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Arnold, MD Invisalign

An image showing two people's mouths, facing each other. One has metal brackets and wires on the teeth. The other has a clear, invisible aligner on the teeth.
Invisalign is truly invisible, as shown here.

Invisible braces were introduced by Invisalign in the late 1990s as a faster, more comfortable way to correct teeth alignment than conventional metal braces. They became very popular and have had a high rate of patient satisfaction. The concept was adopted by some other companies, and these clear plastic aligners are now available from several manufacturers.

Advantages of Invisalign

  • They are virtually invisible when standing at a conversational distance.
  • Because they involve precise, computer-controlled movements, they move teeth more quickly. Typical cases take from six months to a year,  as opposed to conventional braces requiring 2-3 years of wear.
  • Oral hygiene is much easier—just take out the aligners and brush and floss normally.
  • Best of all, clear aligners are more comfortable to wear than metal braces and rubber bands. No more irritation of your cheeks and tongue!
  • These clear plastic aligners can even perform double duty as teeth whitening trays!

But there are some disadvantages as well.

Disadvantages of Invisalign

  • They require patient cooperation—they won’t work if you don’t wear them as directed. Some patients have even been known to lose them.
  • They are not recommended for all orthodontic cases. For example, if teeth haven’t fully erupted yet, clear aligners can’t “grab” the tooth and bring it into occlusion.
  • Lastly, they are more expensive than traditional braces.

We Offer Options

At Chesapeake Dental Arts, Dr. Esposito offers one of several new types of clear aligners. These newer variations have made some refinements of the Invisalign system and, since they aren’t as heavily marketed, they tend to be less expensive than Invisalign. Some of them, because of increased efficiency of tooth movement, provide even shorter treatment times than Invisalign. Dr. Esposito, after your examination, will discuss with you which brand of clear aligners she feels would be most appropriate for your case.

Due to Dr. Esposito’s cosmetic dentistry training, she can also offer other options for giving you a straight smile. In some cases, you may prefer porcelain veneers that, besides correcting minor alignment issues with the teeth can give you the shape and color you want in your smile.

Initial Exam

Your treatment begins with a comprehensive exam by our hygienist and Dr. Esposito. This includes full-mouth x-rays, oral health, occlusal (bite) analysis, the shape of the teeth roots, and assessing the amount of crowding present.

How It Works

Our computerized optical scanner takes a digital impressions of your teeth—no more messy impression material in your mouth! The scans are then sent to the Invisalign lab to create a series of precision aligner trays that you will wear in sequence to gradually shift your teeth into their new position. The computer calculates the exact movements required to correct your personal configuration of teeth and designs aligners for the most efficient result.

Every two weeks, you will put in the next new set of aligners. When you put them in, they will feel like they don’t fit. This is because they are made to fit your teeth in their new position. In a couple of days they will feel comfortable. Continue wearing the aligners as your body molds bone around the teeth in their new positions. Then you will be ready for a new set.

You will come in to our office every few weeks to check on your progress and possibly make some refinements. At the end of your treatment, you will have a final set of aligners that you can use as retainers, or Dr. Esposito can provide some other type of retainer.

Are you interested? You can call the office for an appointment or use our online appointment request form. If you’re not sure you want to commit to an examination yet, just ask for a complimentary consultation where you can ask if you are a suitable candidate for clear aligners.