If you’re unhappy about your smile and are looking for a safe and cost-effective way of achieving the beautiful smile you have always dreamed of having, Invisalign is an excellent option. Invisalign is a highly effective and ideal treatment for both adults and teenagers who want an almost invisible method of improving their smiles.
What Are Clear Teeth Aligners (Invisalign)?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses a computer-generated mold to realign or correct teeth that are growing or are set incorrectly. The aligners are made from a flexible, clear thermoplastic material, making them virtually invisible. While traditional braces use fixed wires to “pull” the teeth into alignment, Invisalign aligns the teeth by using a series of molds that, over several months, shift the teeth into their new and improved position.
Conditions Invisalign Treats
Invisalign can treat several dental conditions, including:
- Crowded teeth
- Gap teeth
- Overbite, underbite, open bite and crossbite
- Crooked baby and adult teeth
Invisalign Treatment Process
Here’s the general step-by-step Invisalign treatment process that our patients experience during their care at our Washington Court House practice:
- Consultation and X-rays: The first step in the process involves a consultation with our Invisalign dentists, Dr. Michael Pappas, DDS, MBA, and Dr. R. Taylor Landgraf, to determine if you’re a candidate for Invisalign. If you are, we will take X-rays and a 3D model of your teeth to develop a personalized treatment plan. The 3D model will enable us to see how Invisalign will progressively improve your orthodontic problems during each aligner stage. We will send the X-rays, 3D models, and images of your teeth to a laboratory where your customized Invisalign trays are produced.
- Prep work and fitting: Some patients may need small composite patches applied to each tooth to help Invisalign’s clear aligners to grip onto each tooth and move them. The patches are made from the same composite material fillings are made of and will be easily removed without any discomfort at the end of the Invisalign process. We will then review the fit of your Invisalign trays, testing different molds to find the right fit. Your Invisalign braces should be tight but not painfully so. Your clear Invisalign aligners will be changed every one or two weeks, depending on the dentist’s decision.
- Changes to your mouth: When you start wearing your Invisalign braces, they may feel strange initially, but you’ll quickly get used to their feel. You will likely experience mild discomfort and aching as your teeth are forced into place, but this should stop after a few days. You may also experience enhanced tooth sensitivity which will also dissipate after a short period. Your speech may also change slightly during the first few weeks of wearing Invisalign, but this is normal since the braces take up room in your mouth, and your tongue doesn’t have the same space to move. However, this should disappear within a few weeks.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
The length of Invisalign treatment depends on various factors, such as how complex your case is and how often you wear your aligners. On average, Invisalign treatment takes 12 to 18 months though you can expect to see results within weeks. For best results, you should wear your Invisalign trays for 20 to 22 hours daily for your designated treatment time. The only time you should remove the aligners is when you’re eating or drinking, cleaning your aligners, or brushing or flossing your teeth.
Invisalign vs. Braces
Both Invisalign and traditional braces are intended to improve the alignment of your teeth to produce a straighter smile. However, these orthodontic treatments have some notable differences, including:
- Length of treatment: Patients wear braces 24 hours a day for an average of two years. On the other hand, those with Invisalign wear their aligner trays between 22 and 24 hours a day, with treatment lasting between 12 and 18 months.
- Visibility: Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, so people may not even notice you’re wearing them.
- Convenience: With Invisalign, you can keep eating your favorite foods and brush and floss your teeth as usual. Traditional braces limit the food you can eat, and the wires make it challenging to brush and floss your teeth properly.
- Less risk for emergency dental visits: You’ll experience fewer emergency visits with Invisalign without the hassle of brackets and wires breaking.
How to Care for Teeth While Using Invisalign
Caring for your smile while wearing Invisalign goes beyond waiting for your teeth to get straighter. It involves cleaning your teeth regularly and thoroughly to prevent tooth decay. That way, your smile will be more beautiful than ever when you finish your Invisalign treatment.
Brush and floss after every meal since food particles trapped between teeth and inside the aligner won’t be washed out by normal saliva and tongue movements. If you can’t, be sure to drink some water and swish it around in your mouth when you’re done eating to get rid of the extra food on your teeth. Leaving carbohydrates, such as sugar and starch, on your teeth opens the door to tooth decay.
Cleaning your Invisalign trays keeps them from getting riddled with bacteria, and it helps keep your teeth free from excess food. But you need to be careful when cleaning your aligners. If you use very hot water, it could warp the plastic. This can alter the fit and affect your progress and the effectiveness of the aligners.
Here’s how to do the best job getting your teeth aligners clean:
- Brush the trays whenever you brush your teeth
- Wash them with clear antibacterial hand soap and rinse thoroughly as needed
- Always clean, or at least rinse, your aligners before storing them in the case
- Soak your aligners once daily in denture cleaner or Invisalign cleaning crystals
- Only place your aligner onto freshly brushed and flossed teeth
The cost of Invisalign varies depending on how long you need the treatment and the complexity of your tooth alignment issues. You can expect to pay between $3,000 and $5,000. Some dental insurance plans cover all or a portion of the cost of Invisalign, so be sure to check with your insurance carrier.
Transform Your Smile With Invisalign Today!
Crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, and other dental issues can affect your self-esteem. With Invisalign from Washington Court House Dental, you can conveniently straighten your teeth at a comfortable pace while cleaning your teeth, eating, and drinking normally. If you are ready for a happier, healthier smile, contact us today for a consultation with our Invisalign dentists.