Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, include no metal and are custom made for your teeth. They work in a series of trays that gradually shift your teeth into place. Each tray is manufactured so that the teeth are slightly straighter than the previous tray. Your teeth will typically move up to 0.25 mm per tray. Every two weeks, you will receive a new set, slowly moving your teeth towards their ideal positions.
Simply pop the trays in and you’re ready to go! No uncomfortable and unsightly brackets necessary. Invisalign aligners are clear and barely noticeable, which makes them perfect for both adults and teens who want a more discreet straightening option.
How does Invisalign work?
You wear each set of clear aligners for about two weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move – little by little, week by week – until they have straightened to their final positions.
You’ll visit us about once every six weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time averages 9-15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30, but both will vary from case to case.
How Long Does Invisalign Last?
For starters, your treatment plan with Invisalign will be unique. The multi-phase treatment starts with an online Smile Assessment, which will help you see if Invisalign is right for you. Your next step is to make an appointment with an Invisalign Provider, where your doctor will determine what needs to be done to create the smile you deserve. They will develop a custom treatment plan that involves a series of invisible aligners that are meant to be changed out every so often. These aligners gradually move your teeth into the desired position and need to be switched out according to a schedule your doctor will provide for you.
In addition to changing out your aligners on schedule, you’ll visit your doctor every four to six weeks to make sure that your treatment is on track and your progression is where it should be. Invisalign moves your teeth gradually by controlled force with your aligners, but timing is crucial, as only certain teeth move at certain times (in other words, you won’t be moving around an entire mouthful of teeth at the same time).
For adult patients, treatment generally averages 12 months. For teens, this time can vary. For both types of patients, your specific treatment plan is custom tailored to your dental history, your goals and your individual needs.
The Timeline Also Depends on You
Although you receive an expected timeframe of your Invisalign treatment during your first visits with your doctor, it’s important to note that the actual time of treatment also depends on how much you stay on track. You have to change your aligners at the right time and keep your scheduled appointments. And while it may be tempting to cease wearing your aligners because your teeth “look straight,” it’s extremely important to wear them until your doctor says you can stop.
Invisalign Is Long-Lasting
After your treatment ends and your smile is where it should be, your Invisalign experience may not be completely over. No matter what type of orthodontic treatment you’ve received, you’re usually advised to wear retainers to avoid your teeth shifting back to where they started out. This helps maintain the results, protect your investment and keep your teeth where they should be.
As long as you keep up with the treatment regimen, visit your doctor on a regular basis, change your aligners on schedule, and wear retainers if/when needed, Invisalign should last a lifetime, without the hassle of metal brackets, visible braces, painful wires, and frequent doctor visits.
What to Expect During the Invisalign Process
After your consultation, your doctor will perform a digital scan to create a customized treatment plan for you using precise 3D images of your teeth to map out their movements over the course of your treatment. These images are then used to create your custom-made aligners. The smooth, BPA-free plastic is non-irritating and comfortable for constant wear. About every two weeks, you will graduate to your next set of aligners, until your teeth have shifted into their final spots, revealing your most perfect smile!
See Your End Results with iTero Element 3D Scanner
The iTero Element Scanner is a state-of-the-art digital impression system that eliminates the need for messy putty in your mouth. The 3D scanner takes an incredibly detailed impression of your teeth and gums. Once the scan is complete, the Creating Smiles Dental team will then have a 3D model of your mouth that can be used to create your Invisalign® clear aligners and retainers. This digital accuracy eliminates the need to retake impressions, keeping your time in the chair to an absolute minimum.
The aligners straighten teeth through the use of patented thermoplastic design. Invisalign not only controls the force used to straighten teeth, but it also controls the timing of force application. Only a few teeth are moved during each stage — this is determined by your doctor as they map out your individual treatment plan.
Straightening your teeth can improve the look of your smile, and it may also improve your dental health. Properly aligned teeth are less crowded and easier to brush, floss and keep clean. When considering braces, Invisalign clear braces offers a lot of benefits — health and otherwise — over metal braces.
- Greater convenience and few limitations
- Just as effective as traditional braces
- Less time spent at an orthodontist appointment
- Increased confidence
- Improved oral hygiene (if you take care of your new smile!)
You may feel embarrassed to wear braces as an adult. Invisalign is clear, fits firmly onto the teeth and can be removed. Invisalign allows you to be confident while doing all the things you love to do and need to do. You can even enjoy any meal you wish; unlike metal braces, which have long lists of forbidden food, Invisalign has no such restrictions.
When orthodontist recommendations are followed, these clear braces can be just as effective as metal braces. Invisalign has been proven to be successful in correcting both mild and severe cases of misaligned teeth, so the chances are high that you could benefit from Invisalign.
Metal braces require orthodontic appointments to adjust bands and wires. With Invisalign, you only visit every 4-6 weeks to receive new sets of aligners and check on the progress of your teeth.
Think Your Teeth are Too Crooked for Invisalign?
Have you had an Invisalign consultation and been told you were not a candidate? You should get a second opinion. If you’re wondering who can be treated with Invisalign, the answer is simple. Virtually all cases, no matter how difficult, can be treated with Invisalign. Even if you were turned down in the past, new technology and updated techniques could have you saying goodbye to traditional braces and hello to clear braces.
New PROPEL Technology Treats Very Difficult Cases
With so many advancements in dental technology, it’s easier than ever to straighten teeth. The most effective treatment currently available combines Invisalign braces with PROPEL, often called “accelerated orthodontics.”
PROPEL is a cutting-edge technology that reduces treatment time significantly, by up to 60% in some cases. By stimulating bone remodeling, PROPEL enables us to treat more complicated cases with Invisalign. The ten-minute in-office procedure requires no recovery time. With PROPEL, teeth move more smoothly and predictably, so you can flash your perfect smile in less time.
Straightening Your Teeth May Be Good for Your Health
Straightening your teeth can work wonders on your smile, but did you also know it may help lower your risk of developing serious diseases?
“Crooked, crowded or unevenly spaced teeth are harder to keep clean and tend to harbor more food and bacteria,” said Dr. Jacqueline Fulop-Goodling, an orthodontics specialist in New York. “This can lead to an increase in plaque and bacteria in the mouth which can cause decay and periodontal disease, a bacterial infection of the gums, bone and periodontal ligament that can enter the bloodstream, travel to major organs and cause systemic complications.”
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease may contribute to the development of heart disease and increase the risk of stroke. Gum disease may also increase the risk of premature birth and low birth weight and pose a serious threat to people whose health is already compromised due to diabetes, respiratory diseases or osteoporosis.
Properly aligned teeth can help keep plaque and tartar from building up. Plaque and tartar are known causes of gum disease. Straight teeth help gums “fit” tighter around them and also make it easier to brush and floss, which leads to better gum health.
With today’s advances in orthodontic technology, straightening crooked teeth is easier and less noticeable than ever before.
Invisalign, for instance, is a popular technique that straightens teeth using a series of custom-made, clear and removable aligners. Clinical studies show that gum health may improve using Invisalign over other forms of teeth-straightening techniques. Because there are no brackets or wires to worry about, patients can take out their “braces” after meals to brush and floss.
Additional health benefits of straightening teeth include improved chewing and speech and less stress on supporting bone and jaw joints.
Additional Invisalign Resources
- Straightening Your Teeth May Be Good for Your Health
- Invisalign Treatment Provides Many Benefits
- How to Best Care for Teeth with Braces
- Straightening Your Teeth Just Got Easier — and Faster