Invisible Braces: Invisalign®

Invisible teeth alignment, an alternative to braces

Beautiful Teeth without the disadvantages

You would love more than anything to have your teeth straightened. And you would love it even more if that could be accomplished without braces. Simply stated — you want straight teeth, but you want them straightened invisibly. What seems too good to be true is now a tested and popular option in orthodontics

Invisalign, first introduced in 1999, is now used in over fifty countries, including China. More than a million people have enjoyed the benefits of Invisalign, creating a solid track record for this amazing choice in modern dentistry.

One of the most positive things you can do for your confidence is to fix your smile with Invisalign from Carmichael’s Marconi Dental Group.

Straight teeth are more than a cosmetic improvement. They really are better for your dental health. A proper smile leads to healthier gums and teeth. Plus, you now have a choice that you didn’t have when you were younger. You can choose to straighten your teeth with comfort, confidence and convenience using Invisalign.

Invisible braces - Invisalign - Transforms Smiles at Marconi Dental Group

Time Saved

With this service, you visit your dentist less. New aligners arrive in your mailbox and visits to your dentist are 4 to 6 weeks apart.

Cleaning is Easier

Just take out your aligner, brush and floss as usual. Your teeth stay healthy as they improve in appearance.

Appearance

Invisalign avoids the embarrassment of trying to eat a business lunch with a mouth full of brackets and bands. You’ll look completely natural in pictures and for all the big events in your life. 

The Marconi Dental Group offers financing through its Carmichael office for all Invisalign treatments. Depending on your dental insurance and the specific procedure, some uses of Invisalign may be covered partially or completely. 

Invisialign® Advantages for Adults

You can start now!
Make an appointment today and start on your way to a straight and healthy smile.
Start today, take charge of your smile!

Removable

Just like a standard retainer or mouthguard, Invisalign trays can be taken off and put back on in a flash. That means eating the foods you like, drinking, brushing and flossing can all be done as usual. The best part is that special occasions can be enjoyed and photos can be snapped without braces taking away all the fun.

Clarity

The Invisalign system is aptly named, because each aligner tray is nearly invisible. When even your friends and coworkers don’t know you’re wearing them? Priceless!

The 5 Benefits

Invisible braces: Invisalign

Effective

With this system, your course is set for a healthier, more perfect smile. If you wear them, straighter teeth will come!

Computerized Customization

Designed for your teeth and no one else’s, you’ll get a new aligner set about every two weeks. You and your Carmichael dentist will have a set schedule and time table for taking your teeth from ordinary to extraordinary.

Comfort

Most everyone with traditional wires and bracket style braces complains of pain and discomfort. Yet with this, your straightening trays are the very epitome of comfort without any poking or pinching inside your mouth. No poke, no joke!

Family Dental Care

At Marconi Dental Group, our general and specialty dentistry focuses on providing the best dental care for you and your family. We work with you to help balance what your family’s dental care needs and what your budget demands. 

Reach out to us to see how we could be a could fit as your family dental care providers.

Family dental care at Marconi Dental Group in Carmichael, CA

Invisible Braces: Definition, Working, Cost, and Effectiveness

Table of Contents

 

Perhaps the most certain way to keep your self-esteem and confidence up is by maintaining a healthy smile, and straight teeth surely help greatly with this. While crooked and crowded teeth may get in the way of a winning smile, invisible braces offer a modern and esthetic solution – a great alternative to the traditional wire or bracket braces. So, what exactly are invisible braces and how do they work?

Definition of Invisible Braces

invisible braces
Invisible braces are usually made of plastic and are worn over the teeth to help achieve a straight, natural, and more ideal teeth position.

Invisible braces, often referred to as clear aligners, are an orthodontic treatment used on patients with teeth misalignment issues. These modern braces help straighten teeth while maintaining a patient’s confident smile as they are more discrete and barely noticeable compared to traditional dental braces.

These braces are usually made of plastic and are worn over the teeth to help achieve a straight, natural, and more ideal teeth position. With the various manufacturers of clear aligners, it is common to come across various brand names when searching for clear aligners. However, all are designed and aimed at straightening teeth.

