What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the brand name of an alternative to traditional metal braces that is especially popular with adult patients. These clear plastic retainers gradually shift your teeth into the desired position without ever having to deal with brackets, rubber bands, or wires. If you’re interested in discrete orthodontic treatment, schedule an evaluation to see if Invisalign is right for you.
Many people refer to Invisalign as invisible braces, but this isn’t actually braces at all. Instead, you wear a clear plastic aligner for a set interval and then replace it with another one customized just for you. Before you get Invisalign, your dentist uses three dimensional imaging to determine your treatment plan. This information also helps the dental laboratory create your personalized set of Invisalign trays. Since the aligners are not secured in your mouth, you can easily remove them at any time. However, you should plan to wear them 22 to 23 hours a day for best results.
By far, the biggest advantages of Invisalign are the ability to disguise orthodontic treatment from others as well as removing them when desired. This gives you the flexibility to eat and drink your favorite foods and beverages without the fear of damage that exists with traditional braces. It’s also easier to brush your teeth since you can remove the aligners to do so. You should also make it a point to brush the aligners whenever you brush your teeth.
Invisalign trays are comfortable and won’t cause irritation to your cheeks, gums, lips, or mouth. Your dentist sends you home with a complete set of aligners, which means that you won’t have to come in for a check-up or adjustments as often as you would with typical braces. At the start of your treatment, you will have the opportunity to view exactly how your teeth will shift and how your smile will eventually appear on a computer monitor.
What to Expect from Invisalign Treatment
Typically, patients receive between 18 and 30 aligners at the start of their orthodontic treatment with Invisalign. You will wear each retainer for approximately two weeks before exchanging it for the next one. Each time you put in a new retainer, it means that your teeth are gradually shifting into their new position. Your treatment is complete once you have reached the last retainer. During the course of your treatment, you will need to visit your orthodontist about once every six weeks to check your progress. The average treatment time with Invisalign is 18 months, compared to 24 months for traditional braces.