Invisalign® is a revolution in orthodontic treatment that replaces the old metal brackets and wires of traditional braces with clear acrylic aligners that gently move your teeth into place. Invisalign® eliminates the need to visit an orthodontist every month to have wires tightened. Traditional braces place restrictions on the foods you can eat, disallowing favorites like caramel, popcorn, and even apples for fear of pulling a wire or bracket loose.
Invisalign® patients can remove their aligners, which allows them to eat anything they want. Removable aligners also make cleaning teeth much easier to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Invisalign® requires no bands and patients need not worry about wires cutting up the inside of their mouth.
The average Invisalign® treatment lasts 12 to 18 months, as opposed to the minimum two-year treatment often recommended for traditional braces. For many patients, the biggest advantage of Invisalign® comes from the virtual invisibility of the aligners, meaning nobody has to know that they wear them except the dentist.
We treat many adults with Invisalign®, including some who wore traditional braces as teens. Invisalign® aligners can repair many smile issues, such as overbites, underbites, and crooked or rotated teeth. They work wonderfully for patients who have wide spaces between their teeth, even when other teeth shift and move into those spaces.
Adults suffering from malocclusion, which occurs when the upper and lower arches of teeth do not fit together correctly, find that Invisalign® works wonders for their smiles. Without treatment, malocclusion can result in speech problems, teeth grinding (bruxism), TMJ disorder, and frequent biting of the cheeks and tongue.
Invisalign® doesn’t only work for adult patients, however. In fact, the makers of Invisalign® created a special treatment program just for teens. Invisalign Teen® offers all the benefits of the adult plan, with a few unique tweaks aimed at helping kids stay on track with their treatment plan.
The aligners that come with the Invisalign Teen® program have blue dots on them that fade as teens wear them. If the blue dot remains when they finish with that aligner, their parents will know that they have not stayed compliant with their plan.
The makers of Invisalign® realize that teenagers have very busy lives and often forget things, so they include six bonus aligners with the teen program at no charge. So if Johnny loses his aligner during football practice or Becky accidentally throws hers away in the cafeteria with her lunch trash, parents just need to call our office, and we will order them a replacement aligner at no extra charge.
As she does with most dental procedures, Dr. Green has her patients start the Invisalign® process with a consultation. The doctor will take the time to discuss the Invisalign® process with you, find out what your expectations are for the treatment, and answer any questions you may have.
When you both agree that Invisalign® offers the best solution for you, the doctor will schedule your second appointment. At the second appointment, the process really gets moving and the excitement begins. Dr. Green will take 3D digital images of your mouth and feed them into the Invisalign® software.
The software will process the images and use them to create a custom treatment plan tailored to the needs of your smile. The plan will outline how many sets of retainers you will need to wear to achieve your desired results, and how long your total treatment will last.
For most patients, the treatment lasts from 12 to 18 months, but this varies from case to case. Dr. Green will forward the treatment plan to an offsite Invisalign® lab, where the technicians will use it to create your aligners. When the lab returns your aligners to our office, you will come back for a third visit. This time, the doctor will give you your first few sets of aligners and provide instructions for their use and care.
Over the course of the treatment, you will wear 20 to 30 sets of aligners, depending on the severity of your case. You will wear each set of aligners for two weeks, keeping them in your mouth for 20 to 22 hours a day to remain in compliance with your treatment plan.
You will only remove the aligners for eating and cleaning your teeth. To ensure that your plan works, you must follow these parameters. If you fail to wear the aligners for the required 20 to 22 hours each day, the doctor may have to extend the length of your treatment.
You will receive your first three sets of aligners to start with, then return for a checkup visit in six weeks. At this visit, the doctor will quickly check the progress of your treatment and give you your next few sets of aligners. You will return for a checkup visit every six weeks and receive your next sets of aligners.
Once you have successfully completed your course of treatment, Dr. Green will provide a retainer for you to wear. The retainer will help keep your teeth in their new place, so your gorgeous new smile will last a lifetime.