How Does Invisalign Work?
October 3, 2018
There are many different things that we might dislike about our teeth, from their color to the sight of obvious dental work, such as cavity fillings. Unfortunately, this can cause us to become embarrassed or even ashamed about the appearance of our smile, and we do everything in our power to hide our teeth as much as possible.
Misaligned teeth pose a problem, both for the look and health of your teeth
One of the most common complaints about the esthetics of our teeth is their positioning. Very few of us have been blessed with teeth that are naturally straight and a bite that is in perfect alignment. While this may seem like a purely cosmetic issue, it can also have an impact on the health of our teeth. Patients who have misaligned teeth are more likely to suffer from problems with their temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and bruxism, a condition which is characterized by unconscious clenching and grinding of the teeth. Both of these problems can have repercussions for our oral health. Similarly, teeth that are crooked or twisted, or that have small gaps between them are prone to becoming affected by decay and periodontal disease, since it is difficult to remove debris and plaque from these tiny spaces.
Orthodontic treatment is now more common than ever before, with Invisalign becoming the premier choice of many patients thanks to the unique way that it works.
What is Invisalign and how does it work?
Invisalign is an innovative new approach to conventional orthodontic treatment. Much like regular braces, the principle of Invisalign is to gently guide the teeth into a new and improved position. However, the way that it does this is completely different.
Invisalign uses a series of custom-designed transparent plastic aligners, worn over the teeth, to exert gentle pressure and guide the teeth into the desired location. The series of aligners is created using state of the art digital mapping technology. This takes an image of your teeth in their original position and decides how exactly they must move in order for you to achieve the desired result. An aligner is custom-created for each stage of the treatment, built exactly to the specifications decided by the Invisalign computer program. Each must be worn for approximately 3 weeks before moving on to the next aligner in the series.
In order for your Invisalign treatment to be successful there are two key points to remember. Firstly, the aligners must be worn in the correct order, otherwise the proper corrections will not happen. Secondly, your aligners must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day, only being removed for eating and cleaning. Failure to do so will see the teeth not move the estimated amount in the correct time frame, potentially delaying or compromising the entire program.
Tracking the progress of your treatment
Your Invisalign provider will still need to track the progress of your treatment to ensure that your teeth are moving as they should and to the correct timeline. This means that you will need to make short visits to their offices approximately once every 8 weeks. The exact length of your treatment plan will vary depending on how much your teeth needed to move to get them into the new and improved position, but your Invisalign provider will be able to give you an estimated treatment timeline during your initial consultation.
Benefits of Invisalign
There are a number of important advantages that Invisalign offers over traditional orthodontic braces. These include:
Discretion. Invisalign aligners are transparent, meaning there is no unsightly metalwork visible in your mouth. You can smile, speak and laugh with confidence and without worrying that people are staring at your braces.
Comfort. Patients who opt for soft, Invisalign aligners state that the treatment is much more comfortable than having orthodontic braces fitted and regularly adjusted.
Safety. Unlike braces, which contain metal parts that can scratch, scrape and puncture the inside of your mouth and gums, Invisalign aligners are soft with no protruding parts.
Convenience. Patients who wear braces are advised against eating sticky, chewy or hard foods, or those which, like popcorn, break up into tiny pieces. This is because they can either damage your braces, or get stuck in them, causing decay and other problems. Invisalign aligners can be removed at mealtimes and stored in their little container, leaving you free to enjoy all your favorite foods. Just remember to pop them back in after you have finished your meal.
Cleaner teeth. As you can probably imagine, it is very difficult to clean around the brackets and wires of conventional braces. Small gaps often get missed, leading to tooth decay. With Invisalign you simply take your aligner out to clean both it and your teeth, making it much simpler to look after the health of your teeth and gums.
If you would like to find out more about Invisalign, our team have the training and experience to advise you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your query, or to arrange a consultation to discuss your candidacy.