HomeBlogElgin Dentist Discusses Invisalign® and Other Discreet Orthodontic Options

Dr. Dean Lodding of Smile for Life Dental explains how Invisalign® clear aligners can provide patients with a more discreet and convenient approach to orthodontic treatment.

Elgin, IL — For decades, orthodontic treatments have helped people address bite and tooth misalignment issues for straighter, better functioning smiles. However, the trade-off for correcting one’s smile has traditionally involved metal braces or similar appliances, which are quite noticeable every time someone opens their mouth. Furthermore, adult patients in particular are often wary of braces since the prominent metal brackets and wires are typically associated with a more youthful aesthetic. Anxieties surrounding the appearance of braces has led many people to avoid seeking out solutions to their common misalignment issues. Dr. Dean Lodding, a dentist in Elgin and the head of Smile for Life Dental, understands these concerns, which is why he and his team offer a number of more discreet orthodontic treatment options, including the revolutionary Invisalign® system of clear aligners. Dr. Lodding believes that quality orthodontic options should be available to everyone who needs them, and Invisalign® can help make treatment accessible to those who may otherwise worry about how traditional orthodontic solutions will impact their appearance and daily habits.

The Invisalign® method employs a series of custom-made clear, plastic aligners that are nearly invisible when placed on the teeth. Dr. Lodding says this treatment can often be ideal for correcting gaps or spaces between teeth, overcrowding, or minor bite misalignment concerns such as overbite, underbite, or crossbite. Unlike metal braces, which are firmly affixed to the teeth, Invisalign® aligners are designed to be easily removable while the patient is eating, drinking, or conducting their regular oral hygiene routine. The system works by using a series of aligners that progressively correct orthodontic concerns: each new appliance in the series will be slightly modified in order to gently and gradually improve bite and tooth alignment. Though overall treatment times will vary from patient to patient, each set of aligners is typically worn for approximately two weeks and then changed out for the next in the series during the treatment period until the teeth have reached the desired position. For many patients, the optimal results can be achieved within 12 to 18 months, while others may require more or less time.

Invisalign® can be an ideal solution for those with orthodontic concerns who are worried about how traditional braces will impact their appearance. Dr. Lodding knows how important it is to feel confident when smiling at work, school, or in other social settings, and he believes that one of the major benefits of the Invisalign® system is its comfortable and discreet approach. In many cases, it can also help improve patients’ orthodontic outcomes in less time than it would take using traditional braces. However, he also notes that this treatment option is best suited to those experiencing more mild to moderate issues, as opposed to severe misalignment or bite irregularities. Furthermore, Dr. Lodding says it is important to adhere carefully to the provided instructions while undergoing Invisalign® treatment: refusal to wear the aligners as directed or excessive removal for reasons other than eating, drinking, or cleaning may compromise the results.

Although Invisalign® is one of the most popular orthodontic alternatives, Dr. Lodding notes that it may not be ideal for everyone. In cases where a patient is experiencing more severe alignment irregularities, traditional metal braces may still be required in order to deliver optimal results. In other cases, patients may be interested in a more cosmetic solution, such as porcelain veneers. Cosmetic bonding can help hide minor gaps between teeth and/or improve the shape and symmetry of teeth using a strong, tooth-colored resin that is applied to the afflicted areas. Porcelain veneers can help “hide” gaps and other alignment imperfections using thin, custom-designed tooth restorations that are adhered to the front of the afflicted teeth for a straighter, more even appearance. Veneers can also be used to enhance or alter the color of teeth for a brighter, whiter look. Both cosmetic bonding techniques and porcelain veneers are designed to mimic the look, feel, and function of natural teeth.

With the advances in orthodontics made over the past few decades, Dr. Lodding says that patients now have more options than ever for correcting tooth and bite misalignment in a more discreet and comfortable fashion. In order to best evaluate what option is best suited to their needs, Dr. Lodding recommends that patients consult with a qualified dental professional. From there, a comprehensive oral examination can be performed, and the most ideal treatment can be determined based on the individual’s needs and goals.

About Dean Lodding, DDS
Dr. Dean Lodding is the head of Smile for Life Dental in Elgin, Illinois. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the Chicago College of Dentists at the University of Illinois in 1980, and has been engaged in private practice ever since. He is a former President of the American Academy of Dentistry, and he has continued to be involved in the development and improvement of his field through numerous other professional affiliations. In addition to performing Invisalign® treatment, Dr. Lodding and his team at Smile for Life Dental offer an array of general, cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services, including dental implants, dentures, teeth whitening, sleep apnea treatment, TMJ/TMD treatment, and more. Dr. Lodding is available for interview upon request.

For more information about Smile for Life Dental, please visit or


Smile for Life Dental
2001 Larkin Ave, Suite 120
Elgin, Illinois 60123
(847) 697-1111

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