How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign is one of the most popular treatment options for adults with crooked teeth. It utilizes a series of removable clear plastic aligners that subtly straighten teeth without the use of uncomfortable wires or brackets. The aligners are made with 3D imaging technology and incrementally adjust the position of your teeth to gradually move your smile into alignment.
Did you know…
Invisalign’s parent company, Align Technology, was founded in San Jose, California in 1997 by Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth.
How does the Invisalign process work?
The first step towards your new smile is a one on one consultation with your doctor. They’ll examine your teeth and gums, discuss your orthodontic goals, and help decide if Invisalign is right for you. We’ll use dental putty or digital scans to create impressions of your mouth, and show you a digital mockup to give you a sneak peek of what your new smile will look like.
You’ll return to the office once we receive your first few sets of aligners. You’ll try them on and we’ll make any necessary adjustments. Your doctor will provide instructions on how to wear them for the best results. Most patients are instructed to wear them for 20-22 hours a day. Every two weeks or so, you’ll also switch out the aligners for the next set.
Every 6 weeks, you’ll come back to the office to check-in and pick up your next several sets of aligners. Your doctor will monitor your progress to ensure your smile is on the right track. As long as you’re diligent about wearing your aligners for the correct amount of time every day, your teeth will continue shifting into the desired position.
Maintaining Your Smile
Once your treatment has been completed, you’ll receive a set of Invisalign retainers to ensure your beautiful new smile stays straight. These retainers look similar to Invisalign aligners, but their durability makes them better suited for long-term use, as they can handle excessive pressure without breaking down. Wearing your retainers nightly will keep your teeth straight for years to come.
What can Invisalign treat?
An overbite is present when the upper teeth excessively overlap the lower front teeth. Overbites are a common occurrence, and often don’t present an issue, but when the gap is too large, they can become a problem. The misalignment not only leads to premature wear and tear, but can also cause jaw pain. Invisalign can shift your teeth into a healthier position without the need for braces.
Underbites occur when your lower front teeth sit in front of your upper arch of teeth. Often, underbites happen when the lower jaw is simply too far forward. An underbite can make it difficult to chew or speak properly, and can cause premature wear to your teeth. In some cases, underbites can be alleviated with Invisalign alone, but more severe cases may require oral surgery before beginning orthodontic treatment.
In an ideal bite, the upper front teeth sit slightly in front of the lower front teeth. A crossbite is present when some of the upper teeth sit behind the lower teeth. This causes wear and tear, like chips or cracks. The pressure of your bite can lead to gum recession in some cases, resulting in sensitive teeth and even bone loss. Invisalign can fix certain cases of crossbites, so come in for a consultation to find out which orthodontic option is best for you.
While common, gaps between your teeth can create significant risks for the health of your smile. Gaps are difficult to clean, making them easy places for food to get stuck in and can harbor bacteria that lead to gum disease. Close those gaps with Invisalign for a seamless, healthy smile.
In an ideal bite, the upper and lower front teeth touch when the mouth is closed. For patients with an open bite, the teeth do not touch. Open bites can make eating and chewing difficult, and can cause problems with speech and premature wear. Invisalign can gradually reposition your open bite until all of your teeth are in alignment.
When your teeth overlap each other due to a lack of room in your mouth, it is called crowding. Crowding can make brushing and flossing difficult, allowing plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria to build up. Over time, this buildup may lead to tooth decay, cavities, and even gum disease. Fortunately, Invisalign is able to remedy most cases of crowded teeth.
Did you know…
Over 8 million patients have trusted Invisalign to transform their smiles.
Have questions about Invisalign? Find answers here.
How are Invisalign clear aligners made?
Invisalign aligners are crafted with layers of photo-sensitive liquid resin, designed from impressions of your teeth. Once exposed to a special light, the resin cures into a hard and flexible thermoplastic called SmartTrack®, which was created exclusively for Invisalign treatment. It's got the approval of the FDA too!
How do I take care of my aligners?
One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is the ease of use and maintenance. Keep your aligners clean by brushing them with a toothbrush whenever you brush your teeth. If you’re out and about, you can simply rinse the aligners in lukewarm water. The most important thing to remember is to never use hot water or abrasive cleaners, as they can warp the plastic, rendering them ineffective, or even detrimental to your treatment. If you’re interested in a more thorough cleaning regiment, you can also purchase an Invisalign Cleaning System.
Can you see the Invisalign aligners when you’re wearing them?
Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible while they are being worn. In fact, most people won’t notice them at all! Not only is the plastic clear, but there are no bulky metal brackets or wires to draw attention to your teeth. Plus, your aligners are custom-made to fit snuggly and are trimmed down so they don’t show over your gum line.
How much does Invisalign cost?
In most cases, the cost of Invisalign treatment is comparable to the cost of traditional braces, but pricing will vary depending on your unique oral health needs. For a more accurate estimate, schedule a consultation with your doctor today! Many insurance plans also cover some orthodontic treatments, so be sure to call your provider to get the details of your benefits.
Did you know…
Most Invisalign patients achieve their desired results in just 1 year.