Invisalign is a modern dental procedure that uses clear aligners to achieve straighter-looking teeth. For the longest time, traditional metal braces were the only way to straighten teeth and improve one’s bite. Now, clear aligners like Invisalign have become the standard, with millions of people embracing them.
This corrective method adopts a customized approach for each individual, with a unique plastic aligner being designed for every patient.
Benefits of Invisalign Over Traditional Braces
Invisalign offers a number of benefits that traditional metal braces do not:
- Invisalign is almost completely invisible and unnoticeable. Because of this, it does not carry the social stigma that traditional braces do and is much less likely to make patients feel self-conscious.
- Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are removable, which makes activities like eating and brushing much more comfortable.
- Metal braces often cause friction and frustrating injuries due to fit issues. Because Invisalign molds are custom made for each patient, the aligners fit properly, helping patients avoid these injuries.
- Invisalign requires fewer visits to the dentist’s office, so patients don’t have to take breaks from their busy schedules for frequent appointments.
The Steps of The Invisalign Process
The first meeting with the dentist essentially lays the foundation for the entire procedure. The dentist will conduct a thorough assessment and determine whether Invisalign is the right fit for the patient. Treatment cost, duration, and any other relevant information will be discussed, and the patient will be able to ask any questions they may have.
- Treatment Plan
During the initial Invisalign session, a mold of the patient’s teeth will be captured with traditional impressions and then digitized using intraoral scanners.
The orthodontist will create a digital version of the intended results of treatment; this serves as a road map of the procedure and gives the patient an idea of what to expect.
3D models of the series of steps are printed, plastic is melted and polished onto those models, and a series of aligners are made.
Once the aligners have been made, they are given to the patient. They will be replaced by a new set every two weeks. Temporary attachments are often bonded to the teeth to ensure a better grip on the aligners. These attachments come off at the end of the treatment.
Interproximal reduction is required in cases where more space is required to improve the overall structure and achieve optimal results.
For best results, aligners are to be worn for 22 to 24 hours a day. This is very important, since results will only show if the aligners are placed on the teeth for the required number of hours. They can be removed before eating and brushing.
The progress and changes in the patient’s teeth are monitored, and the aligners are modified if needed. A middle-of-the-course revision of the aligners is required in most cases to ensure the best possible results. The duration of the procedure is specific to each individual.
I was blown away not only by the modern decor of the office as I walked in, but the staff knew who I was and had everything ready for my check in. The best part was that I was greeted by Dr. Miller when I was waiting in the lobby and he apologized for the short wait (less than 2 min) and I was still seen 10 min before my scheduled appt time. The staff was incredible and treated me professionally and were still personable. All of my concerns were addressed and I was able to leave excited to come back. Thank you Dr. Miller and your incredible team for a great experience.
Once a patient has completed their Invisalign treatment, the dentist will assess the results and determine whether a retainer is required to be put in place to ensure that the teeth do not fall back to their previous positions.
*All images are of actual patients
- Invisalign fixes gaps between teeth, crooked teeth, underbite, overbite, and crowded teeth by exerting subtle force to move the teeth. Traditional braces and other treatments may be a better option in cases involving complex orthodontic work.
- The removability of aligners can be counterproductive in cases where patients fail to wear aligners for the necessary time period or end up misplacing them.