What is Invisalign?
Everyone wants the perfect set of straight teeth, but not everyone can afford the treatment needed to achieve such a pearly smile. Invisalign is the new innovative teeth-straightening solution that uses a clear aligner to provide perfect results without the need for a fixed brace. However, while being a new and modern solution, there are 20-years of research behind the Invisalign treatment. As of today, Invisalign has shaped a staggering 5,500,000 plus smiles around the world.
The Invisalign treatment process
Before undertaking any treatment, and before even booking an appointment, you should always do your research into the product. Talk to friends who have already gone through it, ask your dentist about it, and research online to look at reviews. You should also discuss the Invisalign treatment with your insurance provider, as many insurance plans actually support the treatment.
Next up, you need to choose a dentist you trust. Research and pick one with vast Invisalign experience before booking a consultation to chat to them. Of course, your dentist choice will often be narrowed down by price range, location, and your general feeling about them. Meeting with multiple dentists before deciding on one is a great way to ensure you pick the best fit for you. Always seek out a free consultation if possible, to talk to a professional about whether Invisalign is a good fit for you and your teeth. Invisalign is a great option, but it is not ideal for each and every patient, with some needing more severe measures such as braces. Always ask questions, knowledge is power.
The Invisalign dentist starts the process by scanning your mouth and teeth. Then your smile is digitally designed providing an accurate image of what your mouth will look like after the treatment. Smile design should be carried out by a dentist with experience in cosmetic dentistry as facial features such as lip position and facial profile will need to be considered. Sometimes patients may benefit from botox and lip filler treatments too. Your dentist can also provide a digital roadmap, using cutting-edge software, to show how your teeth alignment will change over time on the way to your end goal. This allows patients to make an informed decision before taking any action; the perfect preview to your perfect smile. This means that every single shift in your teeth is planned ahead of time, with only the necessary changes made to avoid unnecessary aches and pains.
Invisalign then uses a 3D printer to create the ideal mould for your teeth. While a number of other companies create aligners and retainers that may seem similar in outward appearance, Invisalign stands out in the detail. The aligner is precision trimmed along the edges to avoid cutting your gums and causing discomfort. The Invisalign aligners also use SmartTrack material, developed by biomechanical engineers, to enhance flexibility, comfort, a better fit, and more accurate movements.
You will be given a pair of custom aligners by your dentist, which will then be updated every two weeks with a brand new set. Each set will shift your teeth a little more each time, so you may experience some discomfort each time you switch to a new aligner. Special fasteners are often needed to attach to your teeth, however, these are invisible and temporary. They simply make it easier to clip the aligners to your teeth and are removed at the end of your treatment.
How long does the Invisalign treatment last?
Treatment times for Invisalign can last as little as three months. This is a significant reduction from a treatment like braces, which can last for up to two years or more, as well as being a permanent fixture in your mouth.
The Invisalign treatment can depend on a number of things. Each dentist will charge a different amount and each patient will require a different amount of work. Some treatments are longer than others too. The best way to gauge a price is to speak to a trained Invisalign dentist. Some dentists may charge a consultation fee, while others may provide that service for free. Some dentists may also offer payment plans, rather than one lump sum up front.
How many hours per day should I wear my Invisalign aligner for?
Ideally, you should be wearing your aligner for 20-22 hours per day (removing during meals) to achieve the very best results. The aligners also have blue compliance indicators to show you whether you are wearing them often enough.
Will people be able to see my aligners?
As the name suggests, Invisalign aligners are practically invisible, meaning that you get all the results without attracting any unwanted attention.
How do I clean my aligners?
Cleaning your aligners is simple and easy. All you have to do is remove your aligners each and every night, before brushing them gently with a toothbrush and using the Invisalign cleaning system to keep them as clean as the day you got them. This process will keep your aligners clean and fresh for the duration of your treatment.
Do I take my aligners out to eat and drink?
One of the major benefits of Invisalign aligners over fixed solutions such as metal braces is that you can simply take them out when you need to eat. We advise that you remove them before every meal and drink, before brushing your teeth ahead of putting them back in. You should also use the cleaning system to keep them clear before putting them back in. This ensures that no food gets caught behind the aligners and you are left with fresh breath all day long.
Will Invisalign aligners affect my speech?
As with any braces, aligner, or retainer, it may take you a few days to adjust to speaking with your custom set. However, after this point, you should begin to notice the aligners less and less, with your speech adjusting and returning to normal.
What are the advantages of Invisalign?
The aligners are almost invisible, they are more comfortable, they are flexible, and they don’t cause as much irritation. Aligners can also be removed for meals and drinks, allowing you to maintain a better sense of oral hygiene. Typically, Invisalign requires fewer visits and a shorter span of time than braces. Finally, Invisalign allows you to see a clear step-by-step process before you even start the treatment, thanks to the 3D road map.( You can remove aligners and attend important social functions)
What happens after the treatment?
Different people have different reactions to the end of their treatment period. Some are overjoyed by the results once they remove their final aligner and have the attachments taken out, while others may not notice a huge difference, as they have been watching the minor changes over time. The vast majority will be relieved to no longer have to wear an aligner, which is completely natural. Of course, it is important to maintain a good level of oral hygiene, even after the aligners are removed. Teeth also have a tendency to shift back to their original position, meaning that some people may see their good work undone if left untreated. These will often be worn a couple of times per week just to keep your teeth sat where they are supposed to be.