I’m wondering if Invisalign is the right treatment for me. I’ve been reading up on all the options and there seems to be a lot of disagreement. I’m approaching 30 and have not had previous orthodontics. I remember going in when I was younger and the dentist wanted me to use a palate expander and go through a pretty significant process. My parents decided it was too much money, which stinks because that leaves me as an adult with a lot of crowing and a narrower smile. I’ve heard Invisalign can do some really great things and some sources are saying it may be able to help me widen my smile and correct the crowding without going through the whole process like I would have when I was younger. Is this accurate? And, if not, what are my real choices?
You’re hearing conflicting information because the right treatment will vary based on the individual and the challenges he or she faces.
Invisalign Can Widen a Smile
Generally speaking, clear braces, like Invisalign, can help widen a smile, but you have to think of it in terms of what space is available, how things will shift, and what the final results will look like. Dentists who offer the service should be able to do a computer simulation to show you what treatment would look like for you and what you can reasonably expect from clear braces.
Braces of All Types Have Limitations
The problem is, you’re dealing with a narrow palate. That means your arch isn’t wide enough for all your teeth. When you’re young and your face is still developing, your palate is soft. Palate expanders can work wonders at this stage, gradually widening your palate at the “seam.” Usually, orthodontists want to get going on treatment like this early; preferably by age ten or younger. However, boys sometimes respond to treatment up to age 14 and girls up to age 13. Everyone is a bit different, so it depends on the development of the mouth. That said, when a palatal expander is deemed necessary, then chances are, no form of braces by themselves will get you the results you need.
You Still Have Options
Once the stage where a palatal expander could work has passed, some other form of more intensive treatment is necessary. Sometimes dentists will extract teeth to ensure there’s enough space, but there may also be alternative appliances or orthodontic tools which could help without doing the extractions. Your situation is unique to you, so you can’t really rely on what someone else had done as a guide to determine if it will work for you. They may be younger, have more space, already have extractions, and so forth. Your best bet is to visit a dentist who can do a full evaluation and help you explore the solutions that are right for you.
Another Cosmetic Benefit of Invisalign
If Invisalign works for you, talk to your dentist about getting teeth whitening gel to use in the aligner while straightening your teeth. This is a great way to whiten and straighten your teeth at the same time, giving you a mini smile makeover.
This blog is sponsored by West Seneca Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Warren Krutchick.