Many people with crooked teeth decide they would rather live with them than deal with having metal brackets and wires on their teeth. Good news: now you can get your teeth straightened without having to get metal braces. Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners, similar to a teeth whitening tray, to move your teeth into place. Not only are these aligners clear and comfortable, they’re removable. That means you won’t have any diet restrictions, and you won’t have to learn any special cleaning techniques—just brush and floss normally.
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Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign is one of the most talked-about innovations in cosmetic dentistry because it is such a huge departure from traditional orthodontics. Invisalign treatment:
- Is practically invisible—no metal brackets or wires
- More comfortable—won’t irritate cheeks or tongue
- Fully removable
- No diet restrictions
- No special cleaning techniques or tools
- Takes about as much time as traditional orthodontics
All of these benefits come from the clear plastic aligners that simply fit over your teeth. There’s no wires or brackets—the aligners are almost invisible. With no metal wires and brackets, you won’t end up with sharp ends and irritating wires.
The Invisalign aligners are also fully removable. You can take them out whenever you want to eat something, so you can keep enjoying all your favorite foods. And because you can remove your aligners, you don’t have to worry about brushing and flossing around the metal brackets or wires.
How Invisalign Works
In basic principle, Invisalign works the same as other orthodontic treatments. When we apply constant pressure to your teeth, your body remolds the bone around it. It removes bone on one side and builds it up on the other. This process takes time, which is why Invisalign and other orthodontic treatments take about the same amount of time: they’re limited by your body’s ability to refashion bones.
But where traditional braces apply this force with wires and brackets on your teeth, Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners that are designed in a precise sequence so that, after wearing each one for about two weeks, you will end up with a straight smile.
At your initial appointment, we will use iTero digital imaging to get an impression of your teeth as they currently are. Then we will design how we want your smile to look at the end of treatment. We send the initial impression and the goal to Invisalign, and their computers calculate the precise movements of each tooth necessary to achieve your desired smile. This set of movements is then broken down into tiny pieces, each one controlled by a single aligner tray.
Then Invisalign will send us your sequence of aligners. We will call you into the office to have the first one fitted. It will likely be uncomfortable and tight, but no worse than traditional braces. After two weeks you will come back to get fitted with your second tray. After a little while, we will start sending multiple aligners home with you at once. You can’t speed up the process by trying to skip some of the trays, nor can you try to wear each tray for less than the recommended time. If you do, then you’ll just end up with poor results.
You also need to make sure you wear each aligner for 20 hours a day. Take it out only for eating and cleaning your teeth.