What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a form of orthodontic treatment that moves teeth over time without metal wires and brackets. Instead, the treatment uses clear aligners that fit snuggly over the patient’s teeth.
In most cases, the patient can wear an Invisalign retainer/tray and those around them won’t notice or be able to detect the aligner trays. The trays are BPA-free plastic and completely transparent.
Here’s how Invisalign works
Your dentist takes a virtual model of your crooked teeth and then uses a computer to create a model where your teeth are in a straight position. Your dentist will send the models of your current teeth and the future, straightened version to Invisalign. The Invisalign company uses this information to create your treatment, all with that perfect smile in mind.
Invisalign crafts a series of clear plastic shells (or aligners) that go over your teeth. These aligners represent multiple stages of small incremental tooth movements from start (where you are now) to finish (where you want to be).
You’ll wear each tray for a week or more based on your dentist’s instruction. Slowly and steadily, each tray pushes your teeth slowly with gentle pressure, just like metal brackets on braces do.
What is the Invisalign process?
The process should not be painful, but the first few days of wearing a new set of aligners, you might feel some mild discomfort from the tight fit of the trays. You’ll wear the trays throughout the day and only remove them when eating, drinking or brushing your teeth with a goal of 20 hours of wear per day. But don’t worry, you’ll still have stunning photos and comfortable interactions with others since your treatment is nearly invisible.
As you move from tray to tray, your teeth will move slowly into the desired position for a stunning and straight smile. There may be various “adjustments” and such during your treatment, but this is the overall idea.
Are there any limitations with Invisalign?
Invisalign has its limitations in severe and unusual cases where we need to use regular orthodontic treatment with brackets/wires and other orthodontic or surgical modalities. However, more and more cases are being treated with this nearly invisible form of orthodontics.
How long is the Invisalign treatment?
On average, we can fix minor flaws in six to 12 months. More complex issues take more like 18 months, but you’ll still feel comfortable and confident displaying your smile during these months since most people won’t know you’re undergoing treatment. The more you commit to wearing your aligners the prescribed 20 hours per day, the better and faster results you’ll experience.
Why dentists love using Invisalign
One reason why dentists like using Invisalign is because patients tend to clean their teeth better and end their treatment with healthier gums than they do with braces. Cleaning around braces can be challenging and lead to less thorough cleaning.
Whether you choose conventional orthodontics or Invisalign treatment, you’ll be ready to show off your smile with improved, straighter teeth.