Working of Invisible Braces

Like any other orthodontic treatment, the use of braces will start with an assessment of one’s oral health by a dentist. With successful assessment, the dentist takes digital scans of the patient’s teeth using a 3D Intra-oral scanner. This is important as the 3D image of the patient’s teeth before treatment will be used to assess treatment progress.

The 3D image of the patient’s teeth also assists in making custom, ready-to-use clear aligners for the patient. Depending on a dentist’s advice, each aligner will be used for a specific amount of time, which is generally 1-3 weeks. After this period of time, a newly-made aligner will replace the old one.

After getting the new aligner, a patient is required to visit their dentist at least once every 6-8 weeks to assess the treatment progress. The patient will also get their next set of aligners after this assessment. The effectiveness of this treatment is dependent on each individual aligner. After using several individual aligners, a patient will start to notice straighter teeth.

For the best results, patients should wear their aligners for 20-22 hours per day. It is also important to note that invisible braces are best suited to the treatment of certain teeth misalignment cases, including crooked teeth, crowded teeth (widely spaced teeth), and overbite. While a dentist will advise a patient on this, it is important to keep in mind that complex bite issues are better solved by traditional orthodontics.

Length of Treatment

The length of treatment will vary from patient to patient depending on the situation and the type of clear aligners being used. Patients who use these braces will typically wear them for 18-24 months, but some will take longer. Such a long treatment period is mainly due to the strength of the material, as most clear aligners will not be as strong as metal braces.

Generally, the extent of teeth misalignment and the type of clear aligners used will determine the length of treatment. More severe cases will require more steps of treatment while minor cases will take fewer steps delivered in fewer phases, hence a shorter treatment period.

Types of Invisible Braces

The most popular types of invisible braces are clear aligners, inside braces, and ceramic brackets. Each has its advantages and are best suited for certain cases.

Clear Aligners

Invisible braces: InvisalignClear aligners are a series of plastic aligners known as trays. These are removable and custom-made to fit to a patient’s teeth for minimal irritation, adjustment discomfort, and noticeability. With these aligners, patients don’t have to worry about brackets coming off or wires breaking.

Generally, clear aligners can be more appealing to patients for their minimal invasion and near-invisibility. Further, they can be removed for drinking, eating, brushing, and flossing. These aligners come in sets which are worn for a specified amount of time before moving onto another set. The most common brands of clear aligners are Invisalign and ClearCorrect.

Ceramic Braces

These are also known as clear braces since they are less noticeable than metal braces. They are made of composite materials, making them more brittle and weaker than metal braces. These braces tooth-colored brackets, which require ligatures or small rubber bands to keep them attached to the arch wire.

Like their metal counterpart, ceramic braces are not removable until treatment completion. That means they can interfere with regular dental care, speaking, and eating as well as cause discomfort and irritation. Because they are not as strong as metal braces, treatment using ceramic braces often takes a longer time.

For technical and cost reasons, some patients prefer to use ceramic braces on their most visible teeth – typically the upper teeth or upper center teeth – while using metal braces on the other teeth that need straightening.

Inside Braces

These braces are also referred to as iBraces, and are applied to the back of the teeth that need straightening to keep the orthodontic appliance away from view. They are made by scanning the inside of the teeth that require straightening to make custom, computer-designed braces that can be attached to the inside of the upper or even lower teeth.

Inside braces are not removable during the treatment period, and are usually appealing to people who are confident about wearing metal braces or clear aligners on the front of their teeth. These braces can also be used with elastics to expedite the treatment period. A common brand of inside braces is the 3M’s Incognito Orthodontic Braces.

Cost of Invisible Braces

Invisible braces will cost about the same or slightly higher than the traditional orthodontic treatment. Depending on the type, treatment period, and brand, invisible braces will cost anything between $3,000 and $7,000. For comparison, traditional metal braces cost $2,000-$6,000. Other important factors that may determine the cost of invisible braces include the dental professional and dental insurance.

Pros and Cons of Invisible Braces

Each type of invisible braces will have its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the general pros of invisible braces include:

  • Easier eating, drinking, and cleaning – Most invisible braces are removable, and patients don’t have to worry about food particles getting stuck between the teeth and braces.
  • Comfort – Unlike metal bracket braces, invisible braces don’t exert much pressure on the misaligned teeth and don’t cause as much discomfort.
  • Convenient – Patients who get invisible braces often have their treatment period planned out with definite treatment stages, which saves them the inconvenience of follow-up visits to their dentists.
  • Safety – Invisible braces are not invasive and are less likely to injure the soft tissues of a patient’s cheeks and lips even when playing contact sports.

