Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – and that’s all well and good. But there are some elements of our appearance that if can be changed, should be…as is the case with braces. Invisalign has changed the brace game in such a revolutionary way, patients have begun to wonder what people did before the advent of invisible braces. Unfortunately, there’s still a plethora of bad information out there on what it is, how Invisalign works and even how it compares to standard braces – but the experts at Park Avenue Dental don’t subscribe to providing our valued patients with such misleading information. We’re here to set the record straight and answer the question, “How Does Invisalign Work?
How Invisalign Works to Straighten Teeth: The Vital Basics
From consultation to beaming, confidence-endowed smile, the treatment process for Invisalign is one that leads to enjoying a better appearance every day. Treatment begins after you select an experienced Invisalign Preferred Provider – such as Park Avenue Dental – which you feel comfortable with and schedule your initial consultation. This is an important medical and financial decision, which is why choosing a doctor such as Michael A. Sherman of Park Avenue Dental, with the right treatment plan, is so essential.
The next step involves creating a customized treatment plan for you, in which the doctor will take x-rays, pictures and impressions of your teeth, all of which will be used to create a digital three-dimensional image of them. Out of these images your doctor maps out a precise treatment protocol, taking into consideration the exact movements of your teeth to ultimately inform you of how long the treatment will last. Using this same technology, the doctor will also be able to display a virtual representation of how your teeth will move through each stage of treatment – and while every case in unique to each patient, treatment on average takes approximately one year for adults.
How does Invisalign work for teens? The length of treatment is comparable to that of traditional braces.
Based on your individual treatment plan, a series of custom-made clear aligners are then created specifically for your mouth, made of a smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic that do not irritate cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces. Simply worn throughout the day and removed to eat or brush/floss the teeth, the aligners gently and gradually move teeth into place. And because they’re known as invisible braces, most people don’t even notice others are wearing them.
Approximately every two weeks, you will begin wearing a new set of aligners, thus advancing to the next stage of treatment. To monitor your progress, occasional checkups with your dental professional every six weeks or so is common. For best results and a timely outcome, we suggest wearing your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day throughout the entire run of the treatment – at each and every stage, you will be able to note how much closer you are to flashing the smile of your dreams.
Once your treatment is complete, you can protect the gorgeous new smile you have invested in by adding retainers – per your doctor’s assessment – to keep teeth in their newly established position.
Why Invisalign is a Better Option Than Standard Braces
While the final results may appear the same – a confident, radiating smile – the differences between comparing Invisalign vs. braces and other teeth-straightening solutions are quite dramatic. Knowing the pros and cons of each option before you plan a treatment will go a long way toward helping you make a balanced decision.
To begin with, Invisalign and traditional braces share merely three things in common – they can effectively treat a variety of cases including crowding, spacing, crossbite, overbite and underbite; both can, of course, straighten teeth and both approaches cost about the same on average. That’s where the similarities end.
Invisalign goes further in allowing you to:
- Eat whatever foods you enjoy
- Remove the device when you choose
- Enjoy virtually invisible teeth-straightening
- Brush and floss normally for better periodontal health
- Feel comfortable knowing you’re using a smooth, pain-free plastic instead of sharp metal that is more likely to irritate your cheeks and gums
- Free up your busy schedule with office visits only every four to six weeks
- Take advantage of Invisalign Teen, which provides up to six free replacement aligners if lost or broken (call us for details)
Of course, you are always left with the option of taking no course of action at all, and while ultimately the choice is yours, keep in mind that if left untreated many orthodontic problems can often evolve into more serious dental and health issues.