I Never Had Braces but Want Them Now: Is Invisalign® the Best Option for Adults?

Not receiving braces in adolescence can lead to many dental issues throughout life, but an experienced orthodontist can help straighten things out even in adulthood with Invisalign® clear aligners.

Contrary to popular belief, orthodontic care is not limited to children. Many dentists just prefer early intervention while the jaw is still growing and teeth are still coming in. Once development is finished, our teeth continue to shift, making it possible to straighten and realign them well into adulthood. If you’re hesitant to commit to adult braces, Invisalign® might be the ideal solution.

At Image Dental in Stockton, California, our providers offer Invisalign clear aligners as an alternative to traditional metal braces, letting you straighten your smile quickly, discreetly, and without discomfort. 

How Invisalign® works 

Invisalign clear aligners operate much the same way as traditional braces, applying pressure to your teeth to shift them into position. However, instead of using wires and brackets to pull the teeth together, this is done using removable trays that fit over your teeth. 

These trays are made using comprehensive scans of your jaw and teeth. Once a digital model has been constructed, the team at Image Dental can predict and track every step to your new smile, even allowing you to see final results in advance. Your aligners will be created following this plan, and you’ll be swapping them out as things progress. 

Along with being transparent, these clear aligners are made using a patented thermoplastic that fits snugly and applies constant force, gently guiding your teeth into alignment. This high-end material, known as SmartTrack®, is exclusive to Invisalign and has corrected over 16 million smiles to date.

Who is a candidate for Invisalign 

While Invisalign aligners are custom-fitted and designed for you, they aren’t right for everyone. Not every issue can be solved with plastic trays, and some bite problems require a higher degree of rigidity. In these cases, you might need to wear braces for a time before Invisalign becomes an effective option.

However, this is only typical for those with severely incorrect bites. The technology and materials behind Invisalign have improved in recent years, giving it a wider range of treatment. Clear aligners can be used to solve numerous orthodontic issues, including: 

  • Crowded teeth (malocclusion)
  • Crooked teeth
  • Gapped teeth 
  • Mild to moderate bite problems 

The next thing to consider is whether you can maintain your aligners until treatment is over. You’ll need to wear the aligners for at least 22 hours per day, and remove them only to eat, drink, and perform routine dental care. If you have poor memory or oral hygiene, you might need to stick with traditional braces. 

If you’re interested in correcting your teeth but have doubts about adult braces, the Image Dental team can help you learn more and decide if Invisalign is right for you. To schedule a consultation, call 209-392-5688 or request an appointment online today. 

Stephen Nozaki, DDS, MPH, DIDIA

Dr. Stephen Nozaki is the owner and lead dentist at Image Dental in Stockton. He is a dedicated professional born and raised in California's Central Valley. With a commitment to his community, he brings advanced dental techniques learned from extensive education and continuous training from around the world. A third-generation Japanese American, Dr. Nozaki has a rich background that includes international living and a deep passion for both dentistry and outdoor activities. His focus in dentistry aligns with his passion for cosmetics and dental implants.