If you have teeth that are too widely spaced, or too crowded, or misaligned, and think you need braces, you may already know that there are two basic types of braces — those that are attached and those that are removeable – and that there are different types of materials used in braces:  metal, ceramic, tooth-colored, and clear plastic.

You might be surprised to know that this is not just a cosmetic issue, but it has the potential to be a serious issue with your health.  When teeth are crowded or too widely spaced, swollen and red gums can result, a symptom of periodontal disease.  Teeth need to be properly aligned to help the gums fit more securely around the teeth.  This facilitates a strong and healthy defense against potential periodontal problems such as tooth decay and gum disease that are caused by bacteria, and can result in mouth sores, tender or bleeding gums, bad breath, and possible tooth loss if left untreated.

The exciting news is the newest dental technology in braces, Invisalign — the removable clear plastic, nearly invisible type.   It has been in use in the USA since 1999, and is being used in at least 50 countries around the World.  Now, with more than four million people having benefitted from tooth straightening with Invisalign, it has become one of the world’s most popular tooth-straightening appliances.  Some of the advantages are:

  • They are Invisible, hence the name
  • You can easily remove them when eating, drinking, or cleaning
  • No restrictions on what you eat
  • They are high tech with computer simulated treatment
  • They will not stain or damage your teeth
  • They are comfortable, no poking, pulling, pain, or bleeding from metal wires

How Invisalign works:

Your Orthodontist takes measurements of your teeth, by using a digital scanning system to create a custom treatment plan with precise 3D digital images of your teeth, showing how your teeth will move throughout the course of your treatment.  The computerized model suggests stages between the current and desired teeth positions, and aligners are created for each stage.

The images for your treatment plan are then sent out to have plastic trays made, and because the treatment plans are created right here in Costa Rica, it is very fast.  The process is gentle and gradual:  As each aligner is replaced every two weeks, the teeth will move – little by little, until they reach their correct final position.

The importance of correctly aligned teeth should not be underestimated.  Misaligned teeth can result in orthodontic issues like an improper bite, speech or chewing difficulties, jaw problems, and increased wear on the tooth enamel.  Severe cases may need to investigate other options, but Invisalign treatment is appropriate in the majority of cases and is clinically proven to be effective for a broad range of teeth straightening cases, from mild to complex, such as:

  • Gapped Teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Open Bite
  • Overly Crowded

Invisalign clear aligners must be worn 20 to 22 hours a day for the best results, taking them out only to eat and to brush and floss.  Since they’re comfortable, that shouldn’t take too much effort, but realize that with any kind of braces it takes a big commitment.  When the trays are left out more than two hours, it is said that the teeth will tighten up, and then when you put your tray back in, it takes quite a few hours for the teeth just to loosen so they are able to move.  To be sure, a lifestyle change is required during the treatment period, averaging 13.5 months.  For instance, some report that they miss drinking coffee or wine slowly, and must then brush their teeth before putting the trays back in.  Once the treatment period is over, patients are advised to continue wearing a retainer at night for the foreseeable future.

A smile can change everything — Your confidence. Your outlook. Your life!  And it doesn’t have to be a big deal.  In fact, with Invisalign it barely has to impact your day-to-day life at all.

If you are interested in invisalign in Costa Rica, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page.  One of our patient advocates will reply to your needs.