Kiwis Join Hollywood A-List in Quest for Perfect Smile
Posted by Fleur Revell
Kiwis Join Hollywood A-List in Quest for Perfect Smile the latest dental technology allows for an effective substitute for traditional metal braces.
Latest oral healthcare technology provides an innovative alternative to a mouth full of metallic braces – known as Invisalign the braces are difficult to spot in the mouth and are easily removable if required.
New Zealanders suffering from misaligned teeth and the low self esteem often associated with a crooked smile have embraced Invisalign – a revolutionary new orthodontic treatment already popular with Hollywood A-listers.
Invisalign uses clear orthodontic aligners to straighten teeth, without the need for metal brackets and wires. The system consists of a series of computer and laser generated clear plastic trays, called aligners, which work to straighten teeth in a less conspicuous way and with minimal impact on a patient’s lifestyle.
The treatment works by taking dental impressions of a patient’s teeth and digital close-up photos of the teeth, smile and face, from which a computer creates a three-dimensional model. Technicians then individualise the teeth in the model and move them to their final position as prescribed by the dentist.
Custom software then simulates the movement of the teeth and a new aligner is laser manufactured for each stage, with aligners switched out every two weeks.
The aligners are worn for 22 hours a day and unlike metal braces can be removed to eat, drink, brush and floss. Patients are also able to see the improvements in their teeth as they occur.
With results visible in less than a year, the clear aligners can treat the majority of common problems for adults and teens alike including overbites, crossbites, overly crowded or widely spaced teeth.
It’s not just the appearance conscious who are turning to this new technique, says the Director of the Laser LifeCare Institute, Dr Hisham Abdalla, one of New Zealand’s leading cosmetic dentists.
“We have a lot of professionals who are in their 30s, 40s and 50s who choose Invisalign because their teeth are crooked, but they would feel a bit silly turning up to a business meeting with metal braces. Metal braces are often associated with teens and can make someone experienced feel not only less credible but also self-conscious. With Invisalign they can perfect their smile while still upholding their professionalism in the boardroom,” he says.
Dr Abdalla says he is also noticing an increasing number of teenagers opting for the clear aligner option over the embarrassment and awkwardness often brought on by metal braces. Users can also brush and floss normally, which can help prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease, he says.
Designed by California based medical-device company Align Technology, Invisalign first became available to accredited orthodontists for commercial sales in the United States in 1999.
Today, the FDA approved treatment has evolved into an increasingly mainstream orthodontic option with more than one million patients worldwide.”
The course of an Invisalign treatment starts at $7,500 and involves changing aligners approximately every two weeks, moving teeth into straighter position step by step, at a similar cost to metal braces.
“Unlike braces, the invisible aligners can be removed,” says Dr Abdalla. “If necessary, they can be taken out while attending an important function or for sports events so you can keep your active lifestyle during treatment.”
Dr Abdalla says there are additional benefits for patients who opt for the clear Invisalign retainers over metal braces.
“I use them regularly to enhance bone re-growth in the mid-face region to improve a person’s facial symmetry, widen their cheekbones and reverse or prevent the natural aging process involving bone loss in that area. This reduces folds around the mouth and nose, reduces dips under the eyes and significantly improves their facial aesthetics,” he says.
Those people wanting the true Hollywood smile can even elect to use their aligners as whitening trays, straightening and whitening their teeth at the same time.