Invisalign FAQ

INVISALIGN ® - WHY YOU MIGHT JUST BE THE PERFECT CANDIDATE - ALEKSANDR DAYANAYEV, DDS

For many people not having straight teeth is something that can be embarrasing, shameful and to the person who has them unsightly even though the rest of us may not notice or have come to accept it. Fortunately there is INVISALIGN ®

As one of the largest providers of Invisalign ® in the Astoria community Dr Dayanayev talks about the process behind INVISALIGN ® and how many people don’t realize that they are actually a candidate.
It unique application can benefit young patients as well as patients in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. Steinway Family Dental Center is a certified Invisalign provider and Dr Dayanyev has been performing Invisalign ®procedures for over 5 years having done hundreds of procedures.

Q. Dr Dayanyev, can you tell us what exactly is Invisalign ® and who is a suitable candidate for an Invisalign ® treatment?

Dr Dayanyev: Invisalign is a set of transparent aligners that are calibrated to your exact requirements using computer technology and will gradually through continual use apply pressure to your teeth that will realign them to a way in which they make your teeth look straight or less crowded. Patients choose Invisalign ® over traditional metal braces because they want their orthodontics to be discrete. Invisalign ® is the most popular orthodontic treatment in the US today and we have performed hundreds of these procedures over the past 5 years.

Every set number of weeks we schedule an appointment so that the patient comes in and we give them their new aligner. These aligners are made in a series and you simply replace the old one with the new one very few weeks. Every set number of weeks your change your aligner because they are molded to each individual patient's teeth. So that you can simply replace one with the next in the series every few weeks, gently moving your teeth over time. Generally, they are taken out for eating and cleaning and prevent the common problem of getting food stuck in braces.

In terms of whom as a patient is a suitable candidate there are many different types of categories of patient that we see every day. They may be patients with overcrowded teeth, spaced teeth , underbites, overbites, or crossbites. They are other types of cases but these are the main ones. Generally speaking people requesting Invisalign are patients that are conscious about the way their teeth look and decide it’s time to fix it. Sometimes we actually advise patients to choose Invisalign ®. Sometimes we may see an issue with overcrowding in the patients mouth. This is a problem for the patient as crooked teeth or teeth that don’t fit together properly become harder to clean. This inadvertently increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. We can also identify other health problems that are attributed to crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw. This can also include extra stress being put on the chewing muscles while masticating. Believe it or not this is why people with this condition complain about headaches and shoulder and back pain.

Q How often must I wear my aligners each day?

Dr Dayanyev: You must wear your aligners for up to 22 hours daily. This is very important as your teeth must be under the continual pressure exerted by the aligners, in order for it to work effectively. However you may remove them for eating, drinking and regular oral hygiene and after you have eaten always brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in.

Q. What restrictions are there to what I can eat during treatment?

Dr Dayanyev: Fortunately, unlike traditional metal braces, you may eat whatever you like as long as you remove the aligners before eating. Prior to placing the aligners back on, it is important to brush your teeth and the aligners after you eat.

Q. Can the aligners affect my speech?

Dr Dayanayev: As with all orthodontic treatments, there is a short adjustment period whereby the patient will take time to get used to wearing the aligners. The more you speak with the aligners on, the quicker you will adjust.

Q. How often will I have to visit the office?

Dr Dayanyev: It is important to keep your appointments and regular office visits once you have the aligners. Appointments are scheduled every five to six weeks. This will ensure that your Invisalign ® treatment is progressing as planned.

Q. What happens after my treatment is complete? Do I need retainers?

Dr Dayanayev: We advise all our Invisalign ® patients to wear their retainers at night indefinitely. When the patient sleeps with your retainers in at night this will ensure a healthy bite and maintain the new position of your teeth.

Q. How long does Invisalign ® treatment take?

Dr Dayanayv: Treatment time can vary depending on the severity of the misaligned teeth. Treatment time can be shorter than traditional braces, between six and 18 months, which is the average but at the most it will be around 22 months.

Q. Why do patients tend to prefer Invisalign over traditional metal braces?

Dr Dayanayev: Patients tend to prefer Invisalign ® over traditional braces when they want their orthodontics to be discrete. Using aligners means that you can take them out whenever you need to. One of the great benefits of Invisalign ® is that the full process tends to take less time than it would with traditional braces. However, each patient’s treatment is different and some may take longer than others.

