Any general dentist will tell you that flossing is just as important as brushing. Failing to floss daily will leave your teeth susceptible to tooth decay, regardless of how often you brush. Brushing and flossing are important for the same reason: both help to remove plaque and tartar from teeth surfaces.Plaque houses oral bacteria that…
Is the Invisalign Procedure Uncomfortable to Go Through?
If a person has never worn braces or has a few crooked teeth that cause self-consciousness, then an Invisalign® invisible aligner system may be the answer. A visit to an orthodontist to have crooked or misaligned teeth inspected will tell a patient whether these aligners may be a viable option. A dentist can also answer a patient's concerns about whether the aligners will be uncomfortable.
What is the process for being fitted for Invisalign® trays?
The process for getting aligner trays has some similarities to getting traditional metal braces, but also some differences. These are the steps a patient may expect to experience when getting started:
- A thorough dental exam, including X-rays to check the health of the teeth
- Cleaning, filling cavities, treatment or root canal for any abscesses, including possible extractions
- Dental molds and photos taken to be sent to the aligner manufacturer
- Trays sent back to the dentist upon completion
- Another appointment for the patient to have the new aligners fitted and get instructions for care and wearing
Are Invisalign® trays painful or uncomfortable to wear?
Although having a mold of the teeth made in the dentist’s office can irritate some people’s gag reflex, it should not cause any pain. The mold is created in a professional lab by trained technicians who carefully trim away any rough edges or sharp points. The trays will have a smooth and rounded finish all around to minimize discomfort.
When the finished aligner arrives and is fitted in the patient’s mouth, there may be a slightly uncomfortable sensation due to the mild pressure that is exerted on the teeth. This is generally well-controlled with over-the-counter painkillers.
It is important to keep in mind that this one tray will not move the teeth to the desired finished placement. There are generally around six trays involved in the process, each worn for a few months. Each successive tray slightly shifts the tooth placement in order to move them a bit more over the following weeks, and so may be uncomfortable for a few days until the patient adjusts to the sensation. Again, mild painkillers will usually relieve that discomfort.
What if tooth pain develops while wearing Invisalign® trays?
If a patient experiences sharp pain in a tooth during the treatment period, a dentist should be consulted right away, as that could be a sign of a serious cavity or abscess. The aligners should not cause this type of pain.
The most common cause of tooth pain is incomplete cleaning between teeth and gums, or cracking a tooth while eating a hard candy or nut, so the tooth should be checked. In the event that a painful canker sore or other irritation develops (sometimes due to improper hygiene care of the trays and the teeth) the aligners can easily be removed while the sore is treated.
Whether or not they wore braces as a child, there is no reason that an adult has to live with misaligned teeth. The Invisalign® system is a solid option for many people, and with proper care and adherence to the wearing schedule, an improved smile can result.
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