The days of relying on traditional braces to straighten your teeth have passed. You now have the option of correcting your bite with Invisalign orthodontics. What should you expect, though, if you choose the Invisalign treatment process? Continue reading to get a detailed explanation of every step of the procedure!
How Invisalign and Traditional Braces Differ
Relying on metal brackets and wires, traditional braces apply pressure to the teeth to straighten them. There’s a reason that braces are still around: they’re highly effective. However, the process can be rather cumbersome. Invisalign provides a reliable yet discreet alternative.
It uses a series of BPA-free clear-plastic trays to gradually and more comfortably move the teeth to their correct position. Each step of the treatment process is mapped out by the dentist to ensure you achieve your desired results.
Step #1 – Meeting with the Dentist
The first step to receiving Invisalign is to visit a dentist for a consultation. In addition to determining your eligibility for the procedure, it will also allow you an opportunity to ask the dentist any questions you may have about the treatment process.
Here are some of the bite woes that Invisalign can address:
- Open bites
- Mild-to-moderate overcrowding
Step #2 – Gathering the Diagnostic Records
To further prepare for treatment, the dental assistant will take a series of X-rays and digital photos of your face and smile. The data collected will be used to create a custom plan that fits your smile needs, and the details will be sent to a certified Invisalign lab that will fabricate the initial set of aligner trays.
Step #3 – Collecting the First Set of Aligner Trays
It typically takes a couple of weeks for the first set of trays to arrive. At that time, you’ll be invited back to retrieve them. While visiting, the dentist will make sure that the trays fit properly and are compatible with your smile.
Step #4 – Caring for the Aligner Trays
To stay on schedule with your custom treatment plan, you’ll need to wear your trays 20-22 hours a day. However, they should be removed before eating or drinking any darkly pigmented beverage. Each time you remove the trays, it’s important that you rinse and soak them in a special solution called Retainer Brite. Then be sure to rinse the trays again before re-inserting them.
Step #5 – Visiting for Adjustments
You’ll wear each set of trays for two weeks and then exchange them for a new pair, following this cycle until your treatment is completed. Along the way, the dentist will likely want you to visit every four to six weeks. This allows him or her to monitor your progress, to order additional trays or make adjustments.
Step #6 – Achieving the Final Results
It’s not uncommon for patients to need some final adjustments after their teeth are straightened. If necessary, the dentist will conduct a series of scans of your teeth that will be used to craft a set of refinement aligner trays. Usually, only one or two refinements are needed.
Step #7 – Wearing the Retainers
The final step of the process involves wearing a set of retainers. They typically are similar in appearance to the Invisalign trays you’ve already been wearing. Thus, you’ll be able to enjoy the same low-profile look. The dentist will provide instructions on how to use the retainers and a projection of how long you’ll need them.
The process of getting Invisalign is relatively simple. By working with a highly skilled dentist and following the guidelines that are provided, you’ll soon be enjoying a brand-new smile!
About the Author
Dr. Mario DeNicola earned his dental degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. He has since completed over 300 hours of Academy of General Dentistry (AGD)-approved continuing education courses, and he is an Invisalign Preferred Provider. Dr. DeNicola helps patients achieve the smile of their dreams at Harrisonburg Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.