Braces were traditionally comprised of metal wires and brackets to straighten and reposition your teeth. Several less apparent treatments have entered the market recently, such as lingual braces worn at the back of your teeth and clear aligners.
Invisalign has been a prominent brand of clear aligners available since 1998. Invisalign braces are far less visible than traditional braces. It gently shifts your teeth over time using a translucent plastic tray. Approximately every 1 or 2 weeks, you will change the tray with a fresh one.
The procedure for obtaining Invisalign differs from that of regular braces. This article will analyze who is a suitable candidate for Invisalign and how the process works.
Invisalign and other clear aligners treat minor to moderate tooth mobility best. They are less effective at treating more complex disorders, such as significantly crooked teeth or teeth that are partially displaced from the socket.
Invisalign may be able to treat the following conditions:
If you have a dental bridge or a prosthetic tooth that may interfere with your teeth's ability to move, Invisalign may not be ideal for you.
Invisalign, like most orthodontic treatments, is relatively pricey. You should talk to your orthodontist about cheaper options if you didn't afford them.
The specific procedure for obtaining Invisalign may vary slightly, but here is a general idea of what to expect.
Search for an Invisalign-trained dentist
Finding an Invisalign-trained dental expert is the first step in getting Invisalign. Many, but not all, orthodontists and dentists have training on how to use Invisalign.
If you live in the United States, you can use the Invisalign website's Doctor Locator function to identify a dental professional who can assist you with the Invisalign process.
Once you've found one, you'll go to a dental specialist's clinic for an initial consultation. Your dental specialist will inspect your teeth and ask about your goals during this first session. They will most likely take X-rays and photographs and check your teeth for signs of gum disease or dental decay.
If your dentist or orthodontist believes you are a good candidate for Invisalign, they will estimate how long it will take to attain the desired results and the cost.
The dentist will use a computerized scanner to scan your mouth during your first visit or at a follow-up. During the scanning, they will use a wand in your mouth to go over your teeth. The scanning procedure is rapid and painless, eliminating the need for a plaster mold.
Your dentist will transmit a picture of your mouth to a screen so you can see a 3-D image of it. Then, they will create a simulation of your mouth after your therapy.
When you leave their office, the dentist will create a treatment plan for you and transmit scans of your teeth to the Invisalign facility. When the lab has finished creating your Invisalign aligner trays, they will return them to your dental professional.
Installing the first tray
You will return to your dental facility once your trays are ready.
Your dentist may employ small attachments known as buttons to hold your aligners in place and help with tooth mobility.
Your dentist may need to fill the Invisalign template with composite and fit it over your teeth. When the template is removed, it leaves button-like attachments to your teeth that assist the Invisalign aligners in guiding your teeth into place. The use of these buttons should be quick and painless.
Finally, your dentist will give you your first aligner tray to ensure the perfect fit.
Appointments for follow-up and new trays
A few weeks later, your dental specialist will inspect your tray to ensure it is properly fit. They will also require you to attend frequent checkups every 4 to 6 weeks to monitor your progress.
You'll replace your aligner tray every week or every other week. The exact time you'll need to replace your aligner depends on the length of your treatment and the amount of movement of your teeth.
Most people wear Invisalign for less than two years and may see improvements in as little as six months. The length of time you need to wear them varies depending on the condition you're attempting to treat, your age, and how well you follow the recommendations.
Teeth are easier to correct when you are young. This is why so many middle and high school children use braces.
Is this to say that adult teeth cannot be straightened? No! Depending on your age, it may take a little longer.
According to the Invisalign website, the average treatment time is 12 to 18 months.
Most dentists advise wearing your aligners for as many hours daily as feasible. Wear them for at least 22 hours a day and only take them off while eating, drinking, or for short times when necessary, such as when participating in sports that need a mouthguard. Follow your orthodontist's directions to achieve the desired outcomes, or your treatment may take longer.
The number of aligners you'll wear during your treatment depends on how long your therapy lasts and how frequently you need to exchange aligners.
A computerized scanner can provide your dentist with an accurate 3-D image of your mouth. The 3-D image will then be sent to the Invisalign lab as a mold for creating custom-fit aligner trays for your mouth.
Invisalign trays have been made from a proprietary thermoplastic called SmartTrack since 2013. Polyurethane and copolyester make up this substance.
In a 2016 study, half of 72 respondents said the new material was more comfortable than the previous plastic blend.
Typically, a dentist will only scan your mouth once at the start of your treatment. Your dentist can use this image to generate a digital model of your mouth and simulate your progress through the treatment.
Various factors influence the cost of orthodontic work, such as Invisalign. Among the factors are:
According to the Invisalign website, treatment costs between $3,000 and $7,000. They further claim that customers may be eligible for up to $3,000 in insurance reimbursement.
According to the Consumer Guide for Dentistry, the national average for Invisalign is $3,000-$5,000.
Traditional metal bracket braces typically cost $2,000-$6,000.
Again, all of these costs are dependent on your situation. If you have crooked teeth or an overbite, it will take more time to gradually reposition the teeth to an optimal position, whether you use Invisalign or traditional braces.
The first step in obtaining Invisalign is to locate an Invisalign-trained dental expert.
Invisalign is best for treating minor biting issues. The treatment period might be as little as 6 months, but everyone is different. You may require a different treatment if you have badly rotated teeth or other serious problems. Invisalign is an excellent way to straighten your teeth without the hassle of traditional braces.
Contact your Danville dentist, Dr. Hoss Abar, DDS, MSD, at Danville Orthodontics to learn more about Invisalign.
Braces vs. Invisalign: Which is better for you?
*This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition*
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