Invisalign has completely changed the game when it comes to orthodontics. For decades, getting braces was the only way to straighten teeth, which meant wearing uncomfortable brackets and wires to push and pull teeth into alignment. In contrast, Invisalign uses clear, comfortable aligners to progressively shift your teeth into the positions planned by Dr. Dennis. Here’s how Invisalign works and what you can expect during your treatment.
Your First Appointment
When you come in for your initial consultation, Dr. Dennis will evaluate your teeth and bite to make sure Invisalign is a good fit for your needs. While Invisalign is an option for a majority of patients, traditional braces are still the best solution for some complex orthodontic cases.
If it’s determined that you are a good candidate for Invisalign, the first step is to take digital impressions of your teeth and bite. These scans take only a few seconds to complete and produce a more accurate representation of your mouth than the messy, uncomfortable impressions made with trays and impression material.
Dr. Dennis will use these digital impressions to create a three-dimensional model of your mouth on our computer. You’ll be able to see a preview of how your teeth will look after Invisalign treatment, but more importantly, this model will aid Dr. Dennis in planning each step of your treatment. Every set of aligners moves your teeth just a little bit more, bringing you closer to your beautiful new smile.
Wearing Your Invisalign Aligners
After Dr. Dennis plans your treatment, Invisalign will fabricate your aligners. Treatment will begin as soon as we receive your aligners at our office. Every two weeks, or as directed, you’ll move to a new set of aligners. Invisalign aligners shift your teeth gradually and predictably, and many people who previously had braces report that they find their aligners to be much more comfortable.
Wear your clear aligners for at least 22 hours every day; take them out only when brushing, flossing, eating, or drinking anything other than water. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners only work when you wear them, which means it’s important to wear them as much as possible to keep your treatment time on track.
Every four to six weeks, you’ll come to our office so we can make sure that your teeth are moving as predicted. These visits are shorter and less uncomfortable than what you’d expect with traditional braces because there are no adjustments required, but they’re just as important because Invisalign requires close supervision to ensure that your smile is both beautiful and healthy once you’re done with your treatment.
Your Invisalign Results
Your Invisalign treatment time is determined by the severity of your orthodontic issues and your willingness to wear your aligners as directed, but most patients need to wear Invisalign for 12 to 18 months. Your Invisalign results are permanent as long as you maintain them, which means wearing Vivera retainers after aligner therapy is completed.
Vivera retainers are constructed of clear plastic and look similar to your aligners, but they’re made to be more durable so they last for several years. You’ll need to wear your retainers all day at first, but after a few weeks, you’ll just have to wear them at night, and then only a few times a week to keep your smile looking great for decades to come.