Invisalign is an orthodontic device that uses transparent, incremental aligners to adjust teeth as an alternative to traditional wire braces. These virtually invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners allow you to smile more during treatment as well as after. Invisalign clear aligners are made with 3D computer imaging technology and has been proven effective. However, not all patients are suitable for Invisalign treatment. Only a licensed Invisalign trained provider can determine if you will be a suitable candidate. Dr. Jennifer is a Preferred Invisalign Provider, feel free to discuss with Dr. Jennifer if you are a suitable candidate today.
Not only are the aligners virtually invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment. Plus, brushing and flossing are no problem. They are also more comfortable than traditional braces, with no metal or wires, which also usually means you spend less time in your doctor's office getting adjustments.
You wear each set of aligners for about two weeks, removing them only to brush, floss, eat and drink anything other than water. As you advance your aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move — little by little, day by day, week by week — until they have straightened to their designed final positions. Dr. Jennifer will see you about once every six weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time averages about 9 to 15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30, but both will vary from case to case. Please ask Dr. Jennifer during your orthodontic consultation for more detailed explanations.
When you first get your aligners, you’ll likely feel tightness and pain in your mouth. You might also feel uncomfortable because you now have a set of plastic retainers in your mouth. The initial set of Invisalign aligners is the hardest to adjust because your teeth aren’t used to having something forcefully shifting your teeth.
As you get used to your aligners, you’ll start to feel more comfortable. Some people develop a lisp when they have their aligners in, because it can be hard to talk with something in your mouth. Your dentist will instruct you on how to keep your mouth and aligners clean to prevent bacteria buildup and infections.
Your dentist will also instruct you on how often you should come in to get new aligners fitted. Once you get your new aligners, you’ll also likely feel soreness and discomfort because you’re used to wearing your previous ones. Each new set of retainers helps shift your teeth into alignment.
Adults and adolescents are good candidates for Invisalign. If you still have baby teeth, your dentist may recommend for you to wait before getting Invisalign, as new adult teeth can grow out of alignment and cause your other teeth to shift.
If you have oral conditions that require surgery to fix, your dentist may not recommend Invisalign treatment. In addition, patients with implants, dentures, and other types of restorations may not be great candidates. Speak with your dentist to determine if Invisalign is the right option for you.
Invisalign uses a computer-generated mold of your teeth to realign or correct your teeth. While traditional braces use wire to realign your teeth, Invisalign uses a series of molds that slowly force your teeth into place.
Your aligners are made of a transparent plastic, which means people won’t be able to tell from afar that you have anything in your mouth. They can also be removed while you eat and you can easily clean them, which helps you better brush your teeth and remove any food or debris that are stuck between your teeth or on your aligners. With good dental hygiene, you can reduce the risk of infections more easily.
Your dentist will take pictures of your teeth, jaw, and face to generate molds of your teeth. Some patients need composite patches to help the aligners better grip on each tooth. These patches are made from the same material as dental fillings and are removed at the end of the Invisalign process. If your mouth is crowded, the dentist may also sand away some of the enamel to make room for your teeth to move.
Once you get your first aligners, you’ll wear them for a few weeks before going back to the dentist for a checkup and new aligners. You’ll repeat this process until the end of your treatment.