Obtaining a Straighter Smile without Metal Braces

Just imagine, you want to straighten your teeth and the dentist tells you that you'll be in braces for 1 year. Can you see yourself with a mouthful of metal? One of the primary concerns people often have about dental braces is the aesthetic impact of the metalwork on their smile, especially for adults.  Invisalign® offers an almost invisible aligning system that straightens teeth fast, contains no metal, and clear aligners are contoured to your teeth. Take off the trays for pictures and nobody will know you're secretly straightening your teeth. 

Did you know that now Invisalign takes HALF THE TIME it used to?! They are constantly making advancements and we've loved working with their system because of it.

Invisalign® treatment consists of a series of custom-made aligning trays.  The dentist sees you monthly and in the meantime, you change the trays every week to fit the new tooth configuration.  In addition to the reduced visual impact, Invisalign® aligning trays can be temporarily removed for important occasions – meaning that treatment duration is patient-controlled.  Most of our patients report complete satisfaction with both the Invisalign® treatment and the stunning results. The only time Invisalign® doesn't work is when patients don't wear the trays...but that won't be you, right? If you doubt your ability to stick to wearing the trays, we will encourage you NOT TO even start treatment. 

 Frequently asked questions:

  • Aren't I too old to straighten my teeth? -Believe it or not this is an extremely common question and the answer is always no, unless you are severely ill and cannot make it into the office for monthly visits.
  • Does the process hurt? - Moving your teeth involves a dull achy feeling, not sharp pains. For the first 2 days in a new tray, you'll feel the ache and that's how we know it's working! It's like the sore muscle feeling of a good workout.
  • Do I need some kind of ugly retainers at the end? - Yes but they are not ugly. You have the choice of clear retainers like your trays (worn nightly) or a bonded retainer wire on the back of the front teeth to hold onto them. Dr. Tilden loves the wire type retainer because it guarantees your investment stays looking good and you don't need to worry about popping in retainers at night!
  • Is my child a candidate for Invisalign®? -Dr. Jordan and Zachary Tilden only do this treatment for kids age 16 and up when their teeth are not severely misaligned. For kids, full braces is more beneficial because the orthodontist can use more tools of the trade to control the development of the jaw bones and facial harmony for their adult life. Childhood orthodontics is more complex than people know because it's actually not just about getting the teeth straight. Adults are done growing, so for them we are strictly moving teeth and not altering jaw development.

What kind of bite problems can Invisalign® correct?

Invisalign® corrects the same dental problems as traditional metal braces; the only difference is that Invisalign® trays are almost invisible to the naked eye, and can be removed at will. We find that 90% of people are good candiates for Invisalign®.

Here are some problems that are commonly corrected with Invisalign®:

  • Overcrowding – This occurs when there is too little space for the teeth to align normally in the mouth.  Overcrowding can cause tooth decay and increase the likelihood of gum disease.
  • Large gaps between teeth – This can sometimes occur because teeth are missing or because the jaw continues to grow abnormally.
  • Crossbite – This common dental problem occurs when one or multiple upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth.  As a consequence, uneven wear can lead to bone erosion and gum disease.
  • Overbite – This problem occurs when the upper teeth project further than, or completely cover, the lower teeth.  Eventually, jaw pain and TMJ may occur.
  • Underbite – This is the inverse of the overbite; the lower teeth project further than, or completely cover, the upper teeth.  Eventually, jaw pain and TMJ can occur.

What advantages does Invisalign® offer over traditional braces and veneers?

Traditional dental braces, Invisalign® aligning trays, and dental veneers are three different ways to perfect the alignment of the teeth.  There are many different considerations to make when deciding which treatment will be best, and each of these options works better in certain situations. The doctors use their advanced training in cosmetic dentistry to complete your smile design and will review with you all of your options.

Invisalign® differs from traditional braces in that the aligning trays are fully removable.  This means that more discipline and commitment is required from the patient.  This is not usually a problem since the trays are comfortable and nearly invisible.  Almost identical results can be obtained by using either treatment.

Invisalign® is preferable to veneers in many cases because unlike veneers, Invisalign® actually straightens the teeth. Veneers are thin covers that the dentist permanently affixes to the teeth.  Veneers are bonded on, meaning that if the time comes to remove dental veneers (due to decay or breakage), another veneer must be constructed.  In addition to being somewhat expensive, veneers can break and often last for less than 20 years.

What does Invisalign® treatment involve?

First, the dentist needs to devise an initial treatment plan before creating the special aligning trays.  Impressions are made of your teeth and pictures are taken.  These records are sent to Invisalign®. 10 days later, a virtual plan is sent to our office to show the end results, how long treatment will take, and how the teeth will move over time. It is at this stage that we ask you to join us for a viewing. Everyone loves seeing the virtual projection of the final results and it is at this time that you really decide if you want to start treatment. You say go and we order the aligners... in about 12 days we will have your aligners and we can start treatment!

The total amount of aligners required varies with each individual case, but 20-29 sets (1 set per week= 20-29 weeks) is typical.

What are some considerations when wearing Invisalign® trays?

Life with Invisalign® aligning trays may take several weeks to get used to.  The trays should be worn constantly, except when eating and drinking.  It is important to remove the trays when consuming food or drink because food can become trapped between the tray and the teeth, causing tooth decay.

Usually, new trays are necessary every weeks, and progress between appointments can be seen with the naked eye. There is no doubt that Invisalign® aligning trays have revolutionized orthodontics.  Invisalign® is renowned for being both comfortable and effective.

Contact Us 

If you would like to schedule an appointment or have any questions about Invisalign®, please contact Tilden Dental Group at our downtown Chicago dental practice in Streeterville today!