Invisalign Treatment Process
Talk to an Invisalign Provider
Your treatment begins after you select the experienced Invisalign Preferred Provider that you feel most comfortable with and schedule your initial consultation. Because you will be interacting with this doctor on a regular basis, you may even want to personally meet with a few providers in order to find one that is exactly right for you. This is an important medical and financial decision that's why choosing the right doctor and the right treatment plan is so essential. Keep in mind that not all dentists and orthodontists work with Invisalign, so it's important to find a doctor who has received the proper Invisalign training and can truly evaluate your needs and determine how Invisalign can help you.
During the consultation, you and your doctor will discuss your case in detail to determine if you're a good candidate for Invisalign. Invisalign now addresses many cases, from simple to more complex. Your doctor will determine if Invisalign is right for you. (Take the Smile Assessment ahead of time to see if you might be a good candidate.) This will also be your opportunity to ask any questions you have about the treatment: costs, dental/orthodontic insurance, or any other concerns. See which doctors in your area are Invisalign Providers.
Getting Started with Invisalign
Your doctor will take x-rays, pictures and impressions of your teeth, which Invisalign will use to create a digital 3-D image of them. From these images your doctor will map out a precise treatment plan, including the exact movements of your teeth. Using this same technology, your doctor will even be able to show you a virtual representation of how your teeth will move with each stage of treatment.
Getting Your Custom Invisalign Aligners
Based on your individual treatment plan, a series of custom-made, clear aligners are then created specifically for you. These aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable BPA-free plastic that won't irritate your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces often do. Simply wear them throughout the day, and remove them when you eat or to brush and floss your teeth. As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth gently and gradually begin to shift into place. And because they're virtually invisible, most people won't even notice you're wearing them.
A Simple Process With Only Occasional Invisalign Checkups
Approximately every two weeks, you will begin wearing a new set of aligners, advancing you to the next stage of your treatment. To monitor your progress, you will also have occasional checkups with your doctor, usually only every six weeks or so. At every stage, you will be able to see how much closer you are to having the smile that reflects the real you.
Length of Time For Invisalign
While every case is unique to each patient, treatment typically takes approximately a year for adults. For teens, the length of treatment is comparable to that of braces, but since your teeth won't be covered by wires and brackets, you'll be able to see improvement much sooner. For best results and a timely outcome, you should wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, throughout your entire treatment.
Can Invisalign Help My Situation?
Here are some of the main conditions Invisalign currently treats. But if there is a specific dental problem that you do not see addressed here, please contact your Invisalign Provider for more information to see if Invisalign is right for you.
Gaps between teeth can occur with abnormal continued growth of the jawbone. Missing teeth can also cause the surrounding teeth to shift due to the extra space, creating gaps in your teeth. Spacing issues and gaps between teeth can lead to gum problems (due to lack of protection by the teeth), periodontal pockets and increased risk of periodontal disease.
What people commonly refer to as an "overbite" is known to dental professionals as "overjet." It occurs when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. Its typically caused by genetics, bad oral habits, or overdevelopment of the bone that supports the teeth. This can lead to gum problems or irritation, and/or wear on the lower teeth, and can cause painful jaw and joint problems.
Underbite can occur when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth. Its usually caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or both. It can also be caused by missing upper teeth. This can prevent the normal function of front teeth or molars, which can lead to tooth wear. It can also cause painful jaw and joint problems.
Open bite often occurs when some teeth are unable to make physical contact with the opposing teeth for a proper bite. Most often caused by a genetic abnormal jaw structure or excessive thumb-sucking, an open bite can cause poor or painful chewing, and even speech impairment. It can also lead to greater issues like thermo-mandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Teeth crowding occurs when there is simply a lack of room within your jaw for all of your teeth to fit normally. When left untreated, overly crowded teeth can get worse over time, and result in severely crooked teeth. This crowding can lead to plaque accumulation, tooth decay and an increased chance of gum disease.
Crossbite can occur when the upper and lower jaws are both misaligned. It causes one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth, and can happen on both the front and the sides of the mouth. This can cause wear of the teeth, gum disease and bone loss.
How Will Having Invisalign Affect Me?
The aligners are easily removable, so you can continue to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would. Cleaning your aligners is just as easy with the Invisalign cleaning kit. Or you can simply brush and rinse them in lukewarm water. Thats it! Achieving that great smile couldnt be easier!
You'll also remove the aligners each time you eat. This means you can continue to eat all the foods you love without any restrictions or worrying about food getting stuck in your wires and brackets. With other teeth-straightening methods, the simple act of eating can often be troublesome.
For those who are active in contact sports, Invisalign allows you to continue wearing your aligners without having to worry about any sharp brackets cutting your mouth. If your sport requires wearing a protective mouthguard, simply remove your aligners and you're good to go.
Your bedtime routine can continue as before, with the simple addition of cleaning your aligners. You wont be struggling with trying to floss and brush in between brackets and wires, which can be time-consuming.
Invisalign vs. Braces
With regular braces, you may experience some or all of the following: pain, discomfort, mouth sores or injuries caused by the brace wires, tooth decay (from inadequate brushing and flossing), plaque buildup, tooth discoloration, tooth/bracket breakage, or difficulty eating. As if that weren not enough, there are also the personal sacrifices - popcorn, chips, bagels, hard-crusted bread, pizza crust, pretzel, nuts, certain candies, plus apples, carrots, corn on the cob, and more.
Invisalign Comfort & Convenience
With Invisalign, the aligner trays are not only smooth and comfortable to wear, but they are also removable. That means you can continue doing all the things you normally would, from brushing and flossing, to eating whatever you like. With other devices, brushing and flossing properly can often take up to 30 minutes!
Special occasion coming up? No problem - just take your aligners out for that time and pop them back in when you're ready. Of course, even when you're wearing them, most people won't even know you're going through treatment, because they are virtually invisible!
Invisalign Health Benefits
Swollen, red gums can often be the result of having teeth that are crowded or too widely spaced. Unfortunately, these are also signs of periodontal disease. When teeth are properly aligned, it helps the gums fit more securely around the teeth, allowing for the strongest and healthiest defense against potential periodontal problems. That is where Invisalign comes in. The comfortable and clear aligners gently and gradually begin to move your teeth into the proper position - without unsightly brackets and wires.