Q. Dr Dayanayev can you go into more detail about the types of patients that are suitable for Invisalign ®.

Dr Dayanayev:

The first type of patient is one with overcrowded teeth.This happens when there is insufficient space for all the teeth in the jaw bone. If this remains untreated, the overcrowding could get even worse. The overcrowding issue can cause various oral and dental health problems, such as gum disease, tooth decay, and development of plaque. This is one of the great benefits of Invisalign ® – it can solve future problems that might arise while at the same time creating esthetic appeal and nice straight teeth. Secondly we have spaced teeth. This situation occurs when the jawbone continues to grow abnormally. This can also result when there are missing teeth, which cause other teeth to shift due to the fact that there is increased space for them. The problem with spaced teeth is that it is not just a physical problem but because they are not protected by teeth it can also create a gum problem and there is risk of periodontal disease.

Underbites are another common dental issue whereby the upper and lower jaws are not aligned. This causes the lower tooth to protrude beyond the front teeth. There are three main reasons for this: the undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of lower jaw or both of these conditions acting in tandem. This can prevent the teeth from functioning properly, which causes a wearing down of teeth. Overbite is obviously the opposite of under-bite whereby the upper jaw protrudes beyond the lower jaw. Dentists often refer to this as ‘overjet’.

Lastly a situation we see is the ‘cross-bite’ which happens when the upper and lower jaws are not aligned properly. When one or more of the upper teeth bite down they touch the inside of the lower teeth. This causes the teeth to chip and can result in abnormal tooth wear and periodontal problems that will eventually cause loss of the jawbone.

Q. Dr Dayanayev:,why might you advise a patient to wear Invisalign ® who previously never considered it and thinks that their teeth are ‘okay'.

Dr Dayanayev:There are numerous benefits to this type of treatment, including the fact that crooked teeth or those that do not fit together correctly are harder to clean, increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Other health problems that can be attributed to crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw include extra stress being put on the chewing muscles, leading to everything from headaches to shoulder and back pain.

Q: Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

Dr Dayanayev: A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Straight teeth are healthy teeth and proper looking teeth go a long way to creating self-esteem in all adults. We never say a patient is too old to wear braces.

Q.What are the steps involved in the Invisalign ® process?

Dr Dayanayev: Step 1: Consultation: At the initial consultation I will determine if the patient is a good candidate for Invisalign® treatment.

◦Step 2: Planning: If it is determined that a patient qualifies for Invisalign® treatment, planning will begin. The aligners used during Invisalign® treatment are custom-designed based on a comprehensive examination of the mouth. This planning stage will involve taking computer images, x-rays, and molds of the teeth. All of these will be used as reference when designing aligners to meet the patient’s specific orthodontic needs.

◦Step 3: Treatment with aligners: When the aligners are complete, either myself or Dr Morrone will have patients return to our office so that specific instructions can be given regarding the use of aligners. Patients are given a series of aligners to be worn. While exact instructions may vary by patient, each set of aligners is typically worn for about two weeks. Throughout the entire treatment process, patients will go through an average of 18 to 30 sets of aligner trays. Patients are free to remove aligners while eating or caring for the teeth but they should be sure to wear the aligners for at least 22 to 24 hours a day. Although the majority of treatment will be completed at home, we monitor treatment to ensure that the teeth are shifting properly. It is often recommended that patients schedule dental check-ups every six weeks during Invisalign® treatment.

◦Step 4: Results: Throughout the treatment process, the teeth begin to gradually shift into place. However, it is the final results that are truly remarkable. While the exact timeline will vary based on each patient’s specific needs, the average Invisalign® treatment is complete in about 12 months. Patients are left with a smile that is straight, even, and attractive.

Q.What would you say to a patient considering Invisalign?

Dr Dayanayev:No matter what your current age is or how crooked your teeth might be, there is usually a method that can be used for every patient who needs orthodontic treatment. The first step is receiving a proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Even though Invisalign® treatment takes place over an extended period of time just as traditional orthodontics would, this treatment allows patients a degree of freedom and comfort that cannot be expected from traditional braces

Invisalign® treatment offers patients ease, comfort, and convenience that cannot be found from other orthodontic treatments, all without compromising the results of a beautiful smile. If you’d like to learn more about straightening your teeth through the Invisalign® treatment process, schedule an appointment with Dr. Aleksandr Dayanayev or at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting you!

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