The holidays are approaching, which brings most of us to a place of considering what gifts we might give. This naturally causes us to think of the gifts we may like to receive. There’s nothing like the gift of a healthy, attractive smile and now there are ultra-easy ways to get (or give) that gift. In recent history, we’ve transitioned from using conventional braces in every situation to sometimes using invisible aligners. Now, the aligner method has gone direct-to-consumer. If you’re considering this type of aligner system for your smile, there are a few things you should know.
Invisalign aligners were the very first of their kind to be developed. They emerged in 1997, which has given dental professionals several years to observe how they work. The manufacturer, as well, has learned through observation and has made changes to the way Invisalign is conducted so more patients could get the straight, healthy smile they want.
To get a prescription for Invisalign, a patient sees a dentist who has obtained special training in this system. The dentist performs a full checkup, including x-rays, and also takes special pictures of the mouth that act as impressions. The details of x-rays and imaging are considered before assuming Invisalign is the right treatment method for any patient.
A patient may move through a series of Invisalign aligners in a matter of six months or over the course of a year or more. More often than not, treatment involves the use of specific attachments. These small “handles” are bonded to teeth so, when aligners are in place, certain teeth are moved in a particular way. This is one of the defining details of Invisalign that makes it so capable in such a wide range of cases. Timing is determined by the amount of movement or the complexity of the case. The RealSelf “Worth It” rating for Invisalign is over 90%.
About Direct-to-Consumer Aligners
Direct-to-Consumer means exactly that; there is no “middle-man”. Rather than see a dentist for prescribed aligners, consumers simply need to send pictures of their teeth to the aligner company for review. Review by whom is not crystal clear. No x-rays are taken and no dental exam is performed. The average treatment is cheaper with direct-to-consumer aligners, however, you will not have direct access to a dental professional throughout the process.
Teeth straightening is not purely a cosmetic matter. When you move teeth, aesthetic and function are both important. Your bite alignment has effects on the jaw and chewing. Having a dental professional monitor your progress is the safest option for dependable results.