As an alternative to traditional, metal braces, Invisalign as an orthodontic treatment has gained popularity over the past few years because the treatments are virtually invisible. Designed to align and straighten teeth, Invisalign has been used to treat more than 700,000 patients since 2008. The most obvious advantage of Invisalign treatment is that they are very difficult to see and less intrusive than wire and metal bracket braces. Moreover, many of the effects on the gums and supporting tissue that result from traditional braces are avoided by Invisalign as they are removable making them and the teeth and gums easier to clean.
This modern approach to straightening teeth relies on a custom-made series of tooth aligners that resemble a mouth guard. Because they are created individually for each patient, they are designed to fit only your set of teeth so that they are comfortable and effective. They are made of virtually invisible plastic that is worn over your teeth so that your teeth can be gradually realigned giving you a straight and attractive smile. Patients are given a new set of plastic aligners every 2 weeks or so, each set designed to make slight adjustments to the alignment of your teeth.
There are certainly more popular alternatives for straightening teeth, but few are as comfortable or cosmetically appealing as Invisalign. As mentioned, the aligners are virtually invisible so most people in your day to day life will have no idea that you are undergoing a tooth-straightening procedure. Invisalign therefore make a popular choice for adults who are concerned about how they look and feel. Even teenagers today are partial to Invisalign because they are not met with the same level of stigma associated with metal braces.
Invisalign treatment begins when your dentist takes pictures, x-rays and dental impressions of your teeth. These images are then used to create digital 3-D image of your teeth so your dentist can determine your best treatment plan. The exact movements of your teeth will be mapped out and your doctor will be able to show you a virtual demonstration of each stage of treatment.
Once your treatment plan has been determined, your custom aligners will be manufactured. Each clear aligner is created with your specific treatment plan in mind. Made from BPA-free plastic, these aligners fit comfortably over your teeth so that you won’t experience any irritation in your cheeks and gums, unlike traditional braces. You can wear these aligners all day, removing them only to brush and floss your teeth or eat. Each set of aligners will gently and gradually move your teeth into a straight position.
The entire Invisalign process requires only a few visits to your dentist, approximately twice a month, to get you started with a new set of aligners. At each stage of treatment, you will return to your dentist or orthodontist in order to monitor your progress. Treatment typically lasts for about a year, although each patient is different. Nevertheless, at the end of your Invisalign treatment you should be happy to see a new, straighter smile that gives you the confidence to smile.