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Posted on: November 17, 2020
Invisalign: Frequently Asked Questions
You’re never fully dressed without a smile — but what if you’re a little hesitant about flashing your pearly whites? Crooked teeth can leave you feeling less than confident, and aesthetics aren’t the only issue at play. Invisalign aligners offer a discreet way to create a better smile without opting for braces that broadcast your business to everyone you meet.
What Is Invisalign?
If you’ve ever wondered whether there was a less noticeable alternative to traditional wire-and-bracket braces, you’re going to be excited to see what Invisalign is all about. Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses a set of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth and/or move them into their ideal position. The company uses a flexible plastic called SmartTrack to create a retainer-like device that slips over your teeth to help reshape your smile.
Invisalign aligners are thin, completely clear and custom-fit to the shape of your mouth, so they’re as comfortable and effective as possible. Unlike metal braces, these aligners aren’t flashy and conspicuous. They do the job without stealing the show — just what you want when you’re working on improving your bite but don’t necessarily want everyone to know.
Who Is Invisalign For?
Invisalign is great for teens and adults who want a simple yet powerful way to tackle dental misalignments. Whether you have an overbite or an underbite, crowded teeth or a gap, this clear orthodontic device can likely help. Severe dental issues may require a more complex treatment approach like metal braces or headgear.
If you’re considering Invisalign for yourself or your child, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are your teeth still growing? Young teens and small children aren’t always great candidates for Invisalign because their teeth and jaws are still changing, making it difficult to create a set of aligners that will remain comfortable and effective for the duration of treatment.
- Will you stick to your treatment schedule? It’s awesome to be able to remove your aligners, but they should be worn from 20 to 22 hours per day, and they only work when they’re in. If you tend to be forgetful or if you have a child who might not be as diligent about putting their devices back in as they are about taking them out, a semi-permanent solution may be more appropriate.
- Is the invisibility aspect important to you? Some people don’t care about the visibility factor associated with metal brackets and wires, while others much prefer having the option to pop out their aligners for school pictures or a major work presentation. If you fall into the second category, Invisalign could be just what you need to make progress with your smile while still enjoying your day-to-day life.
Ultimately, only your local dentist can determine whether you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. Schedule an appointment where you can voice your concerns, ask questions and learn more about orthodontia in general.
What Is the Process for Invisalign?
One of the best aspects of Invisalign therapy is that it’s such a personalized process. This is no one-size-fits-all mail-order retainer. Treatment starts with a thorough consultation with a local dentist trained in the proper procedures. If you decide as a team that you want to move forward, your doctor will create a customized treatment plan, so you know exactly what to expect from the entirety of your experience.
Next, your dentist will take a mold of your teeth that will be used to create your very own aligners. You’ll end up with multiple sets, swapping them out every week or two as your teeth slowly shift and you graduate to the next step.
Most Invisalign patients complete treatment in 12 to 18 months, but depending on certain factors like your goals and how well you comply with your doctor’s recommendations, you could have your aligners for more or less time. Your dentist will let you know how often to schedule appointments, but it’s not unusual to go in every four to six weeks for a progress check. The great news is that many people start seeing results in just a few weeks, so you’ll be able to witness — and show off! — the evolution of your smile as it happens.
How Will Invisalign Affect My Life?
In the short term, Invisalign will affect some of your daily activities as you’ll need to remove your aligners when you eat, drink or brush your teeth. While you won’t have to worry about food trapped under your braces, you will want to keep up with your oral hygiene to ensure your aligners are able to do their job without any interference. For the duration of treatment, it’s best to avoid smoking (it’s the perfect time to quit), and it’s not advised to chew gum while you have your aligners in either.
As far as comfort goes, there can be some pressure at the beginning of each new stage as your teeth begin to shift, but the feeling tends to be less than you’d experience with traditional metal braces, and it usually goes away in just a few days.
If you’re concerned that Invisalign aligners could affect your speech, fear not — the innovative materials used are pliable and made to fit the contours of your mouth. You may need a day or two to get used to having the aligners in your mouth, but after that adjustment period is over, you should be good to go.
Lastly, there’s the question on everyone’s minds: Will other people be able to see my Invisalign aligners? While they aren’t completely invisible, they’re far less noticeable than most of the orthodontic alternatives. People may not realize you’re wearing anything at all, especially if they talk to you from a distance, but up close, it is possible to see that you have something on. The real advantage is that you can remove your aligners to nail a job interview, practice the flute or snap the perfect selfie. As long as you are wearing them for at least 20 hours a day, you’re free to allot those hours however you see fit.
What Happens When I’m Done?
Once you and your doctor have determined that you’ve reached your goals, you’re free to pop out your aligners for the final time. To prevent your teeth from shifting out of place once your Invisalign treatment is done, your dentist may recommend using retainers. If so, you’ll be introduced to your options so you can make an informed decision about which retainer is right for you.
How Can a Local Dentist Help?
While many dentists say they can help with orthodontic needs, only specially trained dentists are qualified to work with Invisalign and give you the healthy, stunning smile you crave. To schedule a consultation and see if Invisalign is right for you, reach out to our caring, experienced team today. We can’t wait to help you take the next step in your dental journey.