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Do you have crooked teeth but never wanted to get regular metal braces? Have you lost your retainer after getting braces years back and now your teeth are moving again? Do you like your smile but wish that just a few teeth could be straightened without the hassle getting wires and brackets? If you answered yes to these questions then maybe Invisalign could be for you.

Invisalign is a series of clear plastic trays which fit exactly over your teeth. Each tray moves your teeth just a slight amount and is worn for two weeks or so. You then wear the next tray (aligner) for another two weeks and continue the process until done. Unless you tell somebody you are doing Invisalign, they would have a difficult time noticing that you are wearing them. Treatment usually lasts from 6 months to over a year depending on how difficult the case is.  There are special options available for shorter term cases (Express) and version for teenagers (Teen).  Even if you need extensive movement of teeth, there are special techniques which can can combine Invisalign with other traditional techniques to best straighten teeth.

When selecting an Invisalign dentist, please make sure that their primary goals for treatment are correcting bite as well as cosmetic enhancement.  Most dentist who offer Invisalign can improve smiles by straightening teeth but not all dentist may look for criteria such as anterior coupling, elimination of all posterior interferences, and establishing canine guidance.  It’s a difficult topic to approach and is controversial in the dental community (almost like religion) but our stance is that a properly functioning bite with certain criteria will lead to better long term health of the teeth and gums.  A good bite will also help preserve the dental restorations in your mouth, and is critical for long term success of full mouth rehabilitation and cosmetic makeovers.  If you have any questions on this topic feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation at Dr. Kim’s Honolulu based office.

Here are advantages and disadvantages of traditional braces vs Invisalign treatment.


Traditional Wire and Brackets Braces

braces

  • Can treat the most difficult cases with this type.
  • May be faster depending on type of treatment.
  • Metal brackets and wires show.
  • More discomfort than Invisalign.
  • Collects food and debris after eating.
  • Requires extra care when brushing/flossing.

Here is a video covering Invisalign treatment:

Invisalign®

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  • Can treat many difficult cases.
  • Can be slower than traditional.
  • Virtually invisible.
  • Less discomfort than traditional.
  • Take them off when you eat.
  • Take them off and brush/floss normally.

For difficult orthodontic cases, Dr. Kim recommends seeing an orthodontist who can treat with traditional brackets and wires for best results. For moderate and easier cases Invisalign could be the easier treatment you’ve been looking for. If you’re not sure how difficult your case is, come in for a consultation.