If you’re ready to perfect your smile, there has never been a better time to do it. With advances in orthodontic treatment, traditional braces now have competition. Maybe it’s a crooked tooth here, a misalignment there – small things that occupy our mental space. Invisalign® is the first alternative to traditional braces and is suitable for mild to mid-range malocclusion (crooked teeth). That means that you can perfect the placement of your teeth without undergoing 12 to 18 months of traditional metal wire-and-bracket braces.
Invisalign® is aptly named to reflect the near invisibility of this form of alignment correction. Invisalign® uses clear plastic aligners to correct the placement of the teeth. The aligners are custom made to fit snugly over your teeth and can be removed and reinserted easily with a simple ‘click’ into place.
The extremely thin nature of the aligner’s design is particularly impressive where it comes to profile view. From the side, aligners remain nearly invisible to onlookers, making them an easy choice for the working professional.
The benefits of Invisalign® therapy are numerous. Among the greatest benefits is the ability for Invisalign® patients to forego the adjustment discomfort and tissue irritation that often accompanies traditional braces. Additionally, with Invisalign®, you can continue to eat what you want – when you want without worrying about food being stuck in your braces or worrying about dislodging a bracket. Without brackets, there is no uneven tooth staining throughout the course of your treatment.
When you approach your dentist about Invisalign® therapy, the first thing that occurs is a 3D scan of the entirely of your dental arches. With 3D imaging, your dentist can assess your candidacy for Invisalign®, and can help you visualize the possibilities for your teeth with simulation technology, visible on a screen. If you and your dentist agree that you should move forward with this therapy, believe it or not, the hard work is already done. That 3D scan of your teeth only takes moments, but it collects all the information needed for an Invisalign® lab to produce your set of aligners.
When your aligners arrive, you can expect to see between 20 and 30 pairs. You will wear each aligner for a period of approximately two weeks before moving on to the next pair of aligners in your program series. With this method of alignment correction, adjustments happen more frequently and are far gentler.
To achieve the best results, aligners need to be worn continuously throughout the day and the night. They should be removed only for eating and cleaning and be directly returned to the mouth, spending no more than two hours outside the mouth in a 24-hour period.
Aligners should not be worn while eating and must only be worn over clean teeth. Adhering to this rule is likely to improve your oral health and overall wellness but wearing aligners over teeth that have not been cleaned following a meal is a recipe for gingivitis and decay. Any food particles or acids that are in the mouth at the time of insertion become sealed under the aligner where bacteria can flourish.
As snacking becomes more inconvenient with the introduction of this protocol, your snacking habits are likely to decrease. You may also find yourself drinking more water, since most other beverages require removal of aligners for cleaning. Warm beverages, like herbal tea, should only be drunk with aligners removed to avoid the potential for warping of the plastic. Any change in the fit of your aligners compromises their effectiveness and slows your progress.
Although Invisalign® offers a uniquely simple experience, it does require a commitment. For this reason, Invisalign® is not recommended for use in those too young to manage the responsibility. Aligners are nearly transparent and must be removed and reinserted several times-a-day, making them easy to lose. If an aligner has been lost, it is important to replace it immediately with a previous set, or your next set, depending upon how far you are through your program. For this reason, we always recommend keeping previous aligners until your treatment is complete.
Once you have completed your full course of Invisalign® therapy, you will be provided with a retainer to prevent the teeth from drifting out of place. It is important to protect your tooth placement by wearing this appliance as directed.
There has never been an easier way to get the beautifully aligned teeth you’ve always dreamed of having. Get ready to enjoy all the benefits of a smile that you can feel proud of. We look forward to continuing to support you in your oral health goals.
For questions about this or other services offered by our general dentist contact our clinic today.