If you think that the only way to correct crowding, spacing or alignment is through years of wearing metal braces, you obviously have not heard about Invisalign. Invisalign technology is definitely 21st-century technology, first debuting in 2002. Although they have always been very popular with teenagers, an increasing number of adults are choosing Invisalign as well.
Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible when you smile or talk. They are also much more comfortable than metal braces. You can remove Invisalign aligners to eat or take care of your dental hygiene, so you are freed from the cleaning issues that wearers of metal braces often face.
Invisalign aligners typically work best on patients who need minor or moderate corrections. They may not be as effective for patients with teeth that have rotated in the socket or whose teeth are extremely out of position. This does not mean that Invisalign cannot be used in these situations; there are attachments that can sometimes be used, but these normally detract from the aligners’ aesthetic invisibility.
The process begins with an examination, a bite registration, x-rays and photographs. An impression of the patient’s gums and teeth will be made at this time also. These impressions are then scanned into a computer to create a 3D model of the patient’s mouth. A program then determines the treatment that will be needed to correct the patient’s issues. After reviewing the computer images, your dentist will then order the correct aligners.
Although we may advise a different schedule, most Invisalign aligners are worn for 22 hours each day for the first 14 days. Length of treatment depends on the complexity of the issues being addressed, but the average is between 12 and 15 months. After treatment is concluded, we may recommend that you wear a retainer overnight for an indeterminate period.