Technological advances in recent years have had a huge effect on our lives in a number of ways. They’ve had a major impact on the field of orthodontics, too! It’s easier and more convenient than ever to improve your oral health thanks to a wide variety of innovative treatment options, including Invisalign clear aligner therapy. As the most popular alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign offers patients the same beautiful results without any brackets, wires, or bands.
If you’ve been considering orthodontic treatment with Advanced Orthodontics, you may be wondering if there’s a way to straighten your smile while avoiding the appearance of braces. You might also be looking for a more discreet option that will allow you to keep your normal routine intact throughout the treatment process. If this sounds like you, Invisalign could be a great choice!
But what exactly is Invisalign? And how does it actually work? Keep reading below to learn a bit more about this exciting clear aligner system!
What is Invisalign?
Braces are what we refer to as a fixed orthodontic appliance, meaning they are attached directly to the teeth and can only be removed by an orthodontic provider. Invisalign, on the other hand, uses a series of removable plastic trays to move the teeth into optimal positions over time. The design itself can be deceptively simple, but the clear trays are actually made of a special thermoplastic resin that’s strong enough to correct a variety of mild to moderate orthodontic issues. To successfully do so, the custom-made aligners must be switched out at regular intervals throughout the treatment process.
How does Invisalign work?
During your first visit with us, Dr. Nielson or Dr. White will perform a thorough examination of your mouth, and discuss any orthodontic needs observed with you. If treatment is recommended, they’ll let you know if your smile would be a good fit for the Invisalign system. If it is, and you decide to move forward with Invisalign, we’ll begin the process by mapping out a precise treatment plan for you. This will be based on a highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums. This plan includes the exact movements we want your teeth to make, and will also give us an indication of how long treatment is likely to take.
Next, we’ll begin the process of custom designing your aligners using Invisalign’s special SmartTrack® material. SmartTrack® is durable, comfortable, and virtually invisible! Although the total number of aligners needed for each patient will vary based on their unique case, the average tends to be somewhere between 10 and 48. Most patients will need to wear them for about 6-18 months.
Because Invisalign aligners are removable, patient compliance is essential. For aligners to work properly, they must be worn for 20-22 hours every day, throughout the treatment process. To keep up with the movement of your teeth, you’ll also switch to the next aligner in the series every 1-2 weeks, depending on your customized treatment plan. As with braces, you’ll have regular check-ups with our doctors every 6-8 weeks or so. During these visits, we’ll check your progress and ensure that everything is proceeding the way it should be.
What are the benefits of treatment with Invisalign?
With Invisalign, patients have more freedom and flexibility than braces allow. Take food restrictions, for example. This is often one of the biggest learning curves for braces patients, since they must avoid eating anything too chewy or crunchy to protect their braces during treatment. Although it’s definitely worth the effort once the braces come off, it can be a frustrating part of the process. In contrast, Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed whenever you eat or drink anything other than water, so all your favorite foods are still okay to indulge in!
Removable aligners also make it easier to care for your teeth and gums while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Oral hygiene is especially important for orthodontic patients, but the wires, brackets, and bands that come with traditional braces can make proper brushing and flossing difficult and time-consuming! With Invisalign, aligners are simply taken out before brushing and flossing as normal. There are also special kits designed to clean Invisalign aligners, or you can gently clean them using denture crystals and a soft toothbrush.
Because Invisalign aligners can be removed and replaced with a regular or orthodontic mouthguard, they’re perfect for those who play sports. They’re also great for musicians who play woodwind or brass instruments, since there are no wires or brackets to work around. Have a special event on the horizon, like a wedding, prom, or senior pictures? Invisalign aligners can be removed for a short time to allow your natural smile to shine through.
Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?
Invisalign is generally recommended for teen and adult patients who have mild to moderate orthodontic issues. If your case is particularly complex or severe, you may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve. During your free consultation with us, our doctors will be able to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you. If a more traditional treatment method would be more suitable, that will be recommended instead. At Advance Orthodontics, we will only suggest the treatment options we feel will give you the best results based on your specific needs!
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
Whether you have braces or clear aligners, the teeth will still retain memories of their previous place in the mouth even after treatment. Over time, they’ll also have a natural tendency to drift back to those original positions. Wearing a retainer regularly is the best way to prevent this kind of drifting and maintain your newly straightened smile! Once your Invisalign treatment is complete, our office will provide you with a retainer. You should always wear it exactly as directed by Dr. Nielson and Dr. White.
Invisalign is the clear choice at Advanced Orthodontics
As an alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign clear aligner therapy continues to change the way people think about orthodontic treatment every day! If you’d like to learn more about how Invisalign can help you find your very best smile, give us a call today. We’d love to schedule a complimentary consultation for you with our expert team!