For many years, traditional metal braces were the most common option to correct orthodontic issues. Dental technology, specifically in orthodontics, has advanced throughout the years, and there are now multiple different methods available when it comes to treatment.
Deciding on Invisalign can be an exciting time for patients. The decision to embark on a journey with Invisalign clear braces over traditional braces can also be overwhelming, and you may not know what to expect. Invisalign clear braces can be an effective treatment option for teens and adults with mild to moderate orthodontic needs.
Treatment consists of a series of custom-made trays that apply gentle pressure to the teeth to shift them into proper alignment. The transparent aligners can help to put each tooth on a straighter path without interrupting your lifestyle.
Invisalign clear braces can help treat misalignment issues, overcrowding, gaps, overbites, underbites, and more. Results may vary, so it’s important to discuss all available options with your dentist. If you happen to both determine that Invisalign is an appropriate treatment method for your specific orthodontic needs, this particular article may help answer any questions you might have.
When arriving at your initial appointment, it’s understandable that you may be wondering what happens — so let’s break down what to expect.
Let the journey begin! At your initial consultation, you will meet with your dentist to help create a custom-tailored treatment plan to assist with your specific orthodontic needs. First, your dentist will complete a quick 3D digital scan of your teeth, followed by photographs and diagnostic digital X-rays.
You will then meet with a treatment coordinator and your dentist to discuss the personalized treatment plan options. Now is the time to ask any questions you may have regarding treatment, including Invisalign costs. Invisalign is an investment and, you must make sure that the price is within your budget. Be sure to discuss potential payment plans the practice may offer and if your third-party insurance coverage will apply to your treatment.
You’ve decided on Invisalign treatment — now what?
Custom-fit clear aligners, made from medical-grade plastic, are designed and developed from the 3D digital scans, photographs, and X-rays taken at the initial consultation. Your dentist will ensure that the aligners properly fit and provide detailed guidelines and tips to make the transition to Invisalign as seamless as possible. Your dentist will also teach you how to insert and remove the aligner trays and provide helpful suggestions on caring for them properly.
Depending on your orthodontic needs and how much movement is required, you may need to wear attachments or buttons. The attachments are either bonded or glued to the enamel of your teeth in the same shade. The Invisalign trays will attach to the buttons to assist with shifting and may accelerate the treatment progress. And don’t worry, the buttons will be removed when your treatment is complete.
The adjustment period
Getting used to the aligners will take no longer than a few days, and your dentist will likely advise using over-the-counter pain medication to ease any discomfort you may experience. But don’t get too comfortable! Aligners are typically changed every two weeks, depending on your treatment plan, to the next set in the series.
It’s important to remember that the discomfort experienced during Invisalign treatment is minimal. The sole purpose of orthodontic treatment is to shift the teeth and jaw into proper alignment by applying pressure. A few helpful tips are to change to your new set of aligners before bed, choose soft foods until your teeth adjust, try to limit the amount of time the trays are out of your mouth, and most importantly, stay on schedule.
Invisalign clear braces are an investment, and patient compliance is crucial for successful treatment outcomes. The most important part of treatment is to ensure that you are wearing the aligners between 20 to 22 hours each day.
Keeping your aligner trays clean is a crucial part of your overall treatment plan. Each time you remove your trays to eat or drink anything other than water, you should brush your teeth and your aligners before reinserting. Unlike traditional braces, you do not have to adjust or restrict your diet, but it’s important for food to never remain in your teeth while wearing your aligners.
Watch your smile transform
Many patients are surprised to see results quickly in their treatment. A bonus of wearing Invisalign clear braces is that you can watch your teeth shift and your smile transform right before your eyes. Treatment times vary from patient to patient, depending on the case. A typical Invisalign treatment may range from four months to 24 months, and the average time investment is usually around 12 to 15 months.
It’s important to remember that Invisalign clear braces may not be the most suitable treatment option for everyone. Since there’s no way to tell on your own, be sure to speak with your dental professional about all options that would be best suited for your orthodontic needs.