For many people, the idea of wearing metal braces to straighten their teeth is unappealing. The brackets are uncomfortable, the wires cause irritation, and they’re highly visible, which can be off-putting for those already self-conscious about their smile. A popular alternative is Invisalign, an orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear, removable, customized aligners that gradually shift your teeth into the correct position. These aligners do away with metal brackets and wires, have no food restrictions, and are practically invisible, making them a much more comfortable and discreet experience.
What Materials Are Used to Create Invisalign’s Clear Aligners?
The clear aligners used in Invisalign treatment are made from a smooth, BPA-free plastic called SmartTrack. This medical-grade, multilayer polyurethane plastic, is exclusively used with Invisalign treatment and is clinically proven to “move teeth 50% faster, with 75% more predictability”1. Aligners made with SmartTrack material deliver a uniform, low-intensity movement that keeps you comfortable, while ensuring an excellent and precise fit that other off-brand aligners can’t achieve.
Who Is Eligible For Invisalign Treatment?
Invisalign can correct a wide range of dental issues, and is suitable for both adults and teens. If any of the following describes your smile, then Invisalign can help:
- You want generally straighter teeth.
- You have crowded teeth due to a smaller jaw.
- The top and bottom teeth don’t meet, creating an open bite.
- There is extra spacing between your teeth (gaps).
- Your upper and lower jaws don’t line up, creating a crossbite.
- Your lower teeth protrude past your upper teeth, creating an underbite.
- Your upper teeth overlap your lower teeth, creating an overbite.
While Invisalign can be used to correct any of the misalignments above, it’s important to get an evaluation with us, which includes an examination and x-rays of your teeth, as this helps us determine if Invisalign is right for you.
What’s the First Step In the Invisalign Process?
Before Invisalign treatment begins, we’ll create a personalized treatment plan for you. This includes taking x-rays and impressions of your teeth to create a 3D image of your mouth, which is used to determine how your teeth need to shift and how long the alignment will take. The impressions are sent off to the Invisalign laboratory, where your clear aligners are custom-made for you. It will take approximately 2-3 weeks for your custom-made aligners to be sent back to us.
How Does Wearing Invisalign’s Clear Aligners Work?
When your clear aligners come in, we’ll complete a fit check with you and make any adjustments necessary for the perfect fit. Each set of aligners should be worn for about 1-2 weeks for at least 20-22 hours a day, with removal being brief for things like eating, brushing, and flossing your teeth. You will be given the full set of aligners for your treatment plan, with a detailed guide on how long each aligner should be worn for.
How It Feels During Day-to-Day Wear
The first set of clear aligners are going to feel tight on your teeth, and you may experience mild discomfort from the pressure they put on your teeth. As the aligners precisely and gently begin to shift your teeth into their correct positions, this pressure and tightness will gradually fade, and the aligners will feel looser and more comfortable.
You may be tempted to switch to the next set of aligners early when the first set becomes loose; don’t do this! Wear them for the full two weeks to give your teeth and gums time to adjust. As you progress through each set of aligners, wearing Invisalign will become more comfortable, and the tightness less noticeable. If you feel any significant discomfort or pain, schedule an appointment with us, and we’ll take a look to ensure a proper fit.
Follow-up Appointments & Treatment Length
Throughout your Invisalign treatment, we’ll schedule regular checkups every 4-6 weeks to monitor progress and ensure that your teeth are shifting as expected. The Invisalign treatment typically lasts between 9-15 months, with most individuals landing around the 12-month mark. But treatment time can vary depending on age, alignment issues, and whether Invisalign is used as a standalone treatment or combined with other forms of orthodontics.
What Are the Advantages of Invisalign?
In addition to being comfortable and discreet, Invisalign offers several advantages over traditional braces.
- Invisalign aligners are removable, which means you can take them out to eat and brush your teeth as usual, without having to worry about the extra steps and special tools needed with braces.
- Invisalign aligners also have fewer restrictions when it comes to your diet, since they can be easily removed when eating.
- Invisalign also allows for better oral hygiene, as there are no brackets or wires to trap food particles and make cleaning difficult.
- Invisalign offers a shorter treatment time, with most cases taking around 1 year to complete, compared to the 2-3 years it takes with traditional braces.
- Getting Invisalign saves you time, as there are fewer adjustments involved and fewer checkups are required, as there’s no need to change out wires or replace broken brackets.
- No one knows you’re wearing them, and they won’t irritate your teeth or gums!
What Is the Cost of Invisalign Clear Aligners?
The cost of Invisalign treatment varies from case to case, and depends on the severity of your alignment issues and how long it will take to correct them. Invisalign can be an economical alternative to traditional braces, as treatment takes less time. Your treatment may also be partially covered by your dental insurance, and we have financing options available.
What Can I Expect After Invisalign Treatment?
After Invisalign treatment is completed, you’ll have a beautifully aligned smile that you can proudly show off! With successful completion, you’ll be given a custom-made retainer to wear either at night or during the day, that will help maintain your new smile.
If you’re considering Invisalign treatment, we’d love to meet with you and discuss your options. Invisalign can benefit patients of all ages and can correct a wide range of alignment issues. Schedule an appointment with us to learn more and find out if Invisalign is the right fit for you!
1Practice And Treatment Solutions | Invisalign Provider. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2022, from https://www.invisalign.com/provider/treatment-solutions