Clear aligners have evolved as a method to straighten teeth without traditional orthodontic brackets and wires. Invisalign started the clear aligner treatment method over 23 years ago and is by far the most experienced company in the field. Clear aligners work similarly to traditional orthodontics, by putting force on teeth to move them where we’d like them to be. Bone is continually adapting to pressure upon it so steady force will gradually move teeth through it into a new position.
Which Orthodontic Issues Can Invisalign Fix?
Invisalign can treat the following issues orthodontic issues:
- Crooked Teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Open Bite
- Crowded Teeth
What is the Process Like
At your first appointment, we will gather the necessary information to create the clear aligners by taking photographs and impressions or a video camera scan of your mouth. We will send that information off to be processed. Within a couple of weeks we will have you return to view a computerized step by step plan of your proposed treatment. At that point we will be able to estimate how long your treatment will take, what it will cost and what it will look like when you’re finished. You are under no obligation to proceed with treatment until after you’ve seen and approved of your computerized treatment plan. What’s nice about that is you get to see what the results will be before you commit to anything.
Once you approve the plan, it takes a few weeks for the aligners to be made. Each aligner is typically worn from 1-2 weeks, 22 hours a day. You take them out to eat and brush your teeth, which makes day to day functioning with them much easier than traditional braces. We will generally send you home with multiple aligners and have you come in for appointments to check progress every 1-2 months. If at any point during or at the end of treatment, it looks like teeth aren’t moving the way we’re expecting we can send in a new impression or scan and get more trays made at no extra cost to you. Once treatment is finished it is critical for you to wear retainers to prevent relapse.
What About At Home Aligner Treatments
Currently a number of companies are promoting at home aligner therapy without dentist supervision. We have been hearing mixed reviews from patients of ours that have tried this out. From our experience, these treatments are only appropriate for minor tooth movement (moving just a few crowded teeth for example).