What is Invisalign?
It is the process of wearing a series of clear, removable aligners that gradually straighten your teeth. There are no brackets, wires, or restrictions that come with metal braces.
Invisalign clear aligners (also known as Invis) are an esthetic, clear alternative to traditional metal braces. This bracket-less orthodontic treatment uses a series of custom-made removable aligners and controlled pressure to move the teeth into ideal position.
As an Invisalign dentist, Dr. Tufa can transform your smile with aligners that she will design using an iTero digital scan of your mouth. With the help of the Invisalign software she will be able show you a virtual model and a simulation of the proposed teeth movement. This will give you an idea of the end result you may expect and the length of your treatment.
What Are the Invisalign Clear Aligners Made of?
Invisalign clear aligners are made with a patented flexible plastic material called SmartTrack created exclusively for Invisalign treatment. This material helps reshape smiles more predictably. It is definitely not your parents' braces and the results are truly life-changing. Invisalign clear aligners are FDA-approved and contain no BPA, PBS, latex, or gluten.
How Long Is the Invisalign Treatment?
The length of the treatment is generally shorter than with traditional braces but varies depending on patient's current tooth alignment and oral habits. It is directly related to the complexity of the issue that needs to be addressed which then determines how many sets of aligners will need to be used to achieve the desired smile makeover. Your Invisalign provider will determine exactly how long your treatment will take based on the current condition of your teeth.
What To Expect On the First Invisalign Appointment?
Once the treatment is approved, the aligner trays will be delivered within few weeks. You can expect the first Invisalign appointment to be one hour long. This is the time when any custom attachments, also known as “buttons”, are placed on the teeth. These attachments play a similar role to metal brackets in conventional orthodontics. They are much more esthetic though, and are shade matched to the color of your tooth.
At this appointment Dr. Tufa may need to do some IPR or inter-proximal reduction. This is done on a case-by-case basis when the widths of the teeth are excessive. This process involves using a sandpaper strip or bur to slenderize the teeth to a maximum of 0.25mm per side. This is a fairly minimally invasive procedure that does not require anesthesia.
What Can I Expect During the Invisalign Treatment?
You will be given several sets of upper and lower aligners to be worn for about 2 weeks each. Younger adults who are compliant may be able to shorten the duration of wear to 10 or even 7 days. Follow up appointments are about 30 minutes and are typically scheduled every 6 weeks. During these appointments the tooth movement and progress is evaluated, and sometimes a new digital progress scan is made to compare the patient’s teeth movement with the corresponding software stage.
Are There Restrictions On What I Can Eat While in Treatment?
Invisalign clear aligners are removable, so there are no food restrictions. With traditional wires and brackets, there’s a long list of foods you unfortunately cannot enjoy because they can damage or get stuck in your braces.
How Often Do I Wear the Aligners?
Invisalign aligners need to be worn for a minimum of 20-22 hours per day and removed for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing. The aligners only work when they are in the mouth, so it is crucial that you keep them in as much as you can. Drinking will generally not affect aligner fit or performance but may stain them.
What Else Should I Know About the Invis Treatment?
Oral hygiene is easily maintainable with removable aligners, making Invisalign a great option for many cavity prone patients. The aligners can be simultaneously used for fluoride application in susceptible patients. On a similar note, the aligners can hold some whitening gel and help maintain a whiter smile throughout treatment.
When you switch to a new aligner, every 2 weeks you can expect some discomfort for the first 24-48hrs. This is usually minor and most patients only need to take an OTC painkiller, such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Avoid NSAIDS as they may interfere with tooth movement.
You can expect some degree of tooth mobility during Invisalign treatment. This is due to the controlled inflammation the aligners create around the teeth in order to be able to move them.
What To Expect After the Invisalign Treatment is Done?
After the Invisalign treatment is finished, the attachments will be removed and your teeth will be scanned for Vivera retainers. The purpose of the retainers is to hold the teeth in the newly established position until the bone around them solidifies. The usual guideline is 20-22 hours wear in the first 4 to 6 months, followed by night time only wear for life.
Once finished with daytime wear, you may consider in office whitening with our ZOOM! whitening system, to give your smile a complete makeover.
The Vivera retainers can also be used for at-home whitening touchups to maintain a bright smile. In addition, night time retainer wear protects your teeth from teeth grinding and clenching and can act as a night guard.
If any restorative or cosmetic dental treatment is needed, it is recommended that it be completed first, before the teeth are scanned for retainer fit.
The following are some of the bite variations that can be fixed with Invisalign clear aligners and result in complete transformation of your smile without compromise: open bite, underbite, gap teeth, overbite, crossbite and crowded teeth.
Who Can Use Clear Teeth aligners?
Invisalign treatment can be a great solution for both adults and teens looking for a virtually invisible method to improve their smile. Invisalign clear aligners make it possible to correct common teeth-straightening and bite issues, from simple to complex - all without interrupting your busy life.
Does your smile look like this?
From simple to complex cases, Invisalign clear aligners can transform your smile.
What Are the Benefits of Invisalign Treatment?
Invisalign treatment is much more than a pretty smile. Crowded teeth are more difficult to clean, causing build-up of plaque that causes gingivitis and may lead to bone loss and periodontal disease. Invisalign clear aligners align teeth, improve periodontal hygiene, and are non-evasive, resulting in easier teeth cleaning. They are permanent solution and effective treatment to get beautiful, straight teeth with no diet restrictions.
Invisalign clear aligners can effectively treat cases of misaligned and crooked teeth with different complexity. Give us a call today to take the first step towards a healthy and happy smile.
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