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Invisalign® for Teens: How Does it Compare to Traditional Invisalign?

By William Couvelis, DDS on June 04, 2018


Photo of Invisalign® Teen aligner on white background with Invisalign logoWhen it comes to modern orthodontic options, fewer are as sought after as Invisalign®. This innovative system, offered at our Chicago, IL dental practice, is the leading alternative to traditional metal braces.

Many of our adult patients have enjoyed the benefits of Invisalign treatment. Now, younger patients can enjoy them too, with Invisalign for teens. Today, our team will explore the similarities and differences between these treatment options so you can be well-informed when it comes to orthodontic treatment for your child.

Invisalign: A Brief Overview

While traditional braces use metal brackets, bands, and wires to move your teeth into the desired positions, the Invisalign system uses a series of clear thermoplastic trays. Because the aligners are metal-free, they are much more comfortable than conventional braces; and because they are virtually invisible, others will not notice them.

To begin treatment, digital impressions are taken. These will be sent to an Invisalign lab, where a skilled technician will work with your doctor to create a customized series of aligners.

Approximately every two weeks, the current set of trays are switched out for the next one in the sequence. To be fully effective, the aligners must be worn a minimum of 22 hours per day, removing them only to brush and floss or eat and drink. Although treatment times will certainly vary with each individual, it takes between 18 and 24 months on average.

Features of Invisalign Teen

Invisalign Teen is similar to traditional Invisalign in a number of ways. However, there are a few special features exclusive only to teen patients. We will explore these in a bit more detail in the sections below.

Additional Space for Growing Teeth

Performing orthodontic treatment on patients with teeth that are still growing in is challenging, no matter what option you choose. However, Invisalign Teen has a feature that allows for extra space. Therefore, as the molars erupt, the aligner trays can help guide them into their proper positions.

Special Features for Root Movement

In many cases, in order to correct alignment, the tooth roots must be moved. In the past, this was somewhat difficult to achieve without the use of metal braces. However, Invisalign Teen now has a feature called power ridges. These devices aid in guiding teeth roots into the most favorable locations.

Wear Indicators

Teen life is busy. Between school, homework, sports, and other extra-curricular activities, your child may forget to wear the aligners as often as he or she should. As aforementioned, Invisalign trays must be worn for at least 22 hours every day in order to be effective.

Each Invisalign Teen tray includes a tiny blue indicator dot. This can help the patient, his or her parents, and the dentist know if the trays need to be worn more frequently.

Complimentary Replacement Trays

Does your teen have a tendency to lose things? If so, orthodontic treatment with Invisalign could be expensive - until now. Invisalign now offers up to six replacement trays, free of charge.

Who Is a Candidate?

Like its traditional counterpart, Invisalign Teen is effective for correcting mild to moderate cases of misalignment. However, it is important to note that severe orthodontic issues typically require traditional treatment.

During a consultation at our practice, we can help you determine which type of appliance will be the most beneficial for you.

Learn More about Invisalign Teen

If you are interested in learning more about Invisalign Teen, schedule an appointment at North Pier Dental Associates. Contact us online or call us at (312) 321-7645.

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