If you want to straighten your teeth, you should consider Invalisgn. To help you decide, Dr. Nammy Patel outlines the pros and cons of this treatment option in today's podcast.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Dr. Nammy Patel, founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, California. Helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health. And the author of the best-selling books, Age With Style: Guide to a Youthful Smile and Healthy Living and Total Wellness: Understanding the Link Between Your Teeth and Your Health.
Today, our topic is The Advantages of Invisalign Treatment for Teeth Straightening. Welcome, Dr. Nammy.
Dr. Nammy Patel: Thank you for having me, John.
Invisalign Vs. Braces
John: Sure. So Dr. Nammy, what are some of the key benefits of Invisalign compared to traditional braces and how do these advantages translate into a better patient experience?
Dr. Nammy: My favorite part about Invisalign versus traditional braces is that you can take the Invisalign in and out. And from a practitioner’s perspective, I love, love, love that idea because when you’re eating, you get a lot of food stuck on your teeth. So when you have Invisalign, you can actually brush and floss your teeth before popping their liners back in.
And that is so important because your oral microbiome or the bacteria that is in your mouth are super important to keep it nice and healthy because we now know that the bacteria in the mouth is related to heart attacks, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, dementia, just all sorts of things, and even ectopic pregnancy.
So making sure that you are able to keep a mouth clean is very, very, very, very important for me. And the number one deciding factor when I look at braces versus Invisalign, my go-to is really Invisalign versus braces. And like I said, the oral microbiome or the bacteria in the mouth, when you have braces, it’s hard to keep clean and everything gets stuck in between the teeth and it’s hard to brush and so there’s a lot of bugs in there, and all those bugs cause a lot of problems. So no thank you to cancer for me, no thank you to diabetes. I’d rather, much rather, avoid them as much as possible.
How Removable Devices Affect Treatment Tims
John: Right. So with Invisalign, you said able to actually remove those, does that lengthen the treatment time at all or is it just you’re just taking it out just to eat and then you’re putting them right back in again? So it’s no big deal.
Dr. Nammy: It’s no big deal because you’re taking them out when you’re eating and then you’re popping them back in. Now it can take longer if you’re not compliant. So sometimes patients forget to pop them back in and that can lengthen the treatment. But in my eyes, I’d rather lengthen the treatment and keep the mouth healthy rather than have a bunch of bacteria stuck on the teeth and have cavities after.
What to Expect During Invisalign Treatment
John: Right. Sure, sure. So tell me a little bit more about how Invisalign treatments work and what patients should expect in terms of the length and the process of the treatment?
Dr. Nammy: So Invisalign treatment is a really great option for doing a lot, actually. The majority of the things you can do with braces, you can do with Invisalign. And the process of Invisalign is you come in, of course you do the entire workup, similar, just braces.
What do you need? How long will the treatment be as determined by how many teeth need to move, and if they need rotating, it’ll take a little bit longer. If it’s just moving them in and out or crowding them, it’s pretty straightforward.
So as far as the design of the Invisalign is actually done, so it’s highly customized and tailored and specific to you, just like braces would be, except with braces, the majority of the time they’re making tweaks as you go for each appointment. When it’s with Invisalign, all of a computer-generated model actually moves your teeth for you, so that way you can actually see how your teeth will track.
You’ll be able to see where you start with and then what you’ll end with. And that’s really kind of a cool thing because then you can really see how your smile will look and you can feel comfortable and have something to look forward to, which is really exciting and nice too.
So with Invisalign, you come on in, we do the workup for you. You come back in, we show you the video, you decide, okay, this is what we want to move forward with. We order the trays and you get started in about four to six weeks.
It’s pretty straightforward. And then just like braces, we see you every, actually, for my patients, I do it a little differently. I actually see you every three months versus every six weeks. And I like to go a little bit slower with my specific treatment of Invisalign.
The main reason for that is that majority of the patients… I treat, mainly adults, I don’t really see children. So the adults that I find are usually clenching and grinding and sometimes have a little bit of TMJ dysfunction. So what I find is that when I go really slowly and move the teeth in the right place, it’s far more comfortable for the patients and the treatment is a little bit longer, but the process in which we’re moving teeth is very comfortable. Their jaw joints are really comfortable and they go through a much better experience.
Dental Issues You Can Address With Invisalign
John: What types of dental issues can be addressed with Invisalign? Are there any limitations to what the treatment can accomplish or conditions where it might require traditional braces?
Dr. Nammy: The majority of the time, Invisalign is really great at doing the job, which is aligning the teeth and tipping the teeth is really what’s occurring. The things that will not be addressed by Invisalign is going to be like an underbite that’s going to need, or it used to need, surgery. Now we have different products that actually can expand the pallet and the lower jaw, so that way we can do that non-surgically.
Invisalign is great for crowding spacing as long as there’s good airway space. So that means that your tongue has enough space to breathe and to be able to function properly. Invisalign is a great product to move teeth and do it pretty quickly too.
How to Get the Best Possible Treatment
John: And how can patients ensure that they receive the best possible results from their Invisalign treatment? What role does the patient play in the success of it?
Dr. Nammy: The number one thing the patient can do in order to have really good outcomes is compliance. So wear it 22 hours a day, take it out to eat, brush and floss, pop them back inside. So that’s the number one thing that I would have to say. And the second thing is making sure your oral hygiene is really great.
That means that after you eat, definitely floss, brush your teeth and then put the Invisalign back in. Because if you don’t brush and floss and you just put the Invisalign back in, you’re creating a brewing ground kind of like traditional braces and then it defeats the purpose. The whole reason for going for Invisalign is because it’s much better and healthier for you, and you’ve got to make sure you follow the directions in order to be able to do that.
Contact Us About Invisalign Today
John: All right. That’s really good advice, Dr. Nammy, thanks again for speaking with me today.
Dr. Nammy: Absolutely.
John: And for more information about Green Dentistry, visit the website at sfgreendentist.com or call (415)433-0119.