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Ask The Expert: Is There A Less Painful Way To Straighten Crooked Teeth?

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Crooked teeth pose more than just an aesthetic issue.

Misaligned, crooked or excessively spaced teeth may cause your teeth to weaken and fall out or endure excessive wear and tear. They also may cause headaches, jaw pain and difficulty in cleaning teeth properly, which can cause gum disease and tooth decay. Recently, many patients have avoided conventional braces altogether, opting for a more pocket-friendly alternative: Invisalign.

What is Invisalign and how does it work?
This form of dental therapy combines clear, custom-made, removable, BPA-free plastic aligners and SmartTrack technology to apply force to move teeth to the desired position. The aligners fit snugly to your teeth, are trimmed to suit your gum line and can be used to treat underbites, protruding teeth, crossbites, crowded or spaced teeth and more. Invisalign works hand-in-hand with the Itero 3D digital intra-oral scanner, which replaces uncomfortable, traditional dental impressions, or moulds with 3D digital laser scanning. This provides more precise and accurate imagery of your gums and teeth in a shorter time, and can even give you a preview of what your teeth may look like after you have finished the treatment.

What are some of its benefits?
You will need to wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day, but you can remove them to eat, brush and floss normally. The aligners are also close to invisible and do not require braces or wires, which means you will have lesser soreness, irritation and visits to the dentist.

Does Invisalign hurt?
No, it is relatively painless. However, in the beginning stages of treatment, many patients report experiencing some minor discomfort – typically described as feeling pressure when the aligners are working to move their teeth – but the discomfort usually disappears a few days after inserting a new aligner. The aligners are also changed once every two weeks to ensure that your teeth continue to move in the right direction.

How long does it take to complete the treatment?
Treatment times will depend on the severity of your teeth, but typically vary between six months and two years. Invisalign can be applied on teenagers, adults and, thanks to recent developments, on children as young as age 7. Your suitability for Invisalign must first be evaluated by your orthodontist. However, the treament can only be administered by an Invisalign-certified orthodontist, so be sure to check your dentist’s credentials before making an appointment.

Dr. Catherine Lee Orthodontics
16 Collyer Quay, #36-01/02, 049318
www.drcatherineleeorthodontics.com

 

From The Finder (Issue 292), June 2018

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