When individuals are faced with the prospect of getting orthodontic work done, one of the things that most often comes to mind is questions about Invisalign. Many people have heard about Invisalign over the years either from commercials or hearing about it from friends or family, but few people know about how does Invisalign work?
People also want to know how to straighten teeth with the Invisalign process? How can an Invisalign dentist help with teeth straightening? And what is the time frame on how to straighten your teeth when you’re using Invisalign? Lastly, the biggest question of all that most people ask on a regular basis is how Invisalign works? Let’s start from the beginning about what is Invisalign?
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign, at its most simple explanation, is a clear plastic retainer that is designed to fit over your teeth and gently align the teeth. The technology incorporates the use of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing which has allowed individualized orthodontic treatments (Galan-Lopez L et al.,2019).
This clear plastic retainer is significantly different than the Invisalign of yesteryear as the Invisalign technology has continued to advance and progress rapidly.
Some have heard the results of studies that show that Invisalign treatment is not as effective as the results achieved by treatment with fixed appliances (Galan-Lopez L et al.,2019). While this is true for older models, modern Invisalign retainers continue to improve and are both thinner and stronger than previous versions. While you may come across some organizations trying to peddle the older models of Invisalign, only the actual Invisalign process patented by the Invisalign company and recommended to you by an Invisalign dentist will be able to give you the most up-to-date treatment.
This is because the thinner but stronger plastics more recently developed by Invisalign are far less conspicuous and far more comfortable for individuals. Not only that, but the new advances made in Invisalign over the years also allow Invisalign to treat more orthodontic problems than previously.
While simpler versions of the old Invisalign technology were able to fix minor problems, its ongoing research and development has allowed treatment of more complex malocclusions (Galan-Lopez L et al.,2019) while still maintaining the beautiful clear aesthetics that so many people have come to think of as synonymous with advanced dental medicine. But now that we know what Invisalign is and what it can do, what does it actually look like if you were to get the treatment?
The first thing you need to do is you need to visit an Invisalign dentist. Meeting with your local orthodontic office and discussing some of your options is a great way to start. Most orthodontic offices like Ivanov Orthodontics and others will offer free consultations. During this free consultation, you can discuss a wide variety of subjects, concerns, family health history, payment plans, and of course, how Invisalign works.
However, if you would like a simple overview, the process will go something like this. The first thing is you will likely meet with your orthodontic office and discuss any possible treatment plans and whether Invisalign will ultimately be best for you.
If your orthodontic office does decide that Invisalign is in your best health interests, then the next step of the process will be to set up an appointment where you can get your teeth scanned by the iTero 3D scanning software which will be used to help create the customized orthodontic retainers. The fact is that Invisalign is incredibly customized directly for your needs and is part of the reason why the treatment has become more effective as better methods of scanning and plastic composites have been created. Using the molds and the scans will give your orthodontist a good idea of how long it will take for the treatment time to complete and so you will have a good idea from when you start to when you can expect to finish.
How Invisalign works
Now that the scanning is done, you will shortly be in possession of your Invisalign retainers. These retainers will oftentimes feel snug but that’s on purpose. By having a tight fit it will help to pull the teeth into the correct position which is the very purpose of Invisalign the first place.
One of the major benefits compared with traditional metal braces is that they are removable. This ability to remove them means that you will be able to eat, floss, brush your teeth, and even take out your Invisalign retainers anytime you want. This can be a huge peace of mind for individuals who are concerned about the prospect of needing to wear unsightly orthodontic gear for months or years.
How to straighten teeth
However, it is important to remember that this comes with some pretty serious responsibility as well. Not only are replacements going to cost a few hundred dollars if you lose or damage them, but even if you do not happen to lose or damage the Invisalign retainers, simply failing to wear them for the requisite amount of time, 22 hours per day minimum, can lead to your treatment time stagnating or even reverting.
The last thing anybody wants is to be going through an orthodontic process for even longer than is necessary, especially if it was within your power to not do so. This one of the reasons why Invisalign is best recommended for older teens and adults who are able to be more responsible for following through on their orthodontic treatment regimen.
How to straighten your teeth
Once you start utilizing your Invisalign retainers, you will be given regular replacement aligners as your orthodontic office sees your treatment progressing. Although Invisalign treatment is oftentimes slower than traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, or lingual braces because those braces are affixed and operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Invisalign treatments do look better and so you will at least be more comfortable and have better aesthetics while you undergo your treatment.
Either in your orthodontist office or having regular retainers sent to you as needed can help make the Invisalign treatment far less invasive than older traditional options. And eventually the day will come when your orthodontic office recommends that you no longer need to utilize the Invisalign treatment. Instead you will move on to a retainer to help keep your teeth retained into their new positions. There is no installation and of course there is no uninstallation.
Once you’re done, you’re done unlike individuals who get traditional braces who have to get them taken off as part of their final appointment. With so many positives, and with the technology only getting better year after year, plus the affordability and beautiful aesthetics, it is little wonder then that Invisalign treatment is quite possibly one of the most sought after and popular treatments for older teens and adults who want to get quality orthodontic care while maintaining the beauty of their smile.
If you are one of the many adults or teenagers who require orthodontic treatment to improve the appearance of your teeth and straighten your teeth, whether because of a poor teeth alignment, crooked teeth, an underbite, overbite, or any other kind of poor bite, you may have considered traditional metal braces and might have found them wanting.
This is a common scenario as more people are opting for Invisalign because of some of its advantages over traditional metal braces when it comes to straightening teeth. However, you may also be asking some questions about Invisalign such as, “Is it as effective as traditional braces?”
This is a good question; it is easy to see how traditional braces straighten teeth with the wires and brackets that work to shift the teeth into the correct positions. However, with Invisalign, there are no brackets or wires and so the mechanism of action may not be as clear cut to you.
If so, you may well be cautious about spending a lot of money on Invisalign treatments.
Asking questions is not a bad thing. What is negative is asking the wrong people questions and getting the wrong answers. While internet research has its advantages, you should always seek the advice of an orthodontist and base your decision on their recommendations.
Galan-Lopez, L., Barcia-Gonzalez, J., & Plasencia, E. (2019). A systematic review of the accuracy and efficiency of dental movements with Invisalign®. Korean journal of orthodontics, 49(3), 140–149. https://doi.org/10.4041/kjod.2019.49.3.140