Having straight teeth can be a huge boon to one’s self-image and confidence. However, if the orthodontic treatment requires one or more years of embarrassing metal hardware covering teeth, patients may be reluctant to seek treatment in the first place. At one point, this may have posed an unresolvable problem for those seeking a way to permanently straighten their teeth, but thanks to the innovation of Invisalign® invisible braces, patients can enjoy the benefits of a beautiful smile without any aesthetic hindrances during treatment.
If you are considering Invisalign® for your smile, it’s a good idea to first familiarize yourself with the treatment process. By understanding what to expect during each step of treatment, you can make a more informed decision about whether this orthodontic alternative is right for you.
Assessing Your Candidacy
When you first visit your dentist for an exam and consultation, it will be decided whether you are in fact a good candidate for Invisalign®. While Invisalign® offers similar results to conventional braces, it cannot yet tackle all of the problems that regular braces can address. Teeth that are impacted or severely rotated, for instance, cannot benefit from Invisalign® treatment, nor can complex bite problems. In order to definitively establish whether Invisalign® can help you, a preliminary assessment must be made at our office.
Creating Your Treatment Plan
Once you are deemed a good candidate for treatment, impressions can be taken of your teeth. Both physical and digital impressions will be taken, ensuring an accurate representation of your teeth and bite. From these, a 3-D model of your mouth will be created, from which your aligners and treatment plan will be created.
In one to two weeks, a series of aligners will be sent to your dentist and treatment can begin. The first set of aligners will be tested for a good fit, and your dentist will schedule intermittent check-ups to track your progress throughout the following months.
Wearing Your Aligners
Treatment is as simple as keeping your aligners in throughout most of the day. Because they are clear plastic trays that mold perfectly to the contours of your teeth, they are practically invisible. Once you get used to wearing them, you will forget that they are even there. When it comes time to eat or brush your teeth, though, they are easily removable. All other times, the aligners should be worn so that they may continue to shift teeth into place.
Unlike regular braces, aligners do not have to be adjusted or tightened in the dentist’s office. Instead, you will simply have to switch to a new set of aligners roughly every two weeks. The exact number of aligners, as well as how long each set should be worn, is determined by your individual treatment plan. If your dentist later determines that changes need to be made, these changes can be made accordingly.
How Long Will Treatment Last?
Invisalign® treatment is comparable in length to conventional orthodontic treatment. If you would need to wear braces for six months or two years, you can expect similar timelines from Invisalign®. The more consistently you wear your aligners, the more accurate (and short) your treatment projection will be. For a personal assessment of your treatment timeline, visit your dentist for an initial exam and consultation.
Is Invisalign® Right for You?
Invisalign® offers a variety of benefits to the right candidates. Aside from being aesthetically superior to conventional orthodontics, removable aligners allow patients to eat whatever they want and to maintain easy hygiene habits. By the time treatment is over, friends and even family may not know you were wearing anything over your teeth – only that your smile is now stunning.
For additional information on Invisalign® and whether it’s right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Emery.