While braces are certainly effective at aligning smiles, many individuals simply find the process too much of a hassle to commit to the time it takes for the process to succeed. But what if patients didn’t have to sacrifice their smile when straightening their teeth? In 1999, Align Technologies introduced the solution: Invisalign®, invisible braces that make it much more difficult for people to notify braces. Here’s how the Invisalign process works.
Building a Better Smile: Creating the Aligners
Invisalign, a game changer in the orthodontic dental specialty, uses a series of plastic aligners that fit over the teeth and slowly moves them into their optimal position, ultimately correcting the individual’s bite and magnifying their smile.
The concept comes from a method, first introduced in the mid-40s, that made use of several individual bite impressions to help determine the ideal position that the teeth should be moved to. However, the Invisalign technique is more streamlined than its predecessors and requires only one initial impression be taken.
The clinician will use the impression to create a 3D graphic that details the ideal course for the teeth to take to move into the optimal position. From this point, the clinician will lean on lab equipment to fabricate the aligners for you.
Straight Ahead: Wearing Your Invisible Braces
Once finished, the aligners are inspected and sent to the dentist who’ll usually provide them to you in sets of one or two per visit. Fourteen days are given for each set, and each pair must be worn in the correct order in which they’re provided.
While each aligner is totally removable for purposes of eating, brushing, and flossing, patients must wear the aligners for at least twenty hours every day to successfully complete the treatment in the allotted time. Usually, this process requires between 20 and 30 aligners for the lower and upper jaw each.
Many adult patients tend to complete the treatment in under one year, however individual results might vary. Invisalign is currently approved for adults and teenagers who have a complete set of permanent teeth, and who’re able to faithfully follow the directions of their treatment plan. Your Nassau County dentist will be best able to determine what your treatment options entail.