For many decades, any dental patient who wanted a straighter smile knew what that would mean – wearing traditional metal braces for an extended period of time. And while it’s true that this standard orthodontic treatment was quite effective, it also had some disadvantages. That’s why researchers in dental technology have developed alternative methods to straighten teeth. One of the most common involves the use of clear plastic aligners. And of all the clear plastic aligner products available to dental patients throughout the Austin, Texas area and across the US, one of the most popular is the Invisalign® method. If you’re interested in finding out more about this remarkable treatment, one of the first questions you may ask is “How do I find a provider of Invisalign® near me?” Good question! To find out the answer, and for much more information about Invisalign®, read on.
How Invisalign® Works
Before we discuss the best way to find an Invisalign® provider, we should take this opportunity to provide you with some basic information about this amazing tooth-straightening method. The Invisalign® system is based on the patient wearing clear plastic aligners over a period of several months. During that time, the aligner trays slowly move the patient’s teeth into their new, straighter positions.
The process begins when the dentist or orthodontist makes an impression of the patient’s teeth. That impression is then sent to the Invisalign® lab, where custom-made plastic aligner trays are created. The dentist/orthodontist works closely with technicians at the Invisalign® lab to develop an individualized treatment plan for the patient. Based on that plan, and using the impression provided, the technicians at the Invisalign® lab create a series of clear plastic aligner trays for that individual.
The patient will wear each set of aligner trays for a one- to two-week period, then move onto the next set of trays. This process is repeated until the treatment is completed. The patient will need to wear the trays for a minimum of 22 hours each day, but can remove them to eat meals and brush and floss.
When compared to wearing traditional metal braces, it’s easy to see why Invisalign® is such a popular choice. Consider all the advantages:
- Invisalign® aligners are practically invisible (hence the name), unlike metal braces which are all too obvious to other people.
- Patients using Invisalign® aligners can enjoy whatever foods they like (unlike people with metal braces, who have to avoid certain types of foods). This is because Invisalign® wearers can remove their trays to eat meals.
- Brushing and flossing is much easier with Invisalign® than it is with metal braces, since the patient can remove the trays and simply brush and floss as usual.
- Invisalign® aligner trays are more comfortable than metal braces.
- Because the patient can remove the trays at the end of each phase of treatment and simply move onto the next set, it means fewer trips to the dentist/orthodontist.
- Although the treatment time varies greatly depending on the patient’s dental issues, many people find that Invisalign® works in a shorter period of time than traditional metal braces.
Locating an Invisalign® Provider
The best and most obvious way to locate an Invisalign® provider near you is to ask your dentist. Even if he/she doesn’t offer Invisalign® as one of their services, most dentists are happy to refer you to a local practice that does. Personal recommendations are also helpful, so if you know anyone who has used Invisalign®, ask them who their provider was. If neither of those avenues work, there are several ways you can locate a provider online. These include the following:
Important Reminders about Invisalign®
While there’s no doubt that Invisalign® is very effective and offers several advantages over traditional metal braces, there are a few things you should know and consider before discussing this treatment method in depth with a provider.
- Invisalign® may not be the right choice for everyone. This treatment is intended for teenagers and adults, and is not meant for younger children whose teeth are still developing.
- Invisalign® is a great choice for patients with minor to moderate dental problems. Those include crowded teeth, misshapen teeth, teeth with wide gaps in between, protruding teeth, crossbites, overbites, and underbites, to name a few.
- Although Invisalign® is often an excellent choice for people with minor to moderate dental issues, it might not be the right treatment for some patients. If you have severe problems, your dentist/orthodontist may recommend traditional metal braces or some other treatment to resolve those issues.
- You’ll need to make the commitment to wear your aligners and follow your provider’s directions. Just because you can remove the aligners yourself doesn’t mean you should do so for long periods of time. In fact, if you don’t wear the aligner trays for at least 22 hours each day, the treatment may not work at all. So you need to make the commitment – to your provider and, most importantly, to yourself – that you will wear your Invisalign® trays as instructed by your dentist/orthodontist.
- Invisalign® is typically somewhat more expensive than metal braces. But many providers are more than happy to work out a payment plan with patients, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of this treatment and still stick to your budget.
Are You a Good Candidate for Invisalign®?
The only way to know for sure whether this remarkable tooth-straightening method is right for you is to locate an Invisalign® provider near you in Austin, Texas, and schedule a consultation. During that visit, the provider can assess your current oral health, perform a thorough examination, and tell you whether or not you are a good candidate for Invisalign®. And there’s no time like the present – so ask your dentist, or use the provider tools listed in this article to find out more about Invisalign®. A straighter, more beautiful smile may be just a phone call away!