Probably the only notable downside to invisible braces is that they can’t be used for some dental problems like complex bite issues.

Useful Tips for Using Invisible Braces

Some of the tips for keeping clear aligners in good condition throughout the treatment period mainly involve eating, drinking, and cleaning. Here are important tips for patients who are using invisible braces to straighten their teeth.

1. Don’t take coffee or any colored beverage with aligners in.

To most people, the perfect way to kickstart the day is by drinking a hot cup of coffee. However, it is not advisable for individuals to take colored beverages or drinks like red wine while wearing invisible braces as these could easily stain the braces.

2. Cut down on snacks.

Orthodontists recommend that patients wear their clear aligners for 20-22 hours a day, which means that they have to minimize the number of times they take out these braces. And what better way to achieve this than steering clear of snacking?

3. Don’t eat with the aligners in your mouth.

Any chewing force exerted on the aligners when chewing on food could crack or damage them, and it is best that you remove them before eating or drinking.

4. Keep off gum.

Eating with the aligners in your mouth isn’t allowed, and neither is chewing gum. The constant chewing motion and the properties of gum could easily damage the aligners, reducing their effectiveness.

5. Clean your teeth more often.

Brushing at least twice and flossing at least once a day could be the norm for most people, but individuals wearing invisible braces are encouraged to clean their teeth more regularly. They should brush their teeth after every meal to avoid bacteria build-up in the aligners. Besides protecting your teeth from cavities, frequent brushing helps keep clear aligners in mint condition.

Commonly Asked Questions About Invisible Braces

While invisible braces are not an entirely new orthodontic treatment, new brands are coming up by the day, making invisible braces a hot topic. Read on to find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about invisible braces.

Are Invisible Braces Painful?

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Invisible braces are more comfortable than metal braces and aren’t painful. However, they might leave a patient’s teeth feeling a little sore. The potential for discomfort or mild pain tends to be greatest within the first few days of using invisible braces. Patients who report mild pain from invisible braces say that symptoms last 2-3 days following the installation of a new aligner.

As patients get accustomed to wearing their aligners, it is possible that any pain and discomfort becomes less pronounced. Any pain that persists could be an indication of a more serious condition, and it is advisable to have an orthodontist run a check.

Is There an Age Limit for Wearing Invisible Braces?

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Invisible braces are a great orthodontic treatment for both kids and adults with teeth alignment issues. There is no set age limit for the use of invisible braces, and these may be opted in at any phase of life. Among kids, however, these braces are most effective for kids aged 7 and above.

While orthodontists recommend the early treatment of teeth-related problems, there are usually concerns on whether a child will be comfortable wearing invisible braces or not. Parents are also worried about how their child will go about eating, drinking, and taking care of the braces, especially when they are not at home.

Apart from such concerns, invisible braces are deemed a perfect solution to teeth misalignment problems, even among children.

Do Clear Aligners Show Faster Results Than Traditional Braces?

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Generally, invisible braces have been found to straighten teeth faster than traditional braces. This is because orthodontic treatment using these braces involves the use of a series of aligners throughout the entire treatment period. Each set is custom-made to ensure that the treatment process is on track as it should be.

Invisible braces are able to move teeth into the proper alignment due to the kind of force applied throughout the treatment period. While traditional braces apply pressure and move each tooth individually, invisible braces are one-piece aligners that apply force to the misaligned teeth as a whole. This delivers uniform and faster results than traditional braces.

Can I Drink or Eat with My Clear Aligners In?

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Most invisible braces are removable, which means that a patient can take them out during mealtimes. Eating with these braces in the mouth is not recommended, and patients are advised to limit snacking between meals. The reason why one shouldn’t eat while wearing their aligners is pretty simple – teeth are super strong, and chewing on food while wearing aligners could lead to cracking, staining, or damaging of the aligners in other ways.

Do Clear Aligners Induce Bad Breath?

