Many patients appreciate that they can take Invisalign aligners out to eat, brush and floss, or for social situations.
Thanks to the fact that they are next-to-invisible, both teens and adults can avoid the discomfort and self-consciousness of traditional braces.
Patients who are concerned about pain may prefer Invisalign as their smooth design provides enhanced comfort compared to bulky metal braces.
Clear orthodontic aligners have been growing in popularity for many years. One of the most recognizable brands is Invisalign®. Invisalign is a form of orthodontics that uses clear tray aligners to straighten the teeth instead of the traditional mouthful of metal wires and brackets. The aligners are constructed of a solid piece of plastic strong enough, a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack®, to shift the teeth and move them into the correct position. Every one or two weeks, the patient receives a new tray with an updated aligner. Each tray will feel slightly different as it shifts and moves the teeth.
The idea of using removable aligners to adjust the teeth is not a new concept. The idea was first introduced in the 1940s. Additional improvements were made through the decades, though the technology did not improve until the 1990s. The creators of Invisalign developed their mass-market system in 1999.
If you are a candidate, Invisalign provides an almost invisible way to straighten your teeth. Invisalign is available at Smile Dental Studio in Phoenix and the surrounding area.
The first step to getting Invisalign is by scheduling a consultation with our dentist. Our staff will look at overall oral health and take impressions of the mouth, digital scans, and X-rays. Next, that impression and dental exams are sent to Invisalign and used to make aligners unique to the patient’s mouth for a custom fit.
Once the aligners have been made, our staff will make sure they fit well, answer any questions, and go over the treatment plan. Patients will be expected to wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day to get results. Regular checkups with our team will make sure treatment stays on track. Our staff will determine how often new aligners are needed.
After the desired results have been achieved, the patient may be expected to wear a retainer to maintain those results. This will prevent teeth from gradually shifting back to their initial position. Our doctor will provide specific instructions on how often a retainer will need to be worn.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic technique that uses clear, plastic aligners to straighten the teeth. The aligners are created from a custom mold of the patient’s mouth, and new aligner trays are provided at specific intervals as part of the treatment process. Our team will develop the treatment plan and monitor the process.
What are the advantages of Invisalign over traditional metal braces?
Since Invisalign aligners are clear, patients can avoid the unsightly look of a mouth filled with metal brackets and wires. They are also more comfortable to wear and allow the patient fewer restrictions on foods they can eat. Since they are removable, it is easier to brush and floss your teeth.
How long is the treatment time?
Treatment, on average, takes less than two years but can vary depending on the patient’s specific concerns. Aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours a day to see results. If a patient does not wear the aligners for the recommended amount of time, treatment results will take longer.
How long does Invisalign Teen treatment take?
Every smile remains unique as they offer personalized treatment plans for each patient. Treatment time for Invisalign Teen varies, depending on how much the teeth need to be moved and how many sets of aligners will be required to achieve the desired outcome. Treatment times can vary between 6-18 months.
Does Invisalign hurt?
Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign’s clear aligners do not rub and poke at the soft tissues of the mouth. Patients can expect to feel some sensitivity for a day or two when a new set of aligners is put in. This means the teeth are shifting, and the aligners are working. Any discomfort should go away quickly.
Invisalign Teen vs. Invisalign for Adults
Invisalign Teen aligners have a blue indicator that keeps track of how many hours the patient wore the trays that day as it can often be difficult to remember. The indicator changes color from blue to clear or white the more often the trays are worn. Traditional Invisalign trays for adults do not come with the blue indicator, as they assume adults will be responsible enough to wear their aligners for the bulk of the day. The indicator helps busy teens keep track of their wear duration so they can be sure to wear them for the required 22 hours a day.
Invisalign Teen also comes with a higher number of replacement aligners. Due to the nature of a teenager’s active lifestyles, they provide more replacement aligners with Invisalign Teen, in the event a set becomes damaged or lost. These replacement trays come included in the treatment plan at no additional cost.
How do you keep Invisalign aligners clean?
Aligners should be cleaned with a clear and unscented antibacterial soap or toothpaste. If using toothpaste, make sure it is not a brand with whitening agents, which can wear away the plastic. Always brush and floss after meals before putting the aligners back in the mouth. This helps keep food particles from getting stuck, which can lead to bacteria growth and bad breath.
Do I have to avoid any foods with Invisalign?
If you eat with the aligners in place, make sure to avoid hard foods like raw carrots and sticky foods like gum. Hard and sticky candies should also be avoided. You will also want to avoid drinking anything other than water when the aligners are in place. Coffee and tea can stain the aligners, while soda has acidic properties that can break down the plastic.