Invisalign® takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created just for you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable, and virtually invisible plastic that you simply wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements your dentist or orthodontist plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You simply pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks until your treatment is complete and you achieve the confident smile that you’ve always wanted. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you’re straightening your teeth.
Step 1: Your Initial Appointment. Your first visit starts with a consultation. During the consultation, we will discuss your case in detail to determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign®. This will also be your opportunity to ask any questions you have about the treatment: costs, dental/orthodontic insurance, or any other concerns. Take the Self Assessment ahead of time to see if you might be a good candidate.
Step 2: Getting Started. Once we have decided the procedure is right for you, we will take x-rays, pictures, and impressions of your teeth, which Invisalign® will use to create a digital 3-D image of them. From these images, your doctor will map out a precise treatment plan, including the exact movements of your teeth. Using this same technology, your doctor will even be able to show you a virtual representation of how your teeth will move with each stage of treatment.
Step 3: Getting Your Personal, Custom Aligners. Based on your individual treatment plan, a series of custom-made, clear aligners are then created specifically for you. These aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable BPA-free plastic that won’t irritate your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces often do. Simply wear them throughout the day, and remove them when you eat, brush, or floss. As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth gently and gradually begin to shift into place.
Step 4: A Simple Process-with Only Occasional Checkups. Approximately every two weeks, you will begin wearing a new set of aligners, advancing you to the next stage or your treatment. To monitor your progress, you will also have occasional checkups, usually every six weeks or so. At every stage, you will be able to see how much closer you are to having the smile that reflects the real you.
Step 5: Length of Time Until You Reveal Your New Smile. While every case is unique to each patient, treatment typically takes approximately a year for adults. For teens, the length of treatment is comparable to that of braces, but since your teeth won’t be covered by wires and brackets, you’ll be able to see improvement much sooner. For best results and a timely outcome, you should wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, throughout your entire treatment.
While the end results may appear the same – a confident, beautiful smile – when you stop and actually compare Invisalign® to other teeth-straightening options, the advantages become quite apparent. Knowing the pros and cons of each option ahead of time will help you make a more confident decision.
- Effectively treats a wide variety of cases, including crowding, spacing, crossbite, overbite, and underbite.
- Straightens your teeth.
- Average cost is about $5,000.
- Allows you to eat whatever food you enjoy.
- Lets you remove the device when you want.
- Lets you enjoy virtually invisible teeth-straightening.
- Allows you to brush and floss your teeth normally for better periodontal health.
- Consists of smooth, comfortable plastic instead of sharp metal that is more likely to irritate your cheeks and gums.
- Frees up your busy schedule, only requiring office visits every four to six weeks.
- Invisalign® Teen: Provides up to six free replacement aligners if lost or broken.
With regular braces, you may experience some or all of the following: pain, discomfort, mouth sores or injuries caused by the brace wires, tooth decay (from inadequate brushing and flossing), plaque buildup, tooth discoloration, tooth/bracket breakage, or difficulty eating. As if that weren’t enough, there are also the personal sacrifices – popcorn, chips, bagels, hard-crusted bread, pizza crust, pretzels, nuts, certain candies…plus apples, carrots, corn on the cob, and more.