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Everybody dreads bad breath, and it is no wonder that most patients are concerned about the possibility of clear aligners inducing bad breath. Generally, bad breath is a sign of poor dental cleaning practices which lead to the build-up of food particles. The same goes for drinking – for any beverage or drink other than water, it is advisable to take it with the aligners out.

Conclusion

Are you longing to have straighter teeth? Well, wearing invisible braces could be your best bet. Unlike metal bracket braces, most invisible braces are removable and offer faster results. If you are ready to begin orthodontic treatment for your misaligned teeth, contact the office of Marconi Dental Group to schedule an appointment and find out why invisible braces are the ideal solution to your needs.

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Dr. Fischer

Dr. Fischer comes from Sandy City Utah, where he graduated from the University of Utah with a background in Medical Biology. Dr. Fischer then was awarded his DDS degree from Loma Linda University here in California. Prior to that, Dr. Fischer worked alongside his father for several years as a design engineer at his father’s dental company. Dr. Fischer has a strong passion for dentistry, he believes in providing his patients with the most modern and up-to-date procedures, and he truly enjoys the variations of procedures he gets to perform daily.

When not practicing dentistry, he can be found spending time with his family. Dr. Fischer and his wife Brittany have twins Kaitly and Kyle, and son Johnny. Outside of his professional activities, Dr. Fischer is also a true adventurist. He has travelled to many countries and enjoys backpacking, scuba diving, para gliding, camping, and hunting just to name a few.

Headshot of Dr. Y. Vinny Huang at Marconi Dental Group

Dr. Huang

Dr. Y. Vinny Huang received his Degree in Dental Surgery in his hometown of Taipei, Taiwan and then went on to receive his Masters in Science and Postgraduate Certificate in Prosthodontics from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA.

He has been practicing dentistry since 1992 and his area of specialty is Prosthodontics, the treatment and handling of dental and facial problems. Prosthodontics involves the restoration of missing teeth and jaw structure. Dr. Y. Vinny Huang is also a Diplomate of the (ABP) American Board of Prosthodontics and an active member of the (CDA) California Dental Association and the (AAFP) American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics, and a fellow of the (ACP) American College of Prosthodontists. He is also fluent in Mandarin!

Dr. Y. Vinny Huang was fortunate enough to find his calling at a young age. He grew up watching his grandmother struggle with her dentures on many occasions and has been determined to help others just like her ever since. He is truly passionate about his work and finds great joy in creating beautiful smiles for his patients whether it be on their own or with the help of dental implants. Dr. Y. Vinny Huang makes it his personal mission to educate his patients and community on the importance of oral health and does so with honesty, professionalism and care.

When Dr. Y. Vinny Huang isn’t practicing dentistry or assisting the community, you will find him spending time with his wife and two daughters. He also enjoys being outdoors and staying active whether it be swimming, golfing or playing tennis.

Headshot of Dr. Visage of Marconi Dental Group

Dr. Visagé

Dr. Visagé graduated his dental degree from University of Pretoria in South Africa (1999). He practiced general dentistry in South Africa and England until 2002. He went on and completed a residency program in Periodontics and Oral Medicine, in South Africa to attain his Masters degree in 2006. He established a successful private specialist practice in Periodontics and Dental Implants. During that time he also served as secretary of the South African Society of Periodontology and still holds specialist registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

 

In 2014, Dr. Visagé and his family relocated to California, and he was invited to the prestigious Program for International Dentists at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In 2015, he received the OKU Dental Honour Society Dr Kramer S Award from the UCSF School of Dentistry. In 2016 he received the Dental Honour Society Membership Award and also the Award for Clinical Excellence & Mentoring (UCSF).  He obtained his American Doctorate of Dental Surgery (UCSF) in 2016.

 

The most enjoyable part of his work is getting to know the patients and being able to play a role in improving oral health, which contributes to quality of life. He is truly passionate about dentistry, but strikes a balance between his professional and personal lives.  He maintains his fitness through running, biking and hiking with his family. 

Dr. Visagé and his wife Karlien, have  a  daughter and a son.  When time allows, he and his family enjoys travelling and spending time together. They travel to South Africa as often as time allows, but also enjoy road trips in the USA.