Crooked teeth can lower your confidence and make oral care a challenge. While traditional braces are unappealing to many adults because of their intrusive appearance and the lengthy time commitment, clear aligners like Invisalign, are becoming more popular. They’re discrete, convenient, and can straighten teeth in as little as six months for cases of mild malocclusion. But, how does Invisalign work?
What is Invisalign?
Two students invented Invisalign at Stanford University in the United States in 1997. Invisalign treatment is a method of tooth straightening using varying sets of clear aligners to coax the teeth into a new position over time. More than 40,000 Australians use clear aligners annually, making them a rapidly growing orthodontics treatment method because they are discrete, comfortable and removable.
Invisalign is used to tackle various orthodontic issues, including:
- Gapped teeth
- Overbite or overjet
- Open bite
While they serve many purposes, clear aligners are not the solution for all orthodontic issues. Some complex orthodontic issues, including overly rotated teeth, teeth angled backward over 45°, and short teeth, cannot be treated with Invisalign. Your dentist can determine if they’re a valid option for your smile.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign treatment works by putting pressure on misaligned teeth to guide them into a new position through a series of custom made moulds.
Each set of clear aligner trays targets a different element of your smile and is worn for two-week intervals. Once that aligner completes its task, repositioning your tooth, you discard and replace it with a new pair of clear aligners.
By the time your treatment ends, your teeth will be in alignment. Depending on the severity of your malocclusion, it can take anywhere from six to eighteen months to straighten teeth using this method.
The Process of Using Invisalign
If you and your dentist determine Invisalign is a suitable orthodontic treatment for you, the process begins with X-rays and digital scans of your teeth and gums. These scans or digital impressions are used to create your custom aligner trays and allow your dentist to show you a 3D model of your new smile.
Your digital impressions are sent to an off-site lab for fabrication of the trays, which may take up to two weeks. Once your dentist receives the custom aligners from the lab, you will come in to check the fit and begin wearing your first set per the dentist’s instructions.
At Boutique Dental Care, we recommend wearing the trays 20 hours a day for effective results. You will return to the practice at 6-8 week intervals for progress checks.
Once you complete your treatment, your dentist will fit you for a custom retainer to wear long term, typically at night. This ensures your teeth do not revert to their original position.
Are Clear Aligners Expensive?
Besides “how does Invisalign work?” the next question that is top of mind regarding this orthodontic treatment is usually, is it expensive? While Invisalign tends to be more costly than traditional braces, you can also achieve a straight smile much more quickly, especially in cases of mild malocclusion.
Ultimately the cost of Invisalign depends on the severity of misalignment and for how long you must wear the aligners.
Invisalign Treatment in Chatswood
At Boutique Dental Care in NSW, we have invested in the latest technologies to offer our patients teeth straightening solutions that suit their needs, lifestyle, and budget. To find out if Invisalign is right for you, give us a call on (02) 9054 5281 to book a consultation.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.