If you’re an adult interested in orthodontic treatment, you’ve probably heard whispers of Invisalign. This alternative orthodontic method offers all the straightening power of braces, without placing all that obtrusive metal across your smile. Confused as to how clear, plastic aligners could accomplish the same results as brackets and wires? This post will detail the Invisalign process and what prospective patients can expect. If you’ve ever hoped for a straighter smile, read on to decide whether this method is right for you.
Invisalign vs. Metal Braces
Both Invisalign and metal braces apply gradual pressure to teeth, slowly shifting them into new positions. They simply do so with very different mechanisms. With braces, brackets are bonded to your teeth, and remain in place throughout treatment. Each month, new wires are attached to those brackets. It’s the wires that perform the straightening – malleable when cold, these wires attempt to return to their original shapes once present in the mouth. Over time, teeth are slowly moved into new positions, improving the patient’s bite and smile.
Invisalign puts the same pressure on teeth, but does so without permanent brackets or noticeable wires. The clear trays may be removable, but they need to be worn 20-22 hours per day. While in place, the trays are gradually shifting teeth into predetermined positions. As long as the trays are worn consistently, they will straighten successfully.
The Ins and Outs of Columbia Invisalign Treatment
Each patient’s treatment will differ slightly, based on the malocclusion. But the general steps of Invisalign treatment remain the same. They include:
- Consultation and impressions. Before starting Invisalign treatment, you’ll need to determine that you’re a candidate (for more on Invisalign candidacy, see “Choosing Invisalign” below). Our Maryland Family Dentistry team will examine your teeth and decide whether Invisalign is the right orthodontic treatment. Once it’s approved, we’ll take impressions of your teeth so that a series of Invisalign trays may be created. You’ll then return home and wait for us to receive your trays from our dental lab.
- Receiving first set of trays. Once the trays have arrived, we’ll dispense a certain number of them to you, with instructions on when you should switch to each new tray. Your treatment has officially begun!
- Regular check-ups. You will visit our office every 6 weeks (on average) so that we may monitor your straightening and ensure your progress is on track. You’ll also receive new trays at these appointments. If you’re ever unsure about when you should be switching to these trays, just contact our office.
- Proper care and wear. Throughout your Invisalign process, you’ll be in charge of your results. While we provide support, it’s up to you to make sure that you wear your trays consistently and take proper care of your teeth. Brushing and flossing after eating, before replacing your trays, is imperative – this prevents food particles from leading to cavities or periodontal disease.
- Completion of treatment. Once you’ve worn the full course of trays, we’ll determine whether your straightening is complete or whether you need to spend additional time in aligners. If you’re all done – congratulations! It’s time to start enjoying your smile.
- Retainer wear. Post-Invisalign, you’ll need to wear retainers at night to preserve your straightening results.
Is Invisalign right for you? The only way to know is to schedule a consultation with Maryland Family Dentistry. Your dentist will examine your mouth and determine whether your occlusion makes you an Invisalign candidate. Get in touch today to get started!