Everything You Need to Know About Invisalign®

Everything You Need to Know About Invisalign®

Invisalign® is a system of clear aligners that helps teenagers and adults achieve straight, even smiles without the use of traditional or clear braces. Since Invisalign® aligners are made specifically to treat each patient’s orthodontic needs, they are often more comfortable to wear. Invisalign® is slightly more expensive than traditional braces. However, for a lot of patients, the effectiveness of the device outweighs the increased rates. You should review your dental insurance policy to determine if it covers the cost of Invisalign®, but many providers have financial plans to make the smile of your dreams more affordable.

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Can I Eat and Drink Normally with Invisalign®?

One of the things that people hate about having traditional or even clear braces is that they have to give up certain foods during treatment. With Invisalign®, there are no food restrictions. One of the few times that you remove your aligners is when you are eating. Then, you clean your teeth and put your aligners back in. You can continue to eat crunchy foods, drink coffee, and eat foods with tomato based sauces. The only restriction generally given with Invisalign® is to avoid chewing gum, which sticks to the aligners.

Is There Any Pain from Wearing Invisalign®?

If you are worried about the pain that is often associated with the use of traditional braces, then you should consider Invisalign®. Although some patients report minor discomfort in the first few days of a using a new aligner, it is generally far less uncomfortable than traditional or clear braces. Patients often report it not as feeling painful, but as a feeling of pressure in their mouth.

Is Wearing the Aligners Complicated?

Invisalign® is clear and easy to use. The aligners are great for people who are worried about the attention that they may get from wearing traditional braces. Since they look and fit similar to a custom whitening tray, they are not as noticeable during treatment. Some patients do report having a small lisp during the first few days of treatment. However, this goes away as your tongue learns to navigate in your mouth with the aligners.

How Long Does Invisalign® Take to Work?

Invisalign® treatment takes, on average, about a year. However, it could take more time to help you get the smile of your dreams. Invisalign® has come a long way since its first approval for use in 1998. Orthodontists now use it to treat various bite problems. So, if you thought that you would not qualify for Invisalign®, check with an orthodontist who specializes in its use. You may be pleasantly surprised!

How Can I Obtain Aligners of My Own?

First, you should visit with an orthodontist who is trained in the use of Invisalign®. Many offer free consultations. However, when you call to make an appointment, you should ask if they will charge you for this initial appointment. Your orthodontist will assess you and determine if it is the right choice to help you straighten your smile.

What Is the Process Behind Designing Aligners?

Your orthodontist will take dental impressions of your teeth as well as measure them. He or she will take X-rays to determine the root positioning for your teeth. Finally, the orthodontist will take a series of photos to help document the progress of your treatment. Your orthodontist will send the information about your bite and your teeth to Invisalign®, which will create a digital simulation of the movement your teeth will undergo with treatment. Your orthodontist will review this digital simulation to ensure that it is correct for you. Once approved, Invisalign® will make your aligners.

How Soon Will My Aligners Arrive?

Your orthodontist could receive your aligners in as little as two to three weeks. However, if the treatment plan requires changes, it could take longer. Once your orthodontist has your retainers, he or she will contact you to schedule an appointment. The orthodontist may put “attachments”—a composite material that matches the enamel—on your teeth. They are put on the front of some of your teeth to help keep the aligners in place.

What Happens After I Start Treatment?

You will wear each set of aligners for just a few weeks and visit the orthodontist every four to six weeks to monitor your progress. Invisalign® also has a custom cleaning kit for your aligners. Although you can remove your aligners and clean them with a toothbrush, the custom cleaning kit is still important. At the end of your treatment, you may require the use of retainers in order to keep your teeth in their new places.

Invisalign® has emerged as an innovative way to bypass many of the issues commonly associated with braces in helping people to straighten their teeth. If you are curious about whether you may be a good candidate for Invisalign®, Orthodontists Associates of Western New York offers complimentary screenings, and we gladly help all our patients to achieve perfect smiles.

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