How Does Invisalign Work?
Many people want straighter teeth, but they don’t want the ugly metal brackets and the discomfort that comes with traditional orthodontic work. If you fit this description, you may want to consider Invisalign. Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, include no metal and are custom made for your teeth. They work in a series of trays that gradually shift your teeth into place. Each tray is manufactured so that the teeth are slightly straighter than the previous tray. Your teeth will typically move up to 0.25 mm per tray. Every two weeks, you will receive a new set, slowly moving your teeth towards their ideal positions.
Simply pop the trays in and you’re ready to go! No uncomfortable and unsightly brackets necessary. Invisalign aligners are clear and barely noticeable, which makes them perfect for both adults and teens who want a more discreet straightening option.
What to Expect During the Treatment Process
If you are interested in making your smile better with more straight teeth, let us know about your interest and concerns. Our doctor can determine whether Invisalign will work for your teeth. We can also answer any medical or financial questions you have.
Our doctor is an Invisalign-trained provider who attended specialized instructional sessions and participates in ongoing clinical training.
After your consultation, we will take precise impressions or 3D images to create a customized treatment plan for you. The casts of your teeth or images are then used to create your custom-made aligners. The smooth, BPA-free plastic is non-irritating and comfortable for constant wear. About every two weeks, you will graduate to your next set of aligners, until your teeth have shifted into their final spots, revealing your most perfect smile!
The aligners straighten teeth through the use of patented thermoplastic design. Invisalign not only controls the force used to straighten teeth, but it also controls the timing of force application. Only a few teeth are moved during each stage — this is determined by your doctor as they map out your individual treatment plan.
Invisalign Treatment Timeline
For adults, the treatment time for an average adult case is around 12 months — this varies, of course, on the severity of each individual case. For teens, treatment time can vary. For all patients, your doctor will work closely with you to develop an individual treatment plan fully customized to your unique needs.
In addition, your Invisalign provider may use attachments to further perfect your smile. In some cases, tooth-colored composite “bumps” may be placed on your teeth that help the aligner grip the teeth better, which can then result in the desired tooth movement.
Invisalign Can Fix a Wide Variety of Dental Problems
Gapped teeth, overbites, underbites, and crowded teeth are just a few of the problems that Invisalign can correct. Besides being unsightly, these problems can affect dental health. Gapped teeth leave gums unprotected and can cause or exacerbate periodontal disease. Overbites and underbites cause stress to the jaw, sometimes leading to painful joint problems. Overly crowded teeth frequently lead to plaque accumulation, as it is difficult to floss effectively and result in cavities forming at these crowded areas. Invisalign addresses many of these problems and more, promoting your best possible oral health.
Invisalign Doesn’t Interfere with Your Daily Life
Wear your Invisalign aligners as you go about your daily routine. Take them out in the morning and evening to clean them. All you do is brush them as you do your teeth! You will also take them out when it’s time to eat, which means you can enjoy all your favorite foods. Nothing will get stuck in wires or brackets. In fact, Invisalign keeps teeth cleaner than traditional braces because you brush as normal. Invisalign is also perfect for people who play contact sports, especially those that require mouthguards. Simply remove the aligners while playing and replace them when you’re done.
More Benefits of Invisalign
Unlike metal braces, Invisalign doesn’t rub or irritate your mouth like wires and brackets can. This means you don’t have to worry about applying wax to irritating brackets because the inside of your cheeks are scratched, bleeding and sore — this simply isn’t a problem with Invisalign.
While the first few days of each treatment stage can be a little uncomfortable (often described as a feeling of pressure), Invisalign is far easier to deal with than traditional metal braces as far as pain and anxiety goes.
After Invisalign Treatment
Once you’ve reached your ultimate goal — a great smile — with Invisalign, our doctor will recommend retainers (this is the same whether you’ve gone through traditional braces or invisible aligners). Retainers are necessary because teeth can unfortunately shift back into their pre-treatment position.
Invisalign recommends Vivera retainers. They are made with the same state-of-the-art technology used to create Invisalign aligners, and since they’re custom made from an impression or scan of your teeth, the fit is perfect and the retainers are far more comfortable than traditional ones. Also, the material used is 30 percent stronger than other clear retainer materials, which not only keeps your teeth in line, but the retainer is less likely to crack or break.