Modern orthodontics has seen incredible technological advancements in recent years, along with innovative technology that offers patients more customized treatment options than ever before. One such option for straightening teeth and achieving the smile you desire is Invisalign! The Invisalign clear aligner system is one of the most popular alternatives to traditional braces, giving patients the same results without any brackets and wires. Invisalign can be a great choice for patients who want to avoid the appearance of traditional braces and keep their normal routine intact while undergoing orthodontic treatment. But what exactly is Invisalign, and how does it work? Keep reading below for more information!
What is Invisalign?
The Invisalign system uses a series of clear removable plastic trays to gently move the teeth into more optimal positions over time. The design is so simple that you may wonder how the aligners can achieve the same results as metal braces! However, the trays are made of a special thermoplastic resin that’s strong enough to correct orthodontic issues, giving you a straighter, healthier smile. To achieve this, the custom-made aligners are switched out at regular intervals throughout the treatment process.
How does Invisalign work?
The first step in any orthodontic journey is an initial consultation. During this appointment, Dr. Giarrusso or Dr. Livanos will thoroughly examine your mouth, discuss any orthodontic needs, and decide if your smile is a good fit for Invisalign. If you decide to move forward with treatment, we can begin mapping out a precise treatment plan for you using a highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums. This plan will include the exact movements we want your teeth to make, and it can also give us an indication of how long your treatment is likely to take.
From this scan, we’ll begin custom designing your aligners. These are created from Invisalign’s special SmartTrack® material, which is durable, comfortable, and virtually invisible. The total number of aligners needed will vary from patient to patient, but the average is usually somewhere between 10 and 48. Total treatment time averages from 6-18 months.
While traditional braces are a fixed orthodontic appliance, Invisalign aligners are removable. This means that a patient must be compliant for the treatment to work properly. To maximize the effectiveness of your aligners, you’ll need 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. You can expect regular check-ups every 6-8 weeks or so. During these visits, our doctors will check the movement of your teeth and ensure that everything is proceeding as it should.
What are the benefits of Invisalign treatment?
Beyond being a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing solution than traditional metal braces, Invisalign has a number of other benefits! Because the aligners are removable, there are no food restrictions, which can be frustrating for those in braces. To protect the wires and brackets, patients must steer clear of anything too chewy or crunchy until the braces are removed. That means avoiding things like whole apples and carrots, popcorn and most chips, and several kinds of candy, too. Although it’s definitely worth the effort, it can be quite a learning curve! On the other hand, Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed when you eat or drink anything other than water.
Removable aligners can also make a big difference to your oral hygiene! It’s important to take good care of your teeth and gums, especially as an orthodontic patient. The wires, brackets, and bands that come with traditional braces can make proper brushing and flossing a difficult task. With Invisalign, aligners are simply taken out before brushing and flossing. Cleaning them is also an easy task! 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, like weddings, prom, and senior pictures.
Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?
In general, we recommend Invisalign for adult patients who have mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are more complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner can achieve. During your consultation with us, our doctors will be able to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you or your child. If we feel a more traditional treatment method would be better for your smile, that will be recommended to you instead.
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
Even after orthodontic treatment has been completed, the teeth will retain memories of their previous place in the mouth. Over time, they have a natural tendency to drift back to their original positions. Retainers help prevent this drifting and keep your new smile in place! Once you finish your Invisalign treatment, we’ll provide you with a retainer. To maintain the best results, you should always wear it exactly as directed by Dr. Livanos or Dr. Giarrusso.
Invisalign is the clear choice at Central Massachusetts Orthodontic Associates
Invisalign continues to gain popularity as an alternative to traditional braces. This exciting treatment option is changing the way people view orthodontic treatment every day! If you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign and what it can do for you, we invite you to contact us today to schedule a consultation with our expert team. Our individualized approach to care will help you find your very best smile!