Invisalign has been “the clear alternative to braces” since 1997. Rather than a mouthful of non-removable metal, Invisalign uses removeable, clear, medical grade plastic aligners to gradually straighten your teeth.
The Invisalign Process
Your journey to straighter teeth begins with advanced 3-D computer imaging technology. Your dentist will use photographs, impressions, and digital X-rays to create a 3-D digital model of your current smile, and then morph it into the desired finished smile. You will be able to watch this process and weigh in, ensuring that you are happy with the results. A couple of weeks later, you will receive your first set of aligners.
Each aligner is worn for two weeks and then replaced with the next. Like traditional braces, Invisalign places controlled force on the teeth to move them into the proper place. Unlike braces, though, Invisalign controls the timing of force application to each tooth, providing a highly individualized treatment protocol based on your individual needs. Treatment typically takes approximately one year for adults, and a little longer for teens.
Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign has quite a few benefits over traditional braces. For example:
Invisalign is removable. Although your dentist will instruct you to wear your aligner virtually all the time (typically 23 hours per day), you can remove it for normal brushing and flossing. You can also remove it to eat foods that are off-limits with braces, such as popcorn and sticky candy. Just remember to brush your teeth and put the aligner back in as soon as possible.
Invisalign is comfortable. Since Invisalign is entirely made of smooth medical grade plastic, mouth irritation is nearly nonexistent.
Invisalign means less time in the dentist’s chair. Without wires and brackets to adjust, there is no need for constant dentist visits. Your dentist will check your progress regularly, typically every four to six weeks. Just change your aligner every two weeks and report in if there is a problem.
Invisalign is nearly invisible. Since Invisalign is clear, it does not draw attention to your orthodontic treatments the way traditional braces do. No one needs to know unless you decide to tell them.
Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign
Invisalign is highly personalized to each patient, and your dentist will tell you exactly what to expect. Still, it is possible to provide a few general answers here.
Is Invisalign expensive?
Invisalign does cost a bit more than braces, but office visits are included in the price. In addition, braces now come with pricey, optional add-ons such as fashion colors, that can bring up their cost. Many dental insurance plans now cover Invisalign, so talk to your dentist’s office about your costs and insurance coverage.
Can I switch from braces to Invisalign?
Generally, yes. You will need to have your braces removed and impressions made of your teeth. You will need to wear a retainer for approximately two weeks while your first set of custom aligners is made.
What happens after treatment?
Invisalign does not provide the dramatic “reveal” of having braces removed. You will know what your final smile should look like, and you will have followed your progress through each set of aligners. You will simply see your own beautiful smile in the mirror.
You may need to wear a retainer for a few weeks or months after treatment. Your dentist will let you know what your specific aftercare plan is based on your own unique needs.
Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.