If you’ve been contemplating orthodontic treatment to give you a beautifully straightened smile, but want a less conspicuous option than traditional metal braces, Invisalign could be the answer!
What is Invisalign?
The Invisalign clear aligner system works to align teeth and improve oral health using a series of nearly invisible aligners that are also removable. The customized aligners are made by creating a precise 3D image of the teeth using x-rays and digital impressions. The trays are constructed of a smooth, comfortable plastic that is worn over the teeth, and are switched out weekly as the teeth gradually move into more desirable positions.
Invisalign has been proven to be just as effective as more traditional braces when used as directed, and its continued popularity means over 70% of orthodontists in the US and Canada are certified to treat patients with the system, including Kottemann Orthodontics. In fact, we are a Top 1% Invisalign provider, meaning our practice has treated at least 800 cases with the Invisalign system, and continues to treat 200 or more every year. As you can see, it’s a treatment option we believe in and stand behind!
What are the benefits of choosing Invisalign?
One of the best things about Invisalign is how easy it is to maintain the aligners. Because they are removed before eating or drinking anything other than water, there’s never any problem with food getting stuck in them. They’re also meant to be removed before brushing and flossing, making it easier to access the teeth and maintain an excellent dental hygiene routine.
Another benefit to the removability of the aligners is the lack of any food restrictions. This is one of the biggest learning curves with traditional braces, but with Invisalign, you can still eat all your favorite things! Aligners do need to be removed before all meals in order to avoid staining, and should be cleaned and rinsed out with warm water at least once or twice a day.
Invisalign aligners are made of a smooth plastic, with no wires of brackets to poke out and irritate the mouth. This lack of metal makes visits a little easier, too, since there are no adjustments that have to be made. Invisalign wearers attend follow-up visits about every 8-12 week, which tends to add up to fewer overall visits throughout the course of treatment.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign is a pretty straightforward process. Every set of customized aligners are worn for about a week, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, or floss. As each aligner is replaced with the next one in the series, the teeth will begin to move gradually, until they reach their final desired positions.
During visits with us, we will check to make sure treatment is progressing as planned. Patients must keep up with changing the aligners on time, and must also wear them as directed. This is an important part of the straightening process. The trays are custom designed to fit the unique dental needs of every patient, and are changed as frequently as they are in order to keep up with the shifting of the teeth as they begin to straighten. Skipping appointments or not changing aligners as scheduled can quickly undo any progress you’ve made.
Because Invisalign works in a slightly different and less invasive way than braces to straighten the teeth, we rarely have a concrete answer as to how long a patient will need to wear them before seeing results. The average tends to be somewhere between 6 and 18 months, but this can vary widely from case to case. Keep in mind that this average is calculated based on the patient following the recommended guidelines of wearing the aligners at least 20-22 hours every single day, throughout the entire course of treatment. Any deviation from this, however small, can add time to the overall process. The Invisalign system only works if patients stick to the program!
To learn more about Invisalign, or to find out if you are a good candidate for the system, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.