It’s never too late to give yourself the gift of a beautiful smile. Millions and millions of adults are unhappy with the way their teeth look—some have never had braces, and others had braces in their teenage years, but have since had their teeth shift. While many of us are familiar with traditional braces, their bulkiness and viability are a turn off for many professionals.
Thankfully, due to progressions in orthodontic technology, other products that can straighten teeth have hit the market. One of the most popular advances is Invisalign. An increasing number of our patients ask about this product, specifically if they are a candidate. To help all our patients out, we’ve created a short Fact Sheet on Invisalign. Let us know at your next appointment if this is something you’re interested in!
The basics—what is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a treatment process that relies on removable trays that, through a careful and gradual process, provide alignment correction of the teeth. Unlike traditional braces that rely on brackets and wires, Invisalign is made from clear, flexible plastic that fits snuggly over the teeth. This product is FDA-approved and is made from a patented thermoplastic.
Is it new?
Invisalign has been on the market for almost 20 years now and has built quite the reputation. While the idea of incremental movements with removable trays wasn’t “new,” Invisalign was nevertheless the first company to harness it and use new technologies to bring it market.
How long will it take?
On average, the typical treatment for an adult an average of twelve months, unlike traditional adult braces (which can take upwards of two years). Once you are fitted for the trays, you will wear them for 20-22 hours per day and change the trays out to a new set every two weeks. The aligners will gradually shift your teeth over the course of your treatment.
How do I get started?
After an initial consult with Dr. Marchbanks to ensure you’re a candidate, a customized treatment plan will be drawn up. First, 3-D images of your teeth will be taken to help map out the movement that will occur over the course of the treatment. These images are used to make aligners that mold perfectly to your teeth and mouth. After the first set of aligners are ready, you pick them up and start on this exciting process!
What is day–to–day life like?
Unlike traditional braces that easily collect food, you can take your Invisalign out when you eat! This means you don’t have to give up all the favorites that have been known to break brackets. To ensure your aligners stay fresh, brush them every morning and night. Many wearers forget they have them on during the day because they’re so comfortable and discreet. In fact, many professionals wear them to meetings and presentations without anyone even knowing.
What do I do when I finish?
After finishing your treatment course, your orthodontist might recommend retainers. This is important to keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions. Unlike the retainers of yesteryear that are bulky and give you a speech impediment, there are new retainers made from the same technology as the Invisalign aligners. Low-profile retainers ensure you finish your treatment plan entirely and have a straight smile that lasts forever.
If you are looking for straighter teeth but are concerned about the look of traditional braces, then Invisalign might be the best treatment option. Take the first step today by giving us a call!
Also published on Medium.