We understand the value of a healthy, attractive smile. We also realize that the way that teeth align affects each of these ideal characteristics. To help our patients support lifelong oral health and the appearance of their smile, we are pleased to offer orthodontic consultation and Invisalign® treatment.
What is Invisalign?
The Invisalign aligner system is a method of treating misalignment that does not involve braces. Teeth are straightened by progressive sets of clear, removable aligners that look similar to teeth-whitening trays or to the mouthguards that athletes wear (but much more discreet).
How do Invisalign aligners straighten teeth?
When a person wears braces, her teeth are gently moved through the pressure exerted onto affixed brackets. The wire that runs through the brackets guides this movement through specific force.
Aligners do the same thing, but without the need for brackets and wires. Alignment can be achieved because each aligner is specifically made from a patient-model created at the onset of treatment. Each set of aligners in the series exerts directional force that gradually moves each tooth into its ideal position.
The Invisalign Process
Invisalign treatment begins with an extensive consultation and examination that may include x-rays. Orthodontic records are compiled with the findings of this initial exam and with data from a digital scan. This digital scan captures the details of the oral structure without the need for messy impressions. The model obtained with digital imaging is sent to Align Technology for further processing.
At Align Technology, our treatment plan prescription and the images of your teeth are processed in 3D imaging software to create a graphical model of the overall treatment plan. We could liken this to an animated presentation. This graphical representation shows us the step-by-step movements that will occur from the first set of aligners to the last. After this representation is complete, additional software is used to create the physical aligners that will be worn throughout the course of treatment.
Wearing and Caring for Aligners
It is necessary to wear Invisalign aligners at all times, except when eating and performing oral hygiene. Yes, aligners may be left out for short periods for special events. However, the intent is for aligners to be so discreet that you don’t feel the need to remove them for meetings, dates, and other events. The better you adhere to prescription guidelines, the better your results will be.
Aligners are switched every two weeks to the next set in the series. Every new set of aligners will feel tight for several days. Minor soreness or aching may occur. This is normal! Your teeth are moving! About every six weeks, we will see you in the office to check the progress of your treatment.
Aligners can attract bacteria and stains. If bacteria accumulate in aligners, this can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum irritation. To prevent bacterial buildup, you can gently brush aligners when you brush your teeth. Be sure to use non-abrasive toothpaste or the approved Invisalign Cleaning Crystals. If you don’t have time to brush right after a meal, rinse your mouth and your aligners in lukewarm water (never hot water).
What are the benefits of wearing Invisalign?
There are several benefits to the Invisalign process, including:
- Discreet treatment is ideal for adults as well as teens.
- Removal aligners do not inhibit dietary choices.
- Without braces adhered to teeth, oral hygiene is an easier task and risks of decay and gingivitis are lower than with conventional orthodontia.
- Aligners are contoured around teeth and gentler to soft tissue, so treatment is more comfortable than braces.
Is Invisalign faster than braces?
No. The duration of treatment depends on the extent of misalignment, not on the system. For mild to moderate alignment and bite issues, Invisalign is comparable to traditional braces, achieving the desired outcome in about 12 months.
Is Invisalign covered by insurance?
You will need to check with your insurance provider for full details, but most insurance companies that cover conventional braces extend the same amount of coverage for Invisalign.
What kind of problems can Invisalign correct?
Invisalign is often used to help patients fix:
- General misalignment and crooked teeth
Will Invisalign work for me?
There are a number of concerns for which Invisalign is appropriate. However, this system is not right for everyone. Your dentist can determine if your orthodontic goals can be met with Invisalign by conducting a thoughtful examination of your teeth.
Are you interested in having a straighter smile? Contact us in Miami or Pembroke Pines to schedule your Invisalign consultation.