The Rise of Invisalign and Your Smile
In recent years the public’s understanding of dentistry and orthodontic treatments has increased. They know that teeth aren’t just for chewing food but also play an essential role in their appearance and their success in life. People are more motivated now to seek orthodontic treatments to improve facial aesthetics and have a more attractive smile.
A person’s smile plays a significant part in their everyday life. A smile provides non-verbal communication to show what they are thinking and feeling. A beautiful, nicely proportioned smile has a positive impact on a person’s social life.
Analyzing your smile
Dentists have thought deeply about smiles and have analyzed and categorized every aspect of the esthetics. Dental science has divided a smile into two classifications.
- The social or postured smile shown while greeting someone.
- The unposed spontaneous smile when laughing or showing pleasure.
Then dentists look at a smile from a macro, mini, or micro esthetic perspective.
- The macro esthetic analysis looks at the face’s proportions in three planes of space.
- Mini-esthetic analysis checks the vertical look of teeth to soft tissues when you smile.
- The micro-esthetic analysis examines the appearance of tooth proportion.
With the increase of esthetic requirements, facial micro and macro-esthetics and their effect on smiles have become a priority for adolescents and adults. Consequently, patients go for more esthetic and comfortable orthodontic treatments.
Fixed braces were developed in America in the late 1800s by an American dentist, Edward Angle. Fixed braces have been used as an effective orthodontic appliance for years. Then, in 1997 two Stanford University students invented the first complete clear aligner system and called it Invisalign.
Increasing numbers of patients sought a better-looking and more comfortable orthodontic treatment, which fueled concerns about clear aligners. People were unsure if clear aligners are a viable alternative to braces. Dentists could only rely on clinical experience and scant evidence when making treatment plans.
As clear aligner technology significantly developed over the years, patients began to prefer clear aligners over conventional brackets because of the superior comfort and esthetics. Still, the effectiveness of clear aligners was controversial.
Clear aligners were predominantly for minor tooth movement, usually at the end of orthodontic treatment with braces or to treat minor alignment relapse. In 1998, Invisalign aligners (Align Technology, California, USA) were introduced into the orthodontic market.
Since then, clear aligners became more popular and rapidly became the preferred orthodontic treatment for patients who wanted to perfect their smile and do it invisibly.
Then, in 2013, Invisalign introduced SmartTrack, a new and highly elastic alignment material that allowed a lower and more uniform force level. The brand offered patients better comfort, less pain, and easy handling.
From that date, all patients were treated exclusively with this new material. Now, clear aligners, like Invisalign, have much more esthetic attractiveness than conventional fixed appliances with brackets and wires.
Patients benefit by having full access to remove clear aligners to eat and for oral hygiene. People treated with Invisalign have better periodontal health than those with conventional fixed appliances, and there is better compliance with oral hygiene in teenagers.
Invisalign More Comfortable Than Fixed Appliances
Pain experience research in orthodontic patients during treatment has been a research topic of interest. The pain experience progression after initial archwire placement in a fixed orthodontic appliance is well established in the literature, comparing multistrand stainless steel and superelastic NiTi archwires.
However, overall pain perception during Invisalign aligners course of treatment and conventional fixed appliances was not well established. Still, patients elected Invisalign aligners hoping that it will have fewer negative impacts on their quality of life.
Given the increasing popularity of clear aligners, a systematic review was done to compare the discomfort levels between traditional buccal fixed appliances with Invisalign aligners at multiple time points. The review was done with a process called “PICO” research (population, intervention, control, and outcome) used in evidence-based medicine.
The review question was, “Does Invisalign have less pain discomfort impact than buccal fixed appliance treatment in orthodontic patients?”
The systematic review included one randomized and three case-control studies, with a total of 214 patients.
The overall results demonstrate that Invisalign seems to be significantly associated with less discomfort than fixed appliances. Although the results are not significant at one and three days, this difference is conclusive at seven days.
Notwithstanding, by accounting for the type of material, SmartTrack appears to provide better comfort for orthodontic patients than the previous standard material. Notably, this difference becomes significant three days after appliance insertion and turns more pronounced at seven days.
In fact, these results comply with previous research where patients were transitioned to the aligners made with the SmartTrack material and experienced less pain intensity, pain duration, and less pressure upon insertion. In addition, Invisalign patients reported fewer analgesic consumption than patients with fixed appliances and present significant differences.
Within the limitations of this systematic review, the results show that patients treated with Invisalign experience less pain and discomfort than patients treated with traditional buccal fixed appliances. This data becomes more significant since the SmartTrack introduction into the Invisalign aligners.
This information may clarify patients about what to expect during the beginning of orthodontic treatment. In the future, more extensive randomized clinical trials are needed to demonstrate Invisalign’s better comfort over traditional fixed appliances throughout the orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign has taken orthodontics to a new level. Traditional braces are an effective, reliable treatment. But the aligner technology allows us to expand how we treat patients with less discomfort, better oral hygiene, and a removable aligner that patients love.
Best of all, because they are clear and virtually invisible, Invisalign aligners allow teenagers and adults who otherwise may not have chosen to straighten their teeth with more traditional braces, an option they are more comfortable with.
However, Invisalign may not always be the best solution for much more complex orthodontic cases. Before deciding which treatment you should use, Dr. Rahimi, will explain what you can expect from different methods.
Contact Kyrene Family Dentistry Now
Dr. Rahimi is one of the most trusted dentists in Chandler. He can use Invisalign to improve the quality of your smile and enhance your overall appearance. If you live in Chandler or the surrounding areas, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us today!