Modern orthodontics has seen some incredible advancements in both technology and technique the last several years, giving patients more treatment options than ever before. One of these options is Invisalign, a popular alternative to traditional braces that offers the same results without any brackets, wires, or bands. If you’re contemplating treatment with Dream Orthodontics, but want to avoid the appearance of braces and keep your normal routine intact throughout the process, Invisalign could be a great choice for you! But what exactly is Invisalign? How does it work? For more information on this innovative system, keep reading below!
What is Invisalign?
Unlike braces, which are a fixed appliance, the Invisalign system uses a series of removable clear plastic trays to gently move the teeth into a straighter smile over time. The design is deceptively simple; the trays are made of a special thermoplastic resin that’s strong enough to correct a variety of orthodontic issues. To achieve this, the customized aligners are switched out at regular intervals throughout the treatment process.
How does Invisalign work?
The first step in your orthodontic journey will be an initial consultation with Dr. Morra in our South Surrey office. During this appointment, she will thoroughly examine your mouth, discuss any orthodontic needs, and let you know if your smile is a good fit for Invisalign. We can then begin mapping out a precise treatment plan for you based on a highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums. This plan will include the exact movements we want your teeth to make while you’re in aligners. It also gives us an indication of how long your treatment is likely to take.
Once your plan is in place, we’ll begin custom designing your aligners using the 3D scan and Invisalign’s special SmartTrack® material. SmartTrack® is durable, comfortable, and virtually invisible! Although the total number of aligners needed will vary from patient to patient, the average is usually somewhere between 10 and 48. The total treatment time also varies from about 6-18 months.
As we mentioned briefly above, traditional braces are a fixed orthodontic appliance. In contrast, Invisalign aligners are removable, so patient compliance is necessary for the treatment to work properly. In order to maximize the effectiveness of your aligners, you’ll be instructed to wear them for 20-22 hours every day, throughout the course of treatment. Depending on your specific treatment plan, you’ll also switch to a new set of aligners every 1-2 weeks. We’ll schedule regular check-ups for you approximately every 6-8 weeks, so Dr. Morra can check the movement of your teeth and ensure everything is proceeding as it should.
What are the benefits of Invisalign treatment?
The benefits of Invisalign go beyond comfort and invisibility! Food restrictions can be one of the biggest learning curves for braces patients. To protect the wires and brackets, they must steer clear of anything too chewy or crunchy until treatment is complete. That means avoiding things like whole apples and carrots, popcorn and most chips, and lots of different candy, too. While it’s definitely worth the effort in the end, it can be a bit frustrating at times. Invisalign aligners, however, are designed to be removed when you eat or drink anything other than water, so all your favorite foods are still on the table!
Removable aligners can also make it easier to care for your teeth and gums throughout treatment. Oral hygiene is especially important when you’re an orthodontic patient, but the wires, brackets, and bands that come with traditional braces can make proper brushing and flossing difficult and time-consuming. With Invisalign, aligners are simply taken out before brushing and flossing. Cleaning them couldn’t be easier, either. There are special kits designed to clean Invisalign aligners, or you can gently clean them using denture crystals and a soft toothbrush.
Removable aligners are also useful for those who play contact sports (the aligners can be removed and replaced with a regular or orthodontic mouthguard) and musicians (no wires or brackets to get in the way.) They’re also perfect for special occasions where you want your natural smile to shine through, such as weddings, prom, and senior pictures.
Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?
In general, we recommend Invisalign for teen and adult patients who have mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve. During your free consultation with us, Dr. Morra will be able to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you or your child. If she feels that a more traditional treatment method would be better for your smile, that will be recommended to you instead. We only endorse the treatment we feel will give you the best results based on your unique smile!
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
Even after orthodontic treatment of any kind, the teeth will retain memories of their previous place in the mouth. Over time, there’s a natural tendency for them to drift back to their original positions. Wearing a retainer regularly will prevent this drifting and help maintain your newly straightened smile! Once your Invisalign treatment is complete, we’ll provide you with a retainer. To keep your smile in place, you should always wear it exactly as directed by Dr. Morra.
Find your best smile with Invisalign and Dream Orthodontics
As an alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign continues to gain popularity and change the way people view orthodontic treatment every day! If you’re interested in learning more about the Invisalign clear aligner system and what it can do for you, contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation with our expert team. We’re here to help you find your very best smile!