What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® is an orthodontic treatment that straightens a patient’s teeth without the need for traditional braces. Users wear clear, removable aligners on the top and bottom teeth for 20 to 22 hours a day, taking them out only to eat and to brush and floss their teeth. Throughout the process teeth shift gradually, requiring patients to wear a new set every one to two weeks.
Good Candidates for Invisalign®
Teenagers and adults can benefit from Invisalign® treatment because their teeth are almost entirely finished erupting. The aligners have the ability to fix spaced or crowded teeth, in addition to issues with overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Cases that are too severe for Invisalign®, for instance cases that involve shifting the jaw, would require more advanced orthodontic procedures. But for many patients looking to straighten their teeth and who are willing to commit to wearing aligners daily, Invisalign® might be a good option.
How Invisalign® Works
Invisalign® treatment takes an average of 12 months to complete, but this can vary depending on the severity of the case and will be determined by your doctor. At your first appointment, your doctor will take special impressions or use an intraoral scanner to create precise 3D images of your teeth. The impressions or images will then be used to create models for your aligners. In some cases, additional attachments or ridges (small pieces of enamel-colored composite attached to your teeth to grip your aligners) may be required. Following treatment, most orthodontists will recommend a retainer to prevent any further shifting.
Benefits of Invisalign®
Invisalign® is a popular method for straightening teeth, largely due to the associated benefits. For one, the aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material, are virtually invisible. Additionally, the treatment may not require as many trips to the orthodontist as traditional braces. With each appointment, a patient will receive several new sets of aligners to last until the next appointment, about six to eight weeks later. Invisalign® also makes teeth cleaning much easier, since patients can remove the aligners to brush and floss. Lastly, the aligners are comfortable and shouldn’t cause any irritation to the patient’s mouth.