Are you considering Invisalign treatment?
Like any treatment, it’s important to consider every concern you may have. Dr Peter Mcmahon put together this guide to answer all the questions you may have to assist you in making an informed decision.
The guide covers:
- The Invisalign process
- Typical concerns
- If your teeth alignment can be corrected by Invisalign
- Download the guide to discover how Invisalign can transform your smile
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign can be successfully used to treat irregular, crowded or spaced teeth as well as alignment problems such as overbites, underbites and cross bites. By using clear aligner trays and advanced technology, your custom-made aligners will slowly move your teeth to their desired positioning and will be required to be switched with new aligners every 2 weeks.
The process for Invisalign
At your initial consultation, we’ll take x-rays and impressions of your teeth. These will be sent off to Invisalign HQ where your aligners will be made.
At AAA Orthodontics we are able to use advanced technology called ‘Clincheck’, which allows us to make sure the suggested treatment plan is possible for you, and are able to make alterations to the treatment plan if necessary. The great thing about Clincheck is you can see how your teeth will be expected to look after treatment before you even receive your aligners! This helps to give you realistic expectations of your results. Depending on the complexity of the case, you may be given 2 or 3 sets of aligners at a time, and it’ll be necessary for regular check-ups every 6 weeks. Typical treatment time for Invisalign is 15 to 18 months.
The benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign has a wide range of benefits that have made it one of the most popular and sought-after orthodontic treatments in the world! These benefits include:
- Completely removable so you can pose for photos and maintain your oral health as usual
- Much more comfortable than traditional braces
- No brackets or wires means no irritation!
- Virtually invisible aligners allow you to smile without the stigma associated with wire braces
The time it takes for Invisalign to straighten teeth takes around 12 months for most adults, however this is purely dependent on each individual, the severity of their misaligned teeth and their dedication to the treatment plan drawn up for them by their dentist.
You will be required to wear your aligners for a certain number of hours each day/week (usually 22 hours per day but this depends on your treatment plan and dentist’s recommendations) and each aligner will have to be changed every 2 weeks so that your teeth can slowly move into place.
If you follow your treatment plan diligently and your dental issues are not too complicated or problematic, you could begin seeing results in as little as a few months, however this is entirely dependent on you.
One of the pros of using Invisalign is that it takes a much shorter amount of time than traditional braces to straighten teeth, so even if it takes longer than 12 months, it’s still a faster option.
Many people consider Invisalign and clear braces to be the same thing (or almost the same) but this is an incorrect assumption to make.
Invisalign are transparent removable aligners (almost like retainers) which shift teeth into place. Each aligner is worn for at least 22 hours a day and must be changed every 2 weeks. Typically, the Invisalign treatment can take up to 12 months, depending on the individual.
Clear braces on the other hand are very similar to metal braces, meaning that they are bonded to your teeth and will require adjustments every 4 weeks or so. Clear braces (or ceramic braces) are produced from ceramic materials and can be made either transparent or to match the colour of your teeth.
Whilst Invisalign is a great orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth, clear braces are more effective in remedying difficult and more extensive dental issues. However, with clear braces, you run the risk of irritating the soft tissue of your mouth and the possibility of staining your teeth.
Invisalign and clear braces are indeed 2 very different orthodontic treatment options, so speak to an AAA Orthodontics professional to decide which is the best option for you and your smile.
As with adults, not every child will be eligible for Invisalign. If your child does not have all their permanent teeth yet, they won’t qualify for Invisalign (or braces). Additionally, Invisalign will not be a suitable orthodontic treatment for your child if their misalignment is severe, in which case the dentist or orthodontist will recommend braces instead. Invisalign is a completely safe treatment for children but only the dentist will be able to determine if your child qualifies for it after a thorough examination of their teeth.
Being able to remove your aligners makes cleaning your teeth a simple task, however, keeping your aligners clean is just as important. Sometimes, you aren’t always able to immediately clean your teeth after a meal and replacing your aligners over uncleaned teeth can cause food particles or plaque to get stuck to the aligners. If you don’t clean your aligners, those food particles can stain them, and the plaque can be transferred to your teeth when wearing them again. Uncleaned aligners can also result in bacteria multiplying which could lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
Invisalign works similarly to braces – the aligners apply gentle pressure to your teeth to slowly move them into their new positions. You will be supplied with sets of aligners over the course of your treatment and each set of aligners will work to slightly adjust your teeth’s positions. You will be required to switch to your new set of aligners every two weeks to continue the repositioning and straightening of your teeth.
Yes, you can smoke whilst undergoing Invisalign treatment since you can remove the aligners to smoke and then replace them. However, the tobacco from cigarettes can stain your teeth which can also stain the aligners making them look unattractive. Smokers also become more susceptible to gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, gum recession, etc. which can affect your Invisalign treatment.