The orthodontic process has been a long and involved one. Humankind has been making efforts to make their teeth more aesthetically appealing for thousands of years, even the ancient Egyptians fashioned metal bands around their teeth in order to try to provide proper spacing and alignment. Aristotle and Hippocrates pondered ideas about aligning teeth in their works and the predecessors to the Romans, the Etruscans, were known to have created and worn primitive dental appliances to create adequate spacing for their teeth.
To say the least, the human mouth is quite complicated and finding ways to correct the infinite number of combinations of people’s jaw and teeth alignment issues is a tall order. That is why an orthodontist has to approach every patient with a highly individualized treatment process in order to deliver their patients the best results.
Today, a teeth straightening method called Invisalign has been made available for people with fully developed smiles to correct them without the use of fixed straight wire appliances (braces). Braces are not that big of deal for kids because they do not have to worry about judgment from their peers or feeling self-conscious about having conspicuous metal in their mouths. Adults on the other hand have a whole list of concerns to deal with and most of them have something to do with their feelings about wearing braces.
An adult’s confidence is an important piece of how they carry themselves in their lives and when they have a professional appearance to maintain and reflect because they are in a position where their employees and/or clients look to them for leadership, anything that makes them question themselves can affect their work.
Invisalign is the only way that does not involve metal to correct the appearance of one’s teeth. And, as the name suggests, this method is completely invisible because it uses a sequence of thin, transparent mouth guards in order to move teeth into alignment over the course of a 3-9 month period. A special mapping instrument is inserted into a patient’s mouth to collect important information about their teeth so it can produce 3-D images with the help of special, orthodontic software.
This software then takes the initial image and makes precise calculations in order to create a series of images that each come one step closer to a more aligned position. These images are then manufactured individually by a 3-D printer out of hard, transparent plastic so the patient can wear them for 2-3 weeks each, for however long their orthodontist tells them to.
What makes so many adults excited about the Invisalign process is that it first of all cannot be seen by everyone with whom they interact with in their lives. And second of all, it does not take very long, especially in comparison to braces. Braces take a reasonable amount of time, usually about two years, when administered to a person in their early adolescence because their teeth haven’t had any time to form in a misaligned position.
When an adult with a fully formed smile embarks upon this journey it can take twice as long because their teeth have typically moved to positions that are further out of alignment than they would have ever been allowed to get if they were provided this treatment early in life. So, when one is looking for a smile that they can be proud of without having to be self-conscious about the process while they are getting there, Invisalign is often the best course of action to take.
There is another option to straighten teeth with some orthodontists that have had special training and skill. It involves braces but the brackets and wiring involved are applied to the back surface of the patient’s teeth instead of the front so they are completely out of view. There are many situations that present themselves where this is not the best option to resolve the issue, but for people who can afford it and whose orthodontists believe that lingual braces are a viable treatment option, this can yield great results.
Computer imaging technology has also improved the lingual braces application method by providing orthodontists with a better view of their patient’s teeth so that custom-fit brackets can be fabricated to increase the comfort with which they can be worn. It can take some time for someone to get used to speaking and chewing with lingual braces because their presence takes up more room in their mouths so there is less room for food and their tongues. With enough time though, everyone is able to get used to it so it does not make for a big inconvenience.