Everything you need to know about Invisalign®
Today's technology makes it possible to achieve the smile you've always wanted without having to live with traditional and unappealing braces. The Invisalign® treatment uses a series of clear, safe, surprisingly comfortable and convenient aligners. They are metal-free, virtually invisible, and can be easily removed. With Invisalign®, you don't just smile when your treatment is over, you smile when it happens!
What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® is an innovative dental treatment option for straightening crooked or crowded teeth. The clear aligner system is a popular alternative to traditional metal brackets bonded to the patient's teeth. Invisalign is a great solution for people who may feel self-conscious about their braces, especially teens and older adults who may feel they are "too old" for this type of treatment. Invisalign is also a great option for those who may have difficulty with dietary restrictions or oral hygiene challenges common with braces.
How does Invisalign® work?
Invisalign® works like traditional braces, applying gentle forces to move the teeth, but with clear aligners instead of metal wires. The entire treatment is based on a set of 3D images that are taken from the entire mouth of the patient. Throughout the course of treatment, the patient receives a series of alignment trays (worn for 1 to 2 weeks at a time) that move the teeth into a more optimal position. Not only is this type of treatment more attractive, but patients also report significantly less discomfort in their mouth and jaw, and it is easier for them to keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy.
What is the Invisalign® treatment process like?
Gone are the days of messy dental molds! Invisalign begins with a painless, radiation-free 3D image of the mouth performed on a modern machine in the comfort of the orthodontist's chair. These images are then uploaded to a computer program, which allows the doctor to simulate the treatment plan. Before starting the process, you can see the smile that you will work towards during the course of your treatment!
After the images are reviewed by the physician and patient, they are sent to the dental laboratory where a series of alignment trays are created. Invisalign aligners are made from a special type of plastic that is safe and durable. Once the aligners arrive at our dental clinic, the doctor will place them on the patient's teeth and teach him how to care for them. One of the advantages of Invisalign aligners is that, unlike traditional braces, they do not adhere to the teeth and therefore can be easily removed to eat or drink for up to two hours a day. Every few weeks, the patient will return to the office to have the next set of aligners fitted until treatment is complete.
How long does it take to see results with Invisalign®?
One of the biggest advantages of Invisalign® treatment compared to traditional braces is that, in many cases, Invisalign® cuts treatment time by almost half. This is great news for adults who are concerned about having to wear traditional braces for work and in their everyday life. Typical treatments last between 9 and 15 months, but can last up to 24 months depending on the amount of change that is required to achieve the desired result. Patients can expect to see a positive change in as little as a few months after starting treatment. One potential risk of the removable system is that patients who do not wear their aligners as often as they are supposed to may experience a longer treatment period. The estimated time for your individualized treatment will be discussed with you during your initial consultation.