Because of the Cosmetic premise of our practice, minor-tooth movement is easy to attain with removable retainers. Although, we refer some cases to specialists, we do employ the technique, Invisalign®. This is a removable technique that uses clear, plastic trays that are fabricated from a model of your teeth and a computer scan.
Dr. Blau was recently interviewed for the following article which appeared in the New York Post on December 4, 2007:
“The Silent, See-Through Smile Makeover
What grown-up person would not be somewhat reluctant to be seen wearing dental braces, with those very visible bands or wires? Fortunately for adults, and for younger people from their late teens onward, there is an orthodontic treatment using an invisible method to straighten teeth and close gaps–and also avoiding the drilling entailed in tooth-straightening by means of veneers and caps. “This treatment even allows you to whiten your teeth while they straighten, without any interruption to your lifestyle,” says Manhattan cosmetic dentist Dr. Bruce B. Blau.
Dr. Blau is speaking of Invisalign®, a treatment that has already been chosen by over 500,000 people and has been approved by the FDA since 1998. It uses the latest 3-D computer technology to fabricate a series of precisely customized, removable aligners that your dentist installs at periodic visits during the course of treatment. At your initial consultation, several impressions are taken from which a series of aligners are created to be used at successive stages. Millimeter by millimeter, these aligners will move your teeth into their new positions. During the process, which lasts from 6 months to a year, you will visit your dentist every 6 to 8 weeks for adjustments and checks on your progress. Typically fees range from $4,500 to $7,000.
Invisalign® has minor disadvantages. It is not the quickest way to straighten teeth: you must remove the aligners before you eat, and thus they are not correcting your teeth 100 percent of the time. Also, after you eat you must carefully clean your teeth every time–a requirement that you may find tedious. (But some people are happy that as a result they indulge in far less casual snacking.)
There are also plenty of positives. As Dr. Blau points out, because you remove aligners before you eat there are no restrictions on the kinds of food you can eat, as might happen with conventional braces. And for the same reason there are no problems with flossing and brushing afterward. Best of all, when you put the aligners back on most people will never notice you’re wearing them.
Straightening your teeth, Dr. Blau reminds us, avoids many potential problems such as sleep disorders, TMD (disorders of the temporomandibular joint in the jaw), excessive wear to the teeth, gum disease, and even the development of wrinkles and lines in the face. A healthy, natural-appearing smile will have a good effect on your sense of self-worth and your interactions with others. It will subtly increase your feelings of youthful vitality, and, as we all know, a good smile has great aesthetic value.
Dr. Blau asks his patients the following questions when they wonder if they are candidates for dental realignment. You can ask them, too:
• Do you have crooked teeth?
• Do you have any noticeable spaces between your teeth?
• Are you missing one or more teeth?
• Does your smile seem too narrow?
• Does your upper lip droop over your teeth, making them appear smaller and darker then they are?
• Are your teeth worn down or flat because your bite is off?
To sum up, ask yourself this:
• What would you like to change about your smile?”