Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment designed to straighten the teeth and realign the bite. Its slogan is the “clear alternative to braces” because it is virtually invisible on your teeth. If you’re considering Invisalign for yourself or your child who needs orthodontic treatment, this may be the right choice.
There are a lot of things to consider before deciding on an orthodontic treatment. It’s important to get a thorough understanding of the treatment before making a decision.
What is Invisalign and how does it work? Here’s what you need to know.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a system for correcting orthodontic issues. It was invented in 1997 as an alternative to traditional metal braces. Before the invention of Invisalign, the only alternative to metal braces were clear brackets, which are slightly less noticeable than metal brackets. Unfortunately, clear brackets still require a metal archwire to connect them and are prone to discoloration.
The concept of Invisalign was invented by a college student in his dorm room where he attended graduate school at Stanford. As an orthodontic patient undergoing treatment with metal braces, he decided to create an alternative method to achieve the same results.
How Does it Work?
The Invisalign treatment system shifts the teeth gradually using a series of clear plastic trays (similar to retainers) that are worn over the teeth. The trays, called aligners, are designed to be worn in a specific order so that each one moves the teeth slightly until they reach the desired final position.
Here’s a step by step explanation of the process of Invisalign Treatment:
- Consultation. The first step is always a consultation. The dentist will explain Invisalign treatment to you and how it works. You then have the opportunity to decide if you wish to pursue this option for orthodontic treatment.
- Evaluation. If you decide to proceed, the dentist will evaluate your teeth to determine whether or not you are an ideal candidate for Invisalign. Invisalign can treat most orthodontic issues including crowding, crooked teeth, gaps, overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite.
- Images. If you are a candidate, the dentist will make digital images of your teeth in the form of photos and impressions. These will be entered into a computer software program that will be used to plan your treatment.
- Design. The Invisalign computer software program will evaluate your teeth from the images entered and design an individualized treatment plan to shift your teeth into proper alignment. The complete set of aligners you will need for your treatment will be created in a lab and shipped to your dentist’s office.
- Treatment. You will be given your aligners and instructed on how to wear them. You’ll wear each aligner for about 2 weeks for as many hours a day as possible, preferably up to 22 hours a day for best results. You’ll return to your dentist’s office for monitoring every few months to ensure the treatment is working as it is supposed to and providing the desired results.
- Retention. Once your treatment is complete and your teeth are in the desired position, you’ll need to wear retainers to keep them from shifting back out of alignment. You’ll wear retainers all the time for a few months, then just at night.
Benefits of Invisalign:
- Virtually invisible. Your clear aligners fit snugly to the teeth with minimal visibility. Most people won’t even know you’re wearing them.
- Comfortable. The smooth, flexible plastic is comfortable and won’t irritate your mouth or make your teeth feel sore.
- Convenient. The aligners are removable for eating and caring for your teeth. You don’t have to give up any foods.
- Fast. Invisalign treatment typically takes between 6 and 18 months in total.
Kensington Natural Smiles is a Certified Invisalign Provider
If you’re interested in Invisalign, the good news is that you don’t need to go to an orthodontist. You can get Invisalign treatment through many dental offices. Kensington Natural Smiles is a certified provider of Invisalign, meaning we have completed the necessary training to provide this treatment to our patients.