Taking someone’s braces or Invisalign off is one of my favorite things to do as an orthodontist. All the hard work that our office and our patient has put into achieving the perfect smile finally comes to a grand finale. It is a fun day and a cause for celebration.
What most patients don’t realize is that they have a lot of control over when that happens. There is an aspect of every treatment that is controlled by the orthodontist and no one else. The interpretation of the x-rays, the development of a treatment plan, the placement of the appliances, and the design of the smile among others.
However, there is also an aspect of every treatment that only the patient controls. Whether their teeth are clean and healthy, whether they follow the guidelines to avoid candy that would break off braces, whether they wear their elastics (rubber bands) or aligners for the entire recommended time, and whether they consistently show up for their scheduled appointments. I often find myself answering the question of “When am I getting my braces off?” with another question like, “When are you going to wear your elastics?”. This response often gets an eye roll, but it is important to understand that there are some aspects of the treatment that the orthodontist cannot control yet are critical to achieving an ideal outcome.
If you are anxious to complete your orthodontic treatment, ask your orthodontist what things you can do to speed up the process. You might be surprised at how important you are to your own treatment. Give us a call today and let us help you smile with confidence!
At Budd Orthodontics, Invisalign treatment with clear aligners has become a popular orthodontic treatment in today’s digital world. The treatment is based off of the information taken from a 3D scan of your teeth with an iTero digital scanner and the corresponding computer simulation of the movements of your teeth.
Although the software used to create this digital simulation is very accurate, it cannot account for all of the variables that make each of us unique – tongue pressure, lip pressure, swallowing patterns, and differences in how well patients wear the aligners. Sometimes when we arrive at the end of the simulated orthodontic treatment, what you see in the mouth does not match exactly what you originally saw on the computer screen. We correct this by completing what we refer to as an Invisalign “Refinement”.
An Invisalign Refinement is completed by essentially repeating the process that was used the first time to create the Invisalign aligners. A new 3D scan is taken of the updated position of the teeth, and any movements that were not achieved with the first simulation are completed in the refinement aligners. It is a little fine-tuning of your smile to make sure that we get the best possible result. This allows us to overcome the limitations of the software simulation and create a smile you will love. A significant number of Invisalign treatments don’t require any refinement, but we always have that as an available option to make sure we deliver the best possible smile. Give us a call today, and let us help you smile with confidence.
Patients will often ask me how orthodontists can move teeth. The process is really quite simple – we stimulate teeth to move by applying a constant, gentle pressure to the teeth. This force acting on the teeth stimulates the bone around the roots of the teeth to remodel. The remodeled bone allows the tooth to move to a new position within the jaw and voila! – your tooth is now straighter.
How the force is applied to the tooth is important in determining the direction and rate of movement. With Invisalign aligners, one of the challenges of moving teeth can be making the aligner apply the correct force to the tooth in the correct direction. Invisalign aligners do not grip teeth the same way braces do because the aligners are removable and slip on and off the teeth. Aligners are not bonded to the teeth like braces. While this is convenient, it also makes it challenging to apply the correct forces to the teeth for tooth movement. One of the ways we have created a work-around for the limitations of Invisalign is by bonding attachments to the teeth. Attachments are little tooth-colored bumps bonded to the teeth. The attachments give the aligner a “handle” to grip the tooth and move it more efficiently like conventional braces would. This allows Invisalign aligners to get closer to the quality and speed of treatment results you might achieve with conventional braces by allowing for a better grip on the teeth and therefore more difficult tooth movements.
If you are interested in improving your smile and self-confidence, please contact our office and we would be happy to discuss treatment options with you to find out what would be the best way for you to achieve a beautiful, attractive and confident smile.