What is Invisalign
Invisalign is a revolutionary system that uses a series of custom made clear, plastic aligners to gently shift your teeth into position without the hassle of unsightly metal braces.
There are a variety of dental conditions that can be corrected using Invisalign. These include:
- Open bite
- Crowded teeth
- Gap teeth
- Misaligned teeth
Invisalign vs. Traditional Metal Braces
Both braces and Invisalign are designed to help straighten your teeth, which can improve your smile as well as your overall oral health. Traditional metal braces have been available for decades, while Invisalign was first introduced in the 1990s.
Traditional braces consist of metal or ceramic brackets, which are cemented to the front of each tooth and connected to a wire using small rubber bands. Though modern day braces are less cumbersome than their predecessors, they are still clunky and difficult to maintain. Many patients who wear braces have trouble cleaning in and around the brackets, which can trap food particles and other debris. Individuals with braces are not able to eat certain foods, such as hard, crunchy, or sticky foods. Braces can only be removed by a dentist or orthodontist, and require adjustments every four to six weeks.
Invisalign consists of clear, barely visible plastic aligners, and offer a discreet way to straighten your teeth. They can be removed when necessary for eating and cleaning, making it easier for you to maintain a good oral health routine. There are no restrictions on what you can eat, though you will need to remove your liners every time you eat or drink anything besides water, and you will need to brush your teeth thoroughly after every meal to avoid getting food trapped between your teeth and your aligners. Aligners need to be worn for twenty to twenty-two hours per day to achieve the best results.
One benefit traditional braces have over Invisalign is that they can be used to address highly complex issues that involve teeth rotation and other complicated problems that Invisalign is not designed to address. Your dentist will be able to determine if your dental issues can be fixed with Invisalign, or if you require traditional braces.
How Invisalign Works
Once your dentist has determined that Invisalign is a good choice for you they will use Invisalign’s iTero Element scanner to capture detailed images of your teeth. These images, which take only a short time to capture, are then stitched together to create an accurate 3D model of your teeth, which will form the blueprint for your custom Invisalign clear aligners.
Your dentist will feed your 3D model into Invisalign’s ClinClick software, which allows them to fine tune the shifting of each tooth so that they can create a road map to guide your teeth while your smile is being straightened. Once this road map is complete, your dentist can show you a preview of your smile, so that you can see the results before you begin.
Once your road map is finished your dentist will send that information to Invisalign. Invisalign will then create a series of custom aligners that are specifically tailored to your dental needs and goals.
You will wear each set of aligners for between one and two weeks, depending on the specific recommendations of your dentist. To achieve your best results, you should be wearing your aligners for between twenty and twenty-two hours per day.
Your dentist will track your progress by scheduling check-ups with you every six to eight weeks, during which you will also be able to pick up your next set of aligners.
As you shift from one set of aligners to the next, you may experience a small amount of discomfort or pressure for the first few days. This is perfectly normal and is not a cause for concern.
Invisalign aligners for teens are manufactured with blue compliance indicators. This helps parents ensure that their children are wearing their aligners for enough time each day.
Caring for Your Invisalign Liners
Your Invisalign aligners will require some special care and attention to keep them in good shape and ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy.
You will need to remove your aligners before you eat or drink anything aside from water, and brush your teeth before you put them back in. This prevents food particles and other debris from becoming trapped between your teeth and your aligners and prevents your aligners from becoming stained.
You will need to rinse your aligners and give them a gentle brush with your toothbrush each night before you go to bed. Cleaning your aligners removes any food particles or other debris that has built up on them over the course of the day, and ensures that your aligners stay fresh and clean. Your dentist will also provide you with the Invisalign cleaning system to help ensure that your aligners remain clean.
Invisalign aligners will not interfere with your regular at-home oral hygiene routine. Simply remove your aligners and set them aside while you floss and brush your teeth as usual. Once your teeth and your aligners are clean, you can put your aligners back in before you go to bed or start your day.
To determine if Invisalign is a suitable option for your dental needs, please contact West 85th Dental or book an appointment.