If you know anything about Invisalign, you know it’s the discreet way to straighten your teeth and improve your smile. But how is it possible for clear plastic aligners to change tooth placement? How does Invisalign work, anyway? Find answers to your questions here before you pursue orthodontic treatment at Speaks Orthodontics.
How Invisalign Works
Instead of relying on metal brackets and wires to straighten your teeth, Invisalign takes a more modern approach to orthodontics. It involves wearing a series of clear, custom-made aligners over your teeth. These aligners are smooth and comfortable.
Instead of visiting the orthodontist to have wires tightened, you simply pop in new aligners every two weeks until treatment is complete. Each new set of aligners moves your teeth ever so slightly, gradually shifting them into the ideal position. Carefully mapped out changes ensure a comfortable bite throughout the entire process.
In some situations, the plastic Invisalign trays may not be able to move your teeth properly without some help. In these cases, Dr. Speaks may discuss “attachments” with you. These small, enamel-colored composites affix firmly to your teeth. Indentations in the aligners grip the attachments, making some trickier tooth movements more achievable.
If you end up needing attachments, rest assured you can still remove the Invisalign like normal to eat, brush and floss. At the end of treatment, the attachments are removed, restoring a smooth tooth surface.
Breaking Down the Treatment Process
Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or someone else, fully understanding the process makes you more confident in your choice. Here’s how Invisalign treatment works:
- Select an experienced Invisalign-trained provider: Dr. Speaks is a trusted orthodontist in Denver and has earned the Invisalign Preferred Provider designation. This means our staff has received the proper training to evaluate your needs, determine how Invisalign can help and provide the high quality treatment you’re looking for.
- Schedule a free consultation: You and Dr. Speaks will discuss your specific situation and determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. This is also your opportunity to ask questions about Invisalign, costs and insurance coverage.
- Have a customized treatment plan created for you: Dr. Speaks takes photos, x-rays and impressions to create a computer-generated 3D image of your teeth. With these initial images, he maps out precise teeth movements and determines how long treatment will take. The average length is 9 to 15 months with 18 to 30 sets of aligners. The digital representation allows Dr. Speaks to show you what the gradual changes will look like and what the final results will be.
- Receive and wear your aligners: The 3D images of your teeth are used to create a series of physical aligners. Plan to wear each set for 20 to 22 hours per day, removing them only to eat, brush and floss. Dr. Speaks will send you home with a few sets of aligners for you to change out every two weeks. Each new set advances your treatment to the next stage.
- Visit the orthodontist for checkups: Every six weeks or so, you’ll need to visit with Dr. Speaks to make sure your treatment is progressing as planned. He’ll give you the next six weeks’ worth of aligners to get you through until your next appointment.
- Maintain your new smile: At the end of treatment, your smile will look more radiant than ever! You’ll find yourself smiling with increased confidence. Now comes the maintenance aspect of your treatment, which involves wearing a Vivera retainer at night. This style of retainer looks like an Invisalign aligner, so you should feel comfortable wearing it right away. Wearing your retainer at night from now on prevents your teeth from shifting so you don’t ever have to undergo remedial orthodontic treatment.
The best part of the whole Invisalign process is that most people won’t even know you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. That’s the major advantage of straightening your teeth the invisible way!