Metal braces have been straightening people’s teeth for decades. While traditional braces do a fine job, they draw a lot of unwanted attention to your teeth because of the metal brackets covering your smile. With Invisalign®, you will have an orthodontic treatment performed with clear aligners that won’t be distracting to your smile.
Invisalign® incorporates removable, clear, mouthguard-like aligners to properly straighten your teeth. Patients can easily slide the aligners over their lower and upper teeth as well as remove them at any time including special or business events.
Who is A Candidate For Invisalign®?
While it’s tempting to tell everyone they can avoid the embarrassment and hassle of traditional braces and use Invisalign, not everyone is a good candidate for the clear acrylic aligners. The severity or changes you want to make is the main determinant of eligibility. If the issues are too severe, such as a large overbite or serious jaw alignment problems, advanced orthodontic procedures are needed to shift the jaw. However, your aligners can handle moderate changes including crowding, gaps, overbites, underbites or crossbites.
Age and discipline are additional factors to consider when deciding on Invisalign. Candidates such as teenagers and adults are ideal since their teeth are finished growing. If a younger patient requires early intervention the problems are likely too severe for Invisalign aligners. Additionally, aligners are removable but must be worn at least 22 hours a day to be effective. Patients need to have the dedication and diligence about wearing the aligner trays to achieve a great smile.
Benefits Of Invisalign®
Invisalign aligners are practically invisible, and do not draw attention to the mouth; it is extremely hard to identify whether or not someone is wearing them. In addition, Invisalign offers many other benefits including:
- They are cosmetically appealing
- Little-to-no impact on daily life
- They are not painful
- Greater flexibility than traditional braces because aligners can be removed at any time
- Easy to maintain over time.
- No dietary restrictions
What Are Invisalign® Aligners Made of?
Invisalign® aligners are made out of a strong, clear thermoplastic material, which is customized to fit each patient’s mouth and progressively move the teeth. The aligners are virtually undetectable when worn and may appear similar to custom teeth whitening trays.
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The Invisalign® Process
After a consultation to determine patient eligibility, Clear Lake Dental Care will work on a unique treatment plan. This plan includes a schedule for a series of Invisalign® trays that are unique to each patient and will perfectly align their teeth. Each tray will cater to specific teeth readjustments and once the aligners are set in place, they gradually shift the targeted teeth. Approximately every two weeks you will receive a new set of aligner trays to continue the teeth straightening process. The length of treatment is specific to each patient and depends on the severity of your case. However, the average case takes about 12 months for adults.
How Invisalign® Works
Through the use of their patented thermoplastic design, Invisalign aligners are designed to move your teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force. Invisalign is not only able to control the applied force, but also the timing of the force. During each new stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move. As we map out your unique Invisalign treatment plan we will determine these movements.
Does Invisalign Hurt?
While Invisalign is able to move your teeth without the same pain and anxiety metal braces can cause, some people do experience temporary discomfort. This slight discomfort usually lasts for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This sense of discomfort is normal and patients typically describe it as a feeling of pressure. This is a great sign that Invisalign is working, as it moves your teeth to their final destination. Most patients explain that the discomfort typically goes away in a couple of days.
Invisible Aligner Care
When removing your aligners for hygiene, use a soft bristle toothbrush with water and a small amount of toothpaste and brush them lightly. Clear Lake Dental Care recommends cleaning the outside of the aligners while they are on your teeth and removing them to clean the inside.
It’s a good idea to use the Invisalign aligner cleaning products once a week to keep the aligners from developing any odors. Do not use denture cleaners to clean your aligners, and don’t soak them in mouthwash. Both of these cleaners can damage the surface of the aligners, making them dull and more visible, which defeats the purpose.
How Is Invisalign Different From Traditional Metal Braces?
While traditional metal braces come with pesky brackets and wires that are bonded to your teeth, Invisalign straightens your teeth using clear aligners that resemble a retainer. No one will be able to tell that you are having orthodontic treatment, and cleaning your teeth will be much easier! Cleaning your teeth will be easier because you’ll be able to remove your Invisalign aligners to eat and clean your teeth.
What To Expect After Aligners
Our dentists will sit with you after your Invisalign treatment and assess your teeth realignment. We often recommend to our patients, whether braces or Invisalign treatment to use a retainer. They help prevent teeth from gradually shifting back towards their initial position.