Curious about Invisalign orthodontic treatment? Learn more about how it works and if it might be the right treatment for you.
Up until roughly two decades ago, people who wanted to straighten their misaligned teeth had only one option: unsightly and painful metal braces. But that all changed in 1997 when Invisalign hit the market, making it possible for patients to effectively correct their smile with a clear, comfortable orthodontic device.
Invisalign is a transparent tray that fits over your teeth and gradually moves them into their proper placement. Invisalign treatment straightens teeth within a year to 18 months. However, it may not be suitable for severe orthodontic problems, which often still require braces. Invisalign works best for gapped teeth, crowded teeth, or mild overbites. A dentist with experience in Invisalign treatment can help you decide if it’s right for you.
How Invisalign Works
To get a precise picture of your teeth alignment, your dentist will use a 3D iTeroⓇ scanner and digital X-rays, along with photos of your face and teeth. The combination of these images provides a guide as to which teeth need to be shifted into better alignment. The Invisalign manufacturer then uses these images to shape the clear tray that will realign your teeth. Important to note, Invisalign is made to rearrange your teeth as you want them to be corrected, so the tray won’t match with your teeth alignment at first.
After about two weeks, your personalized Invisalign device is sent to the doctor. The tray is made of SmartTrackⓇ material that gently but forcefully nudges the misaligned teeth into their determined positions. As the teeth continue to shift, you’ll visit the doctor every two weeks or so to get examined for a new Invisalign tray that will further push the teeth into the proper arrangement.
During treatment, you’ll be asked to follow some guidelines. You must wear the tray for 22 hours each day, leaving a few hours free to take them out to brush your teeth and clean the aligner. The tray should also be removed when you eat or drink anything other than water, but there are no restrictions on what you can eat.
The majority of Invisalign users report no discomfort associated with the tray. One study surveyed 54 patients about Invisalign treatment — more than 80 percent of patients said they became accustomed to the device after a week, with 35 percent experiencing no pain. About 50 percent reported mild pain, which lasted about two to three days after getting a new tray. Most of the survey respondents also said that Invisalign did not impair their speech.
Perhaps the top advantage of Invisalign over braces is the fact that the tray is invisible — nobody can see the device as you would be able to when wearing bulky braces. Much like braces, however, you’ll also have to wear a retainer after the Invisalign process. Since teeth sometimes change position even following braces or Invisalign therapy, you’ll have to wear your clear, custom-made retainer to ensure your new smile stays in place.
We’re Invisalign Experts
Here at Espire Dental, we provide our patients with expert Invisalign treatment and guidance for any orthodontic concerns you may have. We’ll examine your teeth to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for your needs, and can answer any questions about the therapy. Our patients deserve an orthodontic treatment that is quick, painless, and invisible. Don’t wait any longer for a beautiful smile — contact our office for a consultation so we can get you started with Invisalign today.