In the late 90s clear aligner systems became available as a relatively simple, aesthetically pleasing and cosmetically focused alternative to traditional braces. Invisalign uses a series of nearly invisible, removable aligners to straighten your smile. Invisalign is made with a 3D computer imaging technology. Your dentist or orthodontist will take impressions and photos and send them to the Align Technology lab. A couple of weeks later your ClinCheck will be ready for viewing.
Ask your orthodontist to be involved in the process of viewing your ClinCheck. This 3D image of your teeth will show you the movement that will be achieved during your Invisalign treatment. Your ClinCheck will indicate the number of aligners necessary to achieve the desired outcome and where your movement will be with each aligner. You can view your ClinCheck in the comfort of your own home through your patient account on the Invisalign website.
Invisalign depicts your complete treatment plan, from initial position of your teeth to the desired final position. Then a series of clear aligners are custom made for your teeth to move them in incremental steps. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks before being replaced by the next. Each aligner is slightly different than the one before it, moving your teeth into the next position. When the series of aligners is complete, the final position of your teeth is achieved.
Invisalign is removable, however the aligner should only be removed to eat, drink, brush, and floss. It will require discipline to keep the aligners in for at least 22 hours a day for your treatment to be successful. You’ll visit your orthodontist about once every six weeks to ensure your treatment is going as planned and to receive your next set of aligners. The total treatment time and the number of aligners you will wear is dependant upon each case, however typical Invisalign treatment for an adult is about 12 months. If your dental insurance covers orthodontics then the same benefit will apply towards your Invisalign treatment.
Your oral health care while in the aligners can continue as it normally would because you can remove your aligner to brush and floss. With traditional orthodontics oral health care routines must be modified to accommodate brushing and flossing around brackets and wires. Removing your Invisalign aligners to brush and floss regularly will keep your teeth and gums healthy.
If you have a special occasion coming up you can take your aligners out for that time and pop them back in when you’re ready. Even when you’re wearing them most people won’t know you have aligners in, they are virtually invisible. You can occasionally remove your aligners to enjoy a night out.
Generally, you will have fewer appointments with Invisalign versus traditional orthodontics, making it an ideal treatment choice if you have a busy schedule. Invisalign aligners are really comfortable and very durable. They fit in with any of your activities, lifestyle, and day-to-day interactions while still straightening your teeth. You can take a free smile assessment on the Invisalign website to see if Invisalign is a good option for you.