Crooked teeth once took years of unsightly metal braces to straighten. While the field of orthodontics has progressed, perhaps there’s no solution as innovative, convenient, and invisible as the Invisalign® system. Dr. Cheng H. Tai, DDS, MS, PC, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, uses the progressive clear aligners of the Invisalign method to give you the perfectly spaced smile you’re after. Call the office or book an appointment online today.
As with many dental appliances, the Invisalign mouthpieces can be made using conventional dental impressions. However, these are cumbersome and often uncomfortable for the patient. The new technology of the Invisalign system deserves an innovative way to take impressions.
Dr. Tai chose the iTero® Element™ intraoral scanner to create precise virtual impressions. The iTero scanner specifically combines with the Invisalign system to create a powerful visualization tool that can help Dr. Tai plan the course of your teeth straightening before your treatments begin. You can see the result on-screen before receiving your first mouthpiece. This digital scanning technology allows Dr. Tai to offer free Invisalign consultations (a $350 value) that is quicker, more comfortable and cheaper than traditional Invisalign consultation methods that many other dentists use.
Straightening crooked teeth has always required gentle, consistent pressure to slowly move each tooth into its ideal position in the bones of your jaw. Once, this meant metal bands around each tooth, cemented in place for years. Each band had posts to which wires were bound to provide the necessary pressure. Every few weeks, you’d visit the orthodontist to have the wires repositioned for the next phase of treatment.
Later advancements used clear bands or cemented wiring posts directly to your teeth, but no system was completely clear until the Invisalign method. The primary difference is that Invisalign does away with the band-and-wire method. Instead, a series of custom-fitted mouthpieces are made for you, to be worn all the time, except when eating or cleaning your teeth.
You simply wear them throughout the day and overnight. Imagine a form-fitting, clear sports mouthpiece that closely fits the profile of your teeth, and you have the idea of how the treatment works. Invisalign is removable, so you don’t have to worry about how eating will impact your treatment, as you do with conventional braces.
You’ll wear one Invisalign mouthpiece until your teeth have conformed to its positioning, then you’ll move to the next mouthpiece in the series, usually 1-2 weeks later. Visits to Dr. Tai are only necessary every 6-8 weeks, and these are simply checkups to make sure your mouth is responding as expected. Once you’re finished with the last mouthpiece, your teeth are aligned into a perfect smile.