We recently completed a case for a male youth patient in Ventura County using Invisalign. This patient was diagnosed as having a lower tooth discrepancy (TSD). This is a medical term which is generally used to describe a condition in which the lower teeth are proportionately larger than the upper teeth. Significant gaps are often a natural effect of TSD. As with most orthodontic conditions, by treating TSD earlier in the development of a patient’s facial structure an orthodontist will have more control over the final alignment, spacing, and appearance of the patient’s bite and smile. As patient’s age, their facial structure becomes more well-formed and set in place. When an orthodontist can intervene earlier in life, the patient’s facial structure is more malleable and receptive to orthodontic treatment and structural changes.
Interproximal reduction (IPR) is a treatment process which makes subtle adjustments to the shape and size off the patient’s teeth. This process is completely painless, non-invasive, and safe. Because in this patient’s case the lower teeth were too large in proportion to the upper teeth, interproximal reduction was performed on the lower teeth. By reshaping the size and shape of the lower teeth to fit naturally with the upper teeth, in conjunction with active Invisalign treatment we were able to completely transform the patient’s bite and smile in only 14 months.
This case provides a strong example not only of the versatility of Invisalign, but also the benefits of intervening as early as possible to provide the easiest and clearest path to a perfected bite and smile. To read more about this concept please see our Early Orthodontic Treatment page.
Traditional Metal Braces can generally be seen easily due to the metal brackets that are glued to the patient’s teeth. In some cases enamel colored metal brackets can be used for a more discrete appearance. Invisalign uses transparent plastic retainers. These are not easily noticeable, and the casual observer will not notice that you’re wearing retainers unless they look very closely.
Traditional metal braces require two years to treat an average case. Invisalign requires slightly less treatment time for an average case, and significantly less time for mild cases.
With most practices, Invisalign can cost more than twice the amount of traditional metal braces. Because we’re a Top 1% Elite Invisalign provider, we can actually provide Invisalign treatment for the same cost as traditional braces, and even lower in some cases.
The frequency of your office visits is dependent on your unique case and the treatment plan developed by your doctor. Most patients will require office visits every 4-8 weeks.
Metal braces are able to correct some complex cases more effectively than Invisalign. Your doctor will assess your case and determine if Invisalign is a good treatment option for you.
Invisalign provides a discrete visual appearance which is an important deciding factor for many patients, but another important feature is the ability to remove the retainers. Invisalign allows you to remove the retainers prior to eating (in fact, they must be removed prior to eating), so you don’t experience any of the food limitations that metal braces can present. Invisalign in general is also less intrusive and more comfortable because you’re only wearing retainers, and nothing is attached to your teeth.