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Invisalign® Clear Teeth Aligners

Locations in Edina & Maple Grove to Better Serve You

Choose Invisalign® for a Beautiful Smile

Invisalign is a clear aligner treatment program that was approved by the FDA in 1998. It is a perfect example of a product coming out of the computer driven technology age we live in today. As an alternative to orthodontic braces the purpose of the Invisalign program is to straighten your teeth. Let’s look first at a brief history of braces, the types of braces available today and then the long list of benefits if you chose to engage in the Invisalign program.

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The Types of Braces Available

Prior to the introduction of Invisalign there were three different options if you needed to consider wearing braces to straighten your teeth. The first is the traditional method. This route uses stainless steel bands, brackets and arch wires to affix to your teeth to apply the pressure to move them. The second method is taking those brackets and bands to the inside of your teeth. This option is called lingual braces. Although tougher on your tongue they are not as visible as the metal appliances on the outside of your teeth. Continuing with the thought of making the braces less noticeable the third option is that of ceramic fixtures. The bands, brackets and even the arch wire are all the color of your teeth making them difficult to see. This material is not as strong as stainless steel but a viable option if you don’t care to see a mouthful of metal. That leads us to the fourth option of Invisalign.

Why you need Braces or Invisalign

You have consulted with Dr. Pan and have agreed together that you no longer have to deal with your crooked teeth, or those of your teenage youngster. The single biggest improvement to come out of the adventure of wearing braces, or Invisalign, is that of your smile. It is tough to put a value on a beautiful smile, with perfectly straight teeth. That smile will transform your self-esteem and your self-confidence, both in your personal circles and your professional life. Straight teeth with proper gaps lead to many other oral hygiene benefits. It has been proven that you could prevent gum disease, cavities, tooth decay, improve your bite pattern, your ability to chew properly and even improve some speech patterns. Straight teeth can improve the proportions of your face as well, believe it or not.

How Invisalign Works

The process begins with the examination and consultation with Dr. Pan. By bringing your insurance card with you the staff can determine the extent in which the process will be covered by insurance. Most importantly, Dr. Pan will discuss your smile with you. You’ll talk about your expectations and your specific needs. Now enters the technology. Once you have reviewed the pros and cons of proceeding with Invisalign the staff will begin by a 3D simulation of your tooth movements. This is really fun as you can see in front of your eyes the virtual change of your smile on a computer screen! A digital tooth scan is next created with the assistance of a CAD-CAM, or computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing. The program allows Dr. Pan to re-align your teeth to a desired position that you agree on together. Once you have determined an end-point the software creates a series of models identifying stages that your teeth will progress through. These stages are captured in models and a photo-sensitive liquid resin creates hard plastic trays for that stage. Once finished the CAD-CAM will create anywhere between six and forty-eight aligners. Each aligner moves teeth around .25 millimeters. X-rays will capture what is going on below the gum line and then impressions or molds of your teeth.

The process is very simple. You will wear a tray either a week or two, whatever Dr. Pan has planned. It is necessary to wear the trays for at least 20 to 22 hours a day for that given period and then the next tray will be introduced. Just like conventional braces, the trays apply pressure and force to slowly move the teeth to their desired location. This progression will be monitored, about every 12 weeks, by Dr. Pan. The process, depending on that agreed upon goal, could be finished in six months or it may take over 15 months. The average time for the process is about 13 months. This is across over six million patients, including one million teenagers.

The Pros and Cons of Invisalign

The list of benefits far outweigh the list of negatives, hence the growth in popularity. Many teenagers and young adults bawk at the idea of wearing conventional braces. Your smile is an invaluable asset. It is the foundation for your self-esteem and your self-confidence. Your smile plays a huge role both in personal settings and in professional circles. Correcting your smile, after all, is why you are considering braces and orthodontic correction of your teeth.

Invisalign are clear trays so you don’t have to alter your smile around friends and family. Even though you need to wear them 20-22 hours a day, you can remove them at any time to brush and floss your teeth properly. This is a huge difference from conventional braces. Let’s say you have special date, or are giving a presentation. Take the trays out for an hour or two. With conventional braces you will have diet change suggestions. Soft foods for example. With Invisalign, take out the trays and bite into that apple if you wish. Wire or ceramic braces with their brackets and arch wires can create discomfort and irritation to your cheeks, tongue, and soft tissues. Invisalign does not have that discomfort side effect. Planning on participating in a pick-up game of basketball? Simply remove the trays, put in your mouth guard and away you go.

Lifestyle questions and answers are what you should share with Dr. Pan at your evaluation. Upcoming events that are scheduled. Do you want to be in your sister’s wedding photos with braces? Wouldn’t it be nice to take the trays out before that job interview? Invisalign always gives you options. Even though the premise for each tray is to apply pressure and force to move teeth, the trays are trimmed perfectly at your gum line for maximum comfort and appearance.

Invisalign can literally correct a wide range of teeth straightening scenarios. This includes crossbites, crowding your teeth, open bites, gaps between certain teeth, overbites and underbites.

The cons, or negatives, of Invisalign are tough to come up with. The first is really on yourself and your ability to monitor the necessary amount of time the trays need to be in place to achieve their function. If you start removing the trays for too long you will simply extend the entire plan longer and increase the number of visits to see Dr. Pan. Wearing the trays the 20-22 hours a day will keep you on schedule and you will see Dr. Pan only about every six weeks. The second very small negative is sometimes small attachments may have to be applied to certain teeth. These tooth-colored shapes allow the tray to apply force to them to move that particular tooth. They serve as handles to help move difficult teeth. The unique element of the Invisalign process is understanding that every smile is unique as is the corrections to improve that smile. With the Invisalign trays you can monitor your accomplishments along the way.

Your Oral Hygiene during the Invisalign Process

Well, with the ability to remove the trays, your oral hygiene habits remain normal. No brackets and wires to navigate around. If your habits have been suspect prior to the process Dr. Pan will reinforce the industry standards.

You need to accept the habit of brushing your teeth twice a day. By brushing your teeth understand how to do it properly, and for a solid two minutes. A good toothbrush is also important in addition to technique. Flossing also plays a very important role in proper oral hygiene. By flossing once a day you get to the hard to reach areas between your teeth. Flossing removes food particles. Brushing removes plaque that sits on your teeth every day carrying harmful acids and bacteria.

The most important benefit for the Invisalign process is not necessarily the lifestyle but the health implications. By having the ability to remove the trays you can focus on healthy teeth and gums. The trays can easily be cleaned when removed as well to maintain good health standards for having them in your mouth as well.

Schedule your examination with Dr. Pan today. It’s time to get that beautiful smile back, you deserve it!

Meet Dr. Pan

Pan Orthodontics Philosophy

To treat our patients as our families and to treat others as how we want to be treated. From your first phone call to the moment your new smile is born, everything in our office is set up to ensure an excellent experience with us. We will always listen to you and improve with your suggestions.

Patient Information

Our Commitment to You

We will continue to keep up with the ever growing digital technologies to improve your orthodontic experience. We also commit to always help you find the most convenient time for your visit with us.

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