When it comes to orthodontics, Invisalign has completely changed the game. For decades, the only way to correct misaligned teeth was to use braces, which involved wearing metal brackets and wires to push and pull teeth into place. Invisalign, on the other hand, uses a series of clear, comfortable aligners to gradually shift your teeth into the positions we plan. Here's how Invisalign works and what you can expect from the process.
Your First Appointment
We will examine your teeth and bite during your initial consultation to ensure that Invisalign is an appropriate fit for your needs. Traditional braces are still the best answer for some complex orthodontic cases, but Invisalign is an option for the majority of patients.
If you're a good candidate for Invisalign, the first step is to create digital impressions of your teeth and bite. These scans take a few minutes and generate a more precise depiction of your bite than the messy, uncomfortable impressions made with trays and impression material.
Your digital impressions will be used to generate a three-dimensional model of your smile on our computer. This enables you to see a preview of what your teeth will look like following Invisalign, but more importantly, it allows us to plan each step of your treatment. Every subsequent set of aligners moves your teeth just a little bit more, getting you closer to your ideal smile.
Wearing Your Invisalign Aligners
As soon as we receive your aligners from Invisalign, you will begin treatment. You'll switch to a new set of aligners every two weeks or as instructed. Invisalign aligners comfortably and reliably reposition your teeth, and if you’ve had braces in the past, you’ll find that there are fewer hassles involved with Invisalign.
Remove your Invisalign aligners only while brushing, flossing, eating, or drinking anything other than water. Invisalign aligners, unlike traditional braces, only work when you wear them, so it's important to wear them as often as possible to keep your treatment on the right track.
You'll visit our office every four to six weeks to ensure that your teeth are moving as expected. Because there are no orthodontic adjustments, these appointments are quicker and less uncomfortable than follow-up appointments with traditional braces. They're just as important, though, because Invisalign requires close supervision to ensure that your smile is healthy and beautiful once your treatment is complete.
Your Invisalign Results
The length of your Invisalign treatment depends on the severity of your orthodontic case and your commitment to wearing your aligners as instructed, but the average treatment time is 12 to 18 months. Your Invisalign results will last as long as you maintain them, which means using Vivera retainers after your aligner therapy is finished.
Vivera retainers are made with clear plastic and look similar to aligners, but they're designed to be more durable and last for several years. At first, you'll have to wear your retainers every day, but after a few weeks, you'll only need to wear them at night, and eventually only a few times a week.