Traditional metal braces were once the only orthodontic treatment option for straightening teeth. Patients had to put up with years of discomfort from metal brackets and wires, along with the inconvenience of not being able to eat certain foods and having to brush and floss between wires. Thankfully, metal braces are no longer the only option available for achieving your dream smile! Here’s how Invisalign works.
Your First Appointment
We’ll evaluate your teeth and bite during your complimentary consultation to determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. The majority of patients are a fit for Invisalign therapy; however, patients with difficult cases may need traditional braces instead.
We will take digital impressions of your teeth and bite if you decide you want to move forward with Invisalign. These computerized scans take only a few minutes to complete and provide us with a more precise model of your mouth than the old method of using impression material and trays.
Your digital impressions are used to construct a three-dimensional model of your mouth on our computer. We can use this to show you a preview of how your teeth will look when Invisalign treatment is complete, but even more importantly, this is the model we’ll use to plan your orthodontic treatment.
Wearing Your Invisalign Aligners
After your dentist has created your treatment plan, it’s sent to Invisalign so they can fabricate your aligners. Once you start treatment, you’ll swap out your current aligners for the following set every two weeks, or as directed by your dentist. Invisalign aligners gently and predictably move your teeth into the ideal positions. Many patients who previously wore metal braces when they were teens say that Invisalign is far more comfortable!
Wear your aligners for at least 22 hours each day, removing them only for eating, drinking anything other than water, brushing, or flossing. Because Invisalign aligners only work when you wear them, it’s important to keep them in for the recommended amount of time each day to keep your treatment on the right track.
Every four to six weeks, you will have a check-up appointment at our office to make sure your teeth are moving as we’ve planned.
Your Invisalign Results
Most people need to wear Invisalign for 12 to 18 months, but the length of your treatment depends on the severity of your orthodontic case and your compliance in wearing your aligners for at least 22 hours each day.
When your treatment is complete, you’ll be provided a set of Vivera retainers, which are made of high-quality clear plastic and look almost identical to your aligners. For the first few weeks after treatment, you’ll have to wear your Vivera retainers all day, but after that, you’ll only need to wear them at night. This helps maintain the results of your Invisalign treatment so you can enjoy your beautiful new smile for decades to come!