Uncovering Invisalign Clear Aligner & Braces and How They Work
We all know this awful scenario. You go to the dentist, expecting a normal cleaning. And then you’re told you need to get braces. No one wants metal in their mouth. Fortunately, patients have another option, Invisalign.
Invisalign are clean retainers meant to straighten teeth and fix other dental problems such as an overbite. It’s not only nearly impossible to see Invisalign but the process is also easier and less painful than braces.
What is Invisalign? Are you interested in getting Invisalign? You should know all about clear retainers before getting them. Continue reading this guide and know what to expect.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the brand name for clear aligners that gradually straighten your teeth.
The retainers are made of a flexible plastic called Smart-Track. This material consists of medical-grade thermoplastic polymers with high molecular weight.
They’re transparent but powerful enough to move your teeth.
Your orthodontist will mimic the retainers to your natural teeth and will routinely give you new retainers during your progression. Your Invisalign dentist creates each new retainer by predicting the movement of your teeth.
Each new retainer you receive will force your teeth to move enough more until they fit inside of the retainers.
You’ll have to meet with your orthodontist multiple times to ensure your teeth straighten out. You can expect to see your orthodontist once every six weeks.
It’s normal to feel pressure during the Invisalign process. However, you don’t feel the pain and experience the inconvenience of braces. Because Invisalign contains no metal or brackets, there’s less risk of mouth irritation or any complications.
You need to keep Invisalign on your teeth at all times, only removing the retainers to brush your teeth and to eat.
Invisalign contains no BPA, BPS, gluten or latex.
Who Qualifies for Invisalign?
Does Invisalign sound too good to be true? For some patients, it is. Only specific patients qualify for Invisalign.
Every patient needs to have a consultation, called a smile assessment, to ensure Invisalign will work for them. But you have a better chance of qualifying if you have:
- Gapped teeth
- Open bite
Since clear aligner technology is constantly increasing, metal braces are only required for specific dental issues. But it’s best to trust what your orthodontist says is the best treatment option for you.
Why You Should Consider Invisalign
Invisalign has treated six million patients. The fact that the retainers are invisible and that statistic should alone convince you that Invisalign is a great option. Those are actually not the only reason.
Not only is Invisalign clear, but the SmartTrack technology also forces your teeth to move faster than traditional braces.
Invisalign is a groundbreaking dental health technological trend that was two decades in the making before its release in 2005. With dental technology becoming more advanced, that means Invisalign is still under innovation.
Invisalign also doesn’t change your lifestyle.
Braces change the way you eat and even the way you brush and care for your teeth. You can eat and drink anything while under the Invisalign treatment — as long as you don’t have your retainers in.
Since you also take your Invisalign out to brush your teeth, you don’t have to change your dental hygiene habits.
What If You Had Other Dental Procedures?
What if you had other dental procedures before or even braces? You’ll still have to gain approval from your orthodontist, but there’s a good chance you can still qualify for Invisalign.
What if you currently have braces but want to switch to Invisalign?
There’s also a good chance you can make the switch. Invisalign can treat nearly all cosmetic dental conditions that braces can treat. A trend now is orthodontists treating patients with a combination of metal braces and Invisalign.
What about patients with veneers or crowns? This is where it gets tricky. All dental implants are different. Your orthodontist will evaluate your teeth based on your implants.
The only time past dental work will truly interfere with Invisalign is if you’ve had bridgework. That’s because Invisalign is made to move each tooth individually.
How to Care for Your Aligners
Did you know you need to care for your Invisalign retainers? The process is simple. You have one of two options:
- Brushing them
- Using the Invisalign Cleaning System
The Invisalign Cleaning System consists of packets that contain cleaning crystals. Place the aligners in a glass of lukewarm water. Dump the crystals in the cup.
The crystals will dissolve, creating a cleaning solution. Leave your aligners to soak for about 15 minutes. Most orthodontists will carry the cleaning system.
If you decide to not use the cleaning system, brush the aligners day and night. Rinse your retainers under lukewarm water. Put a little bit of toothpaste on your toothbrush. Scrub the retainers on the inside and outside.
Rinse them off and place them back in your mouth.
The Invisalign Process
Did you find out your qualify for Invisalign? Great! Continue reading to know how the process works.
Choose Your Orthodontist
The first step in the process is choosing the best orthodontist. The best course of action is to find an orthodontist in your area who specializes or has experience in Invisalign.
Every orthodontist requires the first consultation before administering Invisalign.
Get Your X-Rays
After your orthodontist approves you for Invisalign, you have to get x-rays. The x-rays create a digital blueprint of your teeth and gums. This process is unlike traditional x-rays.
The orthodontist uses a combination of digital imaging, mouldings, and photographs to aid in your tray creation.
This process is done for two reasons:
- To ensure your teeth move correctly
- To ensure the retainers fit comfortably
The Invisalign system is so advanced, your orthodontist can use this information to plan out how your teeth will look in weeks, months, and even after your treatment regimen is over.
From here, your orthodontist will build your plan with you. The plan will consist of how long the treatment will last, how often you’ll get new retainers, and the results you’ll expect to see.
Every patient is different. That’s why your orthodontist builds a custom plan for you.
Getting Your First Aligners
While you’re at your x-ray appointment, you’ll make an appointment to get your first aligners.
You need to wait until they’re custom-made. During this appointment, your orthodontist will help you put your retainers in and will answer any questions you have.
From here, you’ll make your next appointment to receive your next set of aligners.
As mentioned before, you need to wear Invisalign all day and while you sleep.
You only remove the retainers when you brush your teeth and when you eat. That’s because Invisalign will only work when worn between 20 and 22 hours a day.
Feeling discomfort is normal. The retainers will feel tight on your teeth and you’ll feel the pressure. This will interfere with certain functions, such as talking. As you wear your Invisalign, you’ll get used to this.
What happens after your treatment plan? Your treatment technically doesn’t end. Like braces, you need to wear retainers to ensure your teeth don’t move back to their original position.
These retainers are different than Invisalign. You don’t have to wear them for 20 hours a day. You usually only wear the retainers at night, while you’re sleeping.
You may need to wear your retainer more or less, depending on what your orthodontist recommends.
Is Invisalign Painful?
As mentioned before, it’s normal to feel slight discomfort and feel a little bit of pressure when wearing Invisalign. That’s because the retainers are actively moving each tooth. Think of the pressure as the Invisalign doing its job.
You’ll feel the most intense pressure when you get a new retainer and it will gradually decrease as you become used to that retainer.
This is still less painful than what you’ll experience with braces. Invisalign uses gentle force while the metal wires use intense tightening.
What if you experience severe pain while wearing Invisalign? Ask your orthodontist.
There is likely something wrong with your retainers. In addition, your retainers shouldn’t feel harsh on your gums or anywhere else in your mouth.
What Not to Do With Invisalign
While you can eat and drink just about anything with Invisalign, there are some things you shouldn’t do with your clear retainers.
Here are a few examples:
- Smoke cigarettes
- Scratch them
- Get them dirty
- Play with your retainers
- Not brush them
- Chewing gum
- Forget to wear them
Wearing them and taking care of them will ensure your treatment is successful.
Go for Your Invisalign Smile Assessment!
What is Invisalign? Invisalign is the brand name for clear aligners. These aligners are made with innovative SmartTrack technology that treats just about every cosmetic dental concern.
This is why Invisalign has been successful in treating millions of patients.
Before you can try Invisalign, you need to find the right orthodontist that can help you out.
Are you in southeast London? Our practice offers Invisalign! Click here to request an appointment.