Dr. Sanguinetti’s interests in both cosmetic and family dentistry are not unrelated. She understands that, necessary though orthodontics often are, people of all ages are reluctant to wear braces. Part of this may be due to outdated notions of what braces look like and how delicate they are—modern braces come in a variety of options. But for people who only need moderate tooth adjustment, Invisalign may be an ideal solution.
Invisalign is a brand-name aligner system which has been on the market since 1997, and is now covered by most of the same insurance policies which cover traditional braces. They are made of clear plastic and are slipped on and off of the teeth by the patient. This evades the difficulty patients with traditional braces had maintaining their oral hygiene, and allows the patient to continue to eat all the same foods. It also makes aligners significantly safer, since they can be taken out if a patient is playing a sport, and even if they do get damaged, they can be instantly removed without professional assistance.
Indeed, though Invisalign needs to be worn twenty-two hours a day, it requires less oversight than other orthodontic options. When a patient first chooses to use Invisalign, Dr. Sanguinetti makes an impression of their mouth and uses 3D-imaging software to devise a treatment plan. The impression and specifications are then sent off to Invisalign’s manufacturer. Each aligner shifts the patient’s teeth slightly more than the one in the series which preceded it, and patients get three aligners at a time. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks, and patients will visit Dr. Sanguinetti every six weeks for a new set of aligners and so she can observe their progress.
That Invisalign is invisible is obviously one of the main reasons patients prefer it, but it has other advantages, as well. The lack of brackets often makes for a more comfortable experience, and the manufacturer provides an invisible retainer to be worn after alignment is complete. Because Invisalign can only be used to fix moderate malocclusions, not everyone is eligible for it. But those who are will likely not have to wear it for as long as those with traditional braces, making it an attractive middle ground to people who do not want to have to wear traditional braces to correct minor problems.
Ivi Z. Sanguinetti, DDS, operates Baytown Cosmetic and Family Dentist at 6920 Garth Road, Baytown, Texas, 77521. To schedule an appointment, call 281-421-5950 or visit Singing-Dentist.com and fill out a contact sheet.