Invisalign – The Clear Alternative to Braces

When you hear the word “orthodontics,” what comes to mind? Probably a young teenager whose teeth are covered by a latticework of metal. There are indeed many orthodontic patients who fit that description. However, there now exists an increasingly popular alternative to traditional metal braces: Invisalign® clear aligners.

As the name implies, Invisalign clear aligners are made of almost invisible polyurethane plastic. Rather than being cemented or bonded to the teeth as metal or clear braces are, clear aligners are completely removable — for important social occasions, for eating, and, most importantly, for tooth-brushing and flossing. This advantage can also be a disadvantage: It means you must resist the temptation to take your aligners out more than is advised.

Here are some other advantages of the Invisalign system:

Improved Oral Hygiene — With an orthodontic appliance that is removable, you will be able to clean your teeth much more easily than if you were wearing metal braces.

A Discreet Look — If you consider your orthodontic treatment to be a private matter, or simply feel that metal braces don’t fit with your self-image, a practically invisible form of orthodontic treatment might suit you.

More Dietary Choices — To protect metal wires and braces, some diet modifications are necessary. With clear aligners, you can still bite into an apple or a crispy pizza crust.

Comfort — The thin, flexible material of which Invisalign is made will not irritate the soft tissues of the mouth, as metal wires and braces can.

Teeth-Grinding Protection — If you have a teeth-grinding or clenching habit, clear aligners can function as thin nightguards that will protect your teeth from excessive wear.

How Invisalign Works

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Invisalign clear aligners work the same way traditional braces do: by applying carefully controlled forces to teeth to move them into a better position. But they are not made of metal; instead, they are made of clear, flexible plastic.

Here’s how it works: Specialized computer software is used to design a plan for moving your teeth from their current positions into the best possible alignment. This movement will be broken down into perhaps several dozen stages. For each stage, the Invisalign company will manufacture two plastic mouth “trays” or “aligners,” one to fit over your top teeth and one for the bottom. You will wear this first set of trays for two weeks, for a minimum of 20 hours per day. You will then move on to the next set of aligners in your series to accomplish the next stage of gradual movement. You will keep doing this until your teeth are correctly aligned.

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In the past several years, two features have been added to make Invisalign a more appropriate orthodontic treatment method for teenagers. Special “eruption tabs” hold the appropriate amount of space open for molars that have not fully grown in. Invisalign for teens also comes with “compliance indicators” built into the aligner material, which fade with wear. This allows parents, dentists, and the teens themselves, to make sure the trays are being worn as prescribed. Treatment with Invisalign can only be successful if this is the case.

Caring for Your Teeth During Invisalign Treatment

As mentioned above, one of the main advantages of the Invisalign system is that the trays can be removed for easy cleaning. So please don’t neglect to do this! You’ll need to brush your teeth after every meal or snack so that food and plaque do not get trapped in the aligners, which could promote tooth decay and gum disease. Your aligners, too, will have to be cleaned regularly; you can do this by brushing them and then rinsing them with lukewarm water.

Also, please keep in mind that while wearing clear aligners is very different from wearing braces, the importance of retaining your post-treatment results is exactly the same. You’ll want to be sure to wear your retainer(s) exactly as prescribed after your treatment is completed to protect your investment in a beautiful new smile.

For more information on Invisalign, call Designer Dentistry & Smiles in Sioux Falls, SD at (605) 741-8107!

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What Our Patients Say About Us

303 Google Reviews
(4.6)Average Rating
Sydney Evans
Sydney Evans
Caring, compassionate dentistry. I am confident that Designer Dentistry and Smiles is always aware of and involved in the newest dental advancements — every time I visit it seems like they have a new machine, technique, or treatment option for their patients. Their space is relaxing and the massage chairs help ease visit tension and anxiety. I can trust that DDS has the best possible machinery, tools, advice, and treatments for my dental concerns.
(5)
Jan 27, 2022
Kelly Mitchell
Kelly Mitchell
What a great experience on 41st st! I had to bring my little boy with me while I got my teeth cleaned and the DDS team welcomed him with smiles and entertained him during my appointment. My hygienist was so knowledgeable, patient, gentle and kind. 10/10 recommend to family and friends!
(5)
Feb 23, 2022
Abbie Hotz
Abbie Hotz
Everyone was so friendly! JoAnn was so kind and actually took the time to explain everything to me. And I’ve never had a dentist spend so much time talking with me about my concerns.
(5)
Apr 25, 2022
Gracie Rozeboom
Gracie Rozeboom
Dr. Z does incredible work. I came in as a new patient today to fix a chipped tooth. Dr. Z exceeded my expectations and gave me my beautiful smile back. Now I can’t stop smiling! 😁The staff is great and they care about you!
(5)
Feb 28, 2022
Teri Everson
Teri Everson
I have been going to designer dentistry for about five years and have had nothing but great experiences there. I will be losing my dental insurance at the end of the month and I was in today for a cleaning. They found some thing that needed to be fixed and rather than make an appointment after my insurance was gone they fit me in the same day. They are also pain-free. Would highly recommend them to everyone.
(5)
Mar 17, 2022

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Our practice accepts most major insurance plans. Our team is knowledgeable about dental insurance, too, so we're happy to file and track your claims for you to ensure that you're getting the most out of your benefits. We just ask that you bring your insurance card to each appointment, so we can make sure your information is as up-to-date as possible.

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Designer Dentistry & Smiles

6100 W. 41st St. Sioux Falls, SD 57106

Monday - 9AM-5:30PM
Tuesday - 7:30AM-4:30PM
Wednesday - 7:30AM-4PM
Thursday - 7:30AM-4PM
Friday To Sunday - Closed