Invisalign® is a way to straighten your teeth without the conventional braces technique using wires and brackets. Using a series of clear, customized, removable appliances, called aligners, we can move your teeth in stages and get you to the smile you desire. It's virtually undetectable, which means hardly anyone will know that you're straightening your teeth.
Using models of your mouth and photographs, customized aligners will be created specific to your mouth and situation. After our Align Technology certified staff takes your records, we will send them to Invisalign where they use our precise treatment instructions and advanced computer technology to make the aligners. We give you three aligners at a time at our office and you will wear each one for on average 2 weeks. As you move through aligners, your teeth will begin to move gradually and will continue until the desired outcome is achieved.
Q. How often must I wear my aligners?
A. For best results, you must wear your aligners for no less than 22 hours a day. You only should remove them for eating and regular oral hygiene.
Q. Are there any restrictions during treatment?
A. No! Unlike braces, you may eat and drink whatever you like AS LONG AS you remove the aligners before doing so. This includes gum-it is recommended you remove aligners while chewing gum, since it will stick to them. Before placing aligners back on your teeth after eating, it is important you brush your teeth and the aligners.
Q. Will wearing aligners affect how I talk?
A. There is a short period of time where you will need to get used to talking with aligners. The more you practice with them, the faster your speech will return to normal.
Q. Will my aligners be uncomfortable?
A. There will be some pressure and discomfort for a few days after each initial insertion of a new aligner. This is a sign that your teeth are moving to a new position closer to your final goal.
Q. How do I clean my aligners?
A. You can brush them with toothpaste. Brush your aligners when you brush and floss your teeth. This will keep them tasting and smelling fresh and clean.
Q. How often do I see my dentist during my treatment?
A. Regular office visits will be scheduled every 4 weeks. Between these appointments you will transition thru 2-3 aligners at home. The visits will ensure treatment is staying on track and progressing as planned. If you have a problem or question with an aligner, you can schedule a visit before the scheduled 4 week check up appointment. It is important that you keep every scheduled appointment, as missing them will delay progress in your treatment.
Q. What happens during my check up appointments?
A. You will be given your next three aligners and occasionally we will take a new impression of your mouth to monitor the progress of treatment and determine if treatment modifications need to be made.
Q. What happens if I lose or break an aligner?
A. Contact our office and we will determine the best way to handle the situation. If you are close to the time you will be moving to your next aligner, we may move you into that one. If you still have to wear your current aligner for awhile, the aligner will need to be replaced. Since the new aligner will be made and sent to us from Invisalign, you will have to wait a few days. During this time, it is important that you wear the previous aligner to maintain the position of your teeth. You will be responsible for a replacement fee, and since there is a waiting period for the replacement, the progress of treatment will be delayed. For these reasons, we ask you to take good care of your aligners.
Q. What happens after my treatment is complete?
A. You will need retainers. Our office gives you two sets (top and bottom) of complimentary removable retainers after you complete treatment. For the majority of cases, we recommend you wear your retainers just like your aligners (22 hours a day, only taking them out to eat and oral hygiene) for the first 6 months after your treatment is complete. After 6 months, you will need to wear them at night for the rest of your life. Sleeping with your retainers will ensure your new, healthy bite is maintained. All orthodontic cases (Invisalign is no exception) will have a 100% chance of some relapse if retention is not observed. You don’t want to go through all of this work to get the smile you want just to go back to where you were before!
Besides retention, you may want to consider cosmetic dentistry after you complete your Invisalign treatment. The dentist may recommend crowns, veneers, bridges, or implants to enhance your smile outcome after straightening your teeth. Your aligners and retainers can also be used as whitening trays, so you can also invest in our teeth whitening program during and after your treatment.
Q. How long does Invisalign treatment take?
A. Treatment time is different for everyone and varies based on the severity of misaligned teeth. Invisalign treatment is commonly shorter than traditional braces, and averages between 6 and 30 months.
Q. Is Invisalign for everyone?
A. No. Some cases are too severe for our plastic aligners and will need additional equipment or treatment measures to fix the misalignment. The best way to determine if you are a candidate for Invisalign is make an appointment at our office, where we can consult with you and tell you your options. We may refer you to an orthodontist or oral surgeon if your case needs additional components.
While Invisalign isn’t for everyone, it still is available as treatment for many people. While children are not able to have Invisalign, teenagers can use them. If your teenager would like straight teeth, we have special Invisalign® Teen aligners that have wear indicators to make sure your teen is wearing them like they are supposed to and are designed to accommodate growing mouths. You are also never “too old” to fix your misalignments and we offer Invisalign® Assist and Invisalign® Full for all adult ages.
Straightening misaligned teeth with Invisalign doesn’t just improve your smile esthetically. It can prevent future tooth wear and damage, gum recession and inflammation, and some TMJ issues. Properly aligned teeth can create a stable foundation for successful, long term oral health. If you believe you are a candidate or would like to learn more, please consider contacting our office for a consultation. If you want to learn more about Invisalign outside of our office, please visit www.invisalign.com.