Two Dental Procedures To Assist With Invisalign Tooth Movements

26 January 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Articles

Crooked teeth are often considered undesirable and unappealing. If your misaligned teeth have caused you some self-esteem issues, then you should work with a dentist or an orthodontist to come up with a tooth straightening plan. Invisalign aligners are typically optimal for adults. While the aligners are not always the greatest option for people with extremely misaligned teeth, your dentist can perform some procedures to assist the aligners with movements. Keep reading to learn about a few of these procedures.

Bonded Attachments

Invisalign aligners are meant to move the teeth small amounts over the course of several months or several years. Different sets of aligners are switched out about every two weeks, and you are likely to be given an average of 20 or 30 sets of aligners over the straightening period. Some aligners may need to be worn for three weeks or more if certain teeth need to shift a large amount. Unfortunately, in some cases, the aligners will not be able to grip onto the teeth properly. Chewies are sometimes introduced to help force the aligners over the teeth. You will be asked to bite down on the round rubber tubes to seat the aligners in place. However, if the chewies do not work or if the teeth need to move a great deal with the assistance of two or three sets of aligners, then attachments may be bonded to the teeth.

Bonded attachments are small and clear resin formations that are secured to the middle of the teeth. These protrusions help the aligners grip onto the teeth better so they can be shifted or moved into place better. The bonded resin material is colored to match the shade of your teeth so the protrusions are less visible. Just make sure that you keep up with your oral hygiene. If your teeth become discolored, then the attachments may become visible because they will appear lighter than your teeth.

Bone Punctures

Tooth movements must be completed in a slow manner so that the teeth do not become loose in the jaw. This is possible because direct pressure on a tooth loosens it from the periodontal ligament that keeps it in place. Once the ligament is loosened and pressure continues, some of the bone matter around the tooth degrades or remodels to allow the tooth to shift over. Once the tooth stops moving, new bone cells fill in around the tooth to secure it in place. The tooth can then be moved further once this happens. While loose teeth may be a concern of your dentist's, so will the slow movement of the teeth. Teeth are likely to move slow if your jawbone is dense. Bone can become dense if you eat a healthy diet filled with calcium, vitamin K, magnesium, and zinc. The bone will also be dense if you are well past the 16 or 18 year age mark when the jaw stops growing.

Dense bone as well as the need for substantial tooth movements may mean that your dentist needs to aid the jaw in bone remodeling. This can occur during a procedure called alveocentesis. During the procedure, a small device is used to place a hole in the jaw in the area where tooth movement will soon occur. The hole will fill with alveolar bone cells that shift much easier than other dense bone cells. This allows the teeth to move a bit more quickly than they normally would. While the prospect of allowing your dentist to secure an opening in your jaw may seem painful, numbing agents are typically used beforehand to reduce pain and pressure. 

Crooked adult teeth can be shifted into an aesthetically pleasing position with the assistance of Invisalign braces. It can take some time for your teeth to shift. Thankfully, your dentist can work with you to make sure the teeth move as quickly as possible by completing procedures that add bonded attachments to the teeth and that create holes in the jaw.