What is Invisalign

Traditional braces consist of heavy and highly visible metal brackets and wires. These braces may be fine when you are a kid, but treatment isn’t ideal for adults and especially for people who need to meet clients or customers frequently. This is where Invisalign can help because it’s an adult-oriented orthodontic system that discreetly straightens teeth.

A Metal-Free and Invisible Solution

Instead of wearing unsightly metal braces, Invisalign uses a series of thin BPA-free plastic aligners. The aligners are custom designed to fit tightly over the teeth, forming a thin and practically invisible skin of plastic. It’s the perfect treatment if you have always desired a straighter smile but dislike the thought of more traditional braces. Also, treatment can be ideal for people who perhaps had orthodontic treatment as a child but who have subsequently had an orthodontic relapse. This is where teeth can gradually shift position, especially with age and particularly when retainers aren’t worn as directed.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Another considerable advantage of Invisalign is ease-of-use. All you need do is to wear each set of aligners for approximately two weeks, ideally only removing them whenever you want to eat or for brushing and flossing. The aligners should be worn for about 22 hours each day. When the two weeks are up, you just discard the set of aligners and replace them with a brand-new set that will continue to gently but firmly reposition your teeth.

Unlike fixed braces, you won’t need to change your diet in any way. There is no need to avoid foods that are crunchy, hard or very sticky and which would damage traditional fixed braces. Also, you won’t need to spend additional time cleaning around fiddly brackets and wires. Instead, you just brush and floss your teeth precisely as you would normally.

You will need to come and see us here at Coeur d’Alene Dental Center every six weeks or so, but your appointment with our dentists should be relatively short. It is merely to check your teeth are moving as planned and to provide any new sets of aligners as required.

How Long Does It Take?

Usually, most adults will complete treatment within 12 to 15 months, but the time required can vary according to the complexity of the orthodontic issues needing correction. For example, if you only have a few crooked teeth perhaps in the front of your mouth, and treatment is more cosmetically oriented, you could see results significantly more quickly.

Is Treatment Just for Adults?

Invisalign is primarily aimed at adults, but it can be suitable for some older children and teenagers and might be a huge advantage for children who would feel particularly self-conscious about wearing braces. In fact, Invisalign produces a system especially for teens and which includes some additional features for this age group. For instance, Invisalign Teen aligners have blue-colored wear indicators situated towards the back of the aligners. These fade as the aligners are worn, indicating the child is using them as directed. Also, the aligners can accommodate adult teeth yet to erupt, and it even includes some additional aligners free of charge, just in case any are mislaid or lost! Good compliance is absolutely essential, so children and teenagers must be prepared to wear the aligners as directed and they mustn’t forget to use them. If they do, treatment could be delayed or will be far less effective.

What Is the Treatment Process?

Initially, you will need to see Dr. McVey for an evaluation to ensure Invisalign is suitable for your needs. Invisalign is designed to correct most common orthodontic problems and provided your teeth are strong and healthy, it can almost certainly help you. Dr. McVey will examine your teeth and the way they bite together, and he may want to take x-rays and photos which are used to plan treatment. During this appointment, you’ll also learn approximately how long treatment will take to complete and, of course, the cost. Next, all the diagnostic information collected by Dr. McVey is used to plan treatment, utilizing Invisalign’s specialized software. Using the software, Dr. McVey can plan precisely how each tooth will move during your treatment and excitingly, the software also produces virtual images showing how your teeth will look once nicely straightened. You will get a chance to preview these images which is a great way to assess exactly how Invisalign will help you. The next stages for your aligners to be custom-made, and you can start your treatment.

Other Potential Advantages of Straightening up Your Smile

Most people choose to have orthodontic treatment because they want to improve the appearance of their teeth, which is perfectly understandable. However, they could be some other potential advantages that you may not have considered.

For example, if you have teeth that are significantly overcrowded and which are overlapping, you may well find it tricky to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly. When you can’t clean your teeth adequately, your risk of tooth decay and gum disease increases. Once your teeth are straightened, brushing and flossing should be a breeze, helping to protect your oral health by decreasing the risk of dental diseases.

Invisalign can also be used to close or minimize gaps in between teeth. While these gaps can be unsightly, they can also frequently trap food, again increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Getting rid of these gaps will eliminate this risk, can increase your comfort during mealtimes and decreases the chance that you will be caught smiling with something stuck in between your teeth.

Will I Need Retainers?

Almost certainly yes, but don’t worry because Invisalign retainers are just as easy to use and as invisible as the aligners. The reason why you need retainers is that once your teeth have moved, the bone around their roots needs a chance to remodel to ensure it will hold your teeth firmly in their new positions. While the bone is remodeling, it’s essential to wear your retainers precisely as directed by Dr. McVey, and you will probably need to wear them periodically afterward to prevent unwanted tooth movements.

Invisalign is one of the most popular orthodontic systems worldwide, utilizing the very latest orthodontic technology. As a certified provider, your CdA Dentist, Dr. McVey, can answer all your questions about this treatment during your initial free consultation so contact us today for more information!