Sun, Jul 29, 2012
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a method to straighten teeth by wearing sets of clear plastic aligners. It is an ‘invisible’ alternative to traditional ceramic or metal braces, and is suitable for teens and adults. The Invisalign aligners are changed approximately every 2 weeks. Each set of aligners (top and bottom) puts different pressure on different teeth at different stages during treatment. The aligners are worn constantly except to eat and brush teeth.
During Invisalign treatment, some people require “buttons”, which are small pieces of metal or plastic that work as hooks for small elastic bands.
Some people think buttons are the same as “attachments” but they are NOT the same – the Buttons Vs Attachments forum discussion pageexplains the difference with a photo. Attachments seem to be quite common with Invisalign, whereas buttons are less common.
The main point of buttons and elastics is to “pull” the teeth from the gums slightly, either straight out or on a particular angle. The purpose of buttons is to hold elastics, and the purpose of elastics is to close gaps between the top and bottom teeth. Many patients with traditional metal or ceramic braces also need to wear elastics to close gaps in their bite.
Unlike attachments, which are blobs of tooth cement, buttons are physical hooks that your Invisalign dentist or orthodontist sticks on your teeth using tooth cement. The buttons are generally stuck to the base of the teeth near the gum line.
The elastics can connect your top and bottom teeth in different formations, depending on the angle that is required to move your teeth into the correct position. For example, your orthodontist may attach three buttons and tell you to wear elastics in a triangle formation, or you may have four buttons to create a square shape with the elastic.
Options for Straightening Teeth
Many people, young and old, suffer from dental issues. Whether you have to get root canals or braces, visiting the dentist or orthodontist can be a source of contention for several, especially if the burden of paying for these visits falls on your shoulders. That is why having good dental insurance is so important. If you have crooked teeth, you have several options for getting that smile in good shape, but you may not know the benefits and pitfalls of each. Understanding fully what each option entails will give you a good idea of what to ask when you see the orthodontist, which means that you will likely know which you prefer by the end of this article.
In some extreme cases, you may not be able to fix your dental issues with just braces. You may need to undergo surgery in order to get your smile in top shape. You may choose to do this, which can be costly and sometimes painful, or you can decide that you can live with whatever smile you were given. A third option is to not worry about getting your teeth exactly right, but to get your teeth straightened the best possible amount. Whatever you decide, remember that your dental insurance must be able to cover it, or you will have to shell out quite a bit of money from your own pocket.