moderate repositioning is necessary. While it cannot achieve severe tooth movement or arch widening, Invisalign® can treat these conditions:
- Crowded teeth
- Gaps between teeth
What advantages does Invisalign have over traditional braces?
Dr. Comfort’s teenage and adult orthodontic patients love Invisalign®. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Virtually invisible — The clear plastic aligners are almost impossible to see, even when talking to a person up close.
- Comfortable — The aligner trays are incredibly comfortable. Most patients forget they are wearing them.
- No eating restrictions — Unlike braces, there are no food restrictions because you take out the aligners when you eat.
- Easy hygiene — When it’s time to brush and floss, you simply remove the aligners.
- No tightening pain — Monthly tightening of braces can lead to two days of pain. Changing aligners is far more comfortable.
- Little or no impact — Traditional braces are challenging cosmetically and for hard to keep clean. Invisalign® allows patients to eat, brush, and live normally.
How does Invisalign work?
The Invisalign® process begins with a full dental exam and bite analysis using the iTero® digital scanning system. From these scans, 3D digital images of the patient’s teeth are created. Dr. Comfort uses these images to plot the path of necessary tooth movement, and he shares this with the patient. The Invisalign® software then breaks down these movements into a series of two-week stages (the duration each aligner tray is worn). This information is sent off to Align Technology to fabricate your series of aligners.
When the trays arrive, the patient returns to our offices, Dr. Comfort explains the system and gives them their first few pairs of aligner trays to wear. Patients wear them for 20-22 hours a day. After two weeks the trays get discarded and the next pair are put in. Dr. Comfort checks the progress about every six weeks.
What Our Patients Have To Say
The whole team at Dr. Comfort’s office is amazing! I had a great experience there this week. These are true professionals (who are also personable!!) and I felt at ease in their care. The doc is an incredibly experienced dentist who truly cares.