Want straight teeth, but wondering what the alternative to metal braces is? No matter what age, some may feel self-conscious about the appearance or comfort of braces. Therefore, it’s no wonder why most patients desire a more discreet, flexible solution to straightening their teeth.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign offers a comfortable, clear alternative to traditional metal-bracket braces. Made from patented SmartTrack material, the clear Invisalign aligners are both comfortable and discreet, when compared to metal braces. Invisalign is also completely removable, allowing some liberties that traditional braces don’t permit, such as eating food without risk of breaking a bracket and regular oral hygiene.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Essentially, Invisalign uses a series of clear tray sets to gradually shift teeth positioning. These trays are custom made to your mouth and teeth, making them incredibly comfortable and effective. Each tray set is designed to put gentle pressure on your teeth with room for them to reposition and achieve better alignment. Invisalign allows your dentist to target certain teeth with each tray, depending on your unique treatment plan.
Invisalign can easily correct the following oral health issues:
- Crowded Teeth
- Gap Teeth
- Open Bite
- And More
While every treatment may vary slightly from patient to patient, the Invisalign treatment process typically follows these steps:
- You’ll want to confirm Invisalign is a viable treatment option for you by consulting with a certified Invisalign provider, like our dentists here at Dakota Dental.
- You’ll receive a digital 3-D-image scan of your mouth and teeth to begin customizing your treatment plan for Invisalign.
- Invisalign uses these scans along with your dentist’s treatment plan to create your set of clear aligners and sends the finished product back to your dentist.
- You’ll receive your first tray set from your dentist. According to Invisalign, some treatment plans may require SmartForce attachments, a small amount of tooth-colored material that is added to your teeth to help move the teeth more effectively.
- You’ll wear your aligners for 20-22 hours each day for one to two weeks. Your dentist will provide you with some or all aligners at the beginning of treatment. You will be scheduled for periodic appointments through the course of treatment to evaluate progress, typically every 8-12 weeks. Your new aligners will account for any repositioning that has occurred, while continuing to put gentle pressure on your teeth to encourage further repositioning. This process will repeat until your treatment plan is complete, and your teeth are repositioned.
- After your treatment is complete, you’ll likely require a retainer to ensure teeth remain aligned. Your dentist can discuss the different retainer options and the frequency of wear.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
Everyone’s treatment is different. The length of your Invisalign treatment will depend on the how much repositioning you need and how diligent and committed you are to wear your aligners for the required 20-22 hours per day.
According to Invisalign, Invisalign’s average treatment time ranges from 12 to 18 months, but you’ll likely notice some results much earlier on. For more severe cases, your treatment may require 24 months or more. Your Dakota team will walk you through your entire treatment plan and evaluate the migration of your teeth on a regular basis to ensure you’re achieving your desired smile.
Who Can Use Invisalign?
Invisalign is an appropriate treatment plan for children to adults. Adults can discreetly work on their dental health, while enjoying more freedom with the removable clear aligners. With the Invisalign teen and Invisalign First options, children can also get the or orthodontic care they need without traditional braces.
Does Invisalign Hurt?
Invisalign is not a painful treatment option. Invisalign aligners are designed with smooth edges and a precise fit to ensure maximum comfort. Minor movements are made per aligner, reducing the likelihood of pain. Slight pressure from the movement of teeth, especially the first day wearing a new aligner, may cause mild discomfort.
Eating with Invisalign
One of the biggest advantages of Invisalign is the ability to remove them when you eat and drink, so you can thoroughly enjoy all your favorite foods. With traditional braces, you typically can’t consume foods that are too hard or sticky (e.g. corn on the cob, hard candies, etc.); however, Invisalign doesn’t affect how or what you can eat.
Since you wear your clear aligners all the time, simply remove the trays, place them into a carrying case, and enjoy your meal or favorite beverage.
How to Clean Invisalign
Your Invisalign trays will require daily cleaning to ensure your teeth remain protected and it helps prevent plaque and bacteria from building up. Your aligners are very easy to clean with a variety of cleaning options that your Dakota dentist can discuss with you.
One of the best ways to clean your Invisalign trays is with a cleaning system specific to caring for Invisalign, where you soak your trays for the directed amount of time and rinse before placing back in your mouth. Invisalign also states that your aligners can be brushed with your toothbrush and rinsed in warm water.
How to Get Invisalign
If you’re interested in Invisalign, contact Dakota Dental to schedule a free Invisalign consultation, where our certified Invisalign-trained dentists will perform an assessment to ensure Invisalign would work for you. At Dakota Dental, we’re committed to helping create the best treatment plan to effectively realign your teeth and address your oral health goals and needs, so you can feel confident in your smile.