Invisalign® is a type of orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear removable plastic trays (called ‘aligners’) to gently straighten your teeth. These aligners look similar to teeth-whitening trays. You’ll receive a series of aligners, and each one in the series gradually moves your teeth in small increments until they are straight. Unlike traditional braces, there are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. Each aligner steadily and gently shifts your teeth into an improved position. Approximately every 10-14 days, you’ll start a new aligner until your treatment is complete.
Invisalign® is the best solution for people who value aesthetics during treatment as it allows them to straighten their teeth without the traditional metal and wire braces. Oral hygiene is easier as the plastic trays can be conveniently removed when it comes time for eating, brushing, and flossing.
Invisalign® vs. Braces
How does Invisalign® work?
First, a 3D scan of your teeth will be done at your initial visit to Stellar Family Orthodontics. Dr. Chad Carver may take this 3D scan and digitally straighten your teeth to simulate what your smile will look like after the Invisalign® treatment. If you like what you see, we will then submit the 3D scan of your teeth to Invisalign® and we will work with them to plan how each tooth will move. Remember, digital teeth can be made to move anywhere, but our providers understand how real teeth biologically move within bone. They’ll work with Invisalign® to ensure that each movement is appropriate and practical so that you can attain the smile you want within the shortest amount of time.
A series of customized clear plastic aligners – typically between 30 to 40 – will then be manufactured by Invisalign® and fitted by our team. Each aligner is to be worn for about 10-14 days before being replaced with the next one in the series. Progressively, these aligners will move your teeth into perfect alignment. Every 10-12 weeks we will check to ensure the movement of your teeth matches the movements that have been digitally predicted for your teeth. If your teeth move as planned, we will give you the next set of aligners. If your teeth do not move as predicted, we will take another 3D scan of your teeth and have Invisalign® create a new set of aligners until we get your smile looking beautiful and your bite looking healthy.
What are the benefits of Invisalign®
Trays can be removed so that it’s easy to eat, brush, and floss during treatment
They are much smaller, smoother, and more comfortable than traditional metal braces so patients experience less gum and cheek irritation
3. Gentle tooth movement:
Invisalign® exerts less force on teeth so patients experience less pain after each adjustment
Invisalign® braces are clear and almost totally invisible so most people will not even know you are wearing them (unless you tell them, of course!)
While traditional braces work wonderfully to straighten teeth, Invisalign® technology is rapidly evolving and can effectively treat a large number of orthodontic problems. Approximately 70% of all orthodontic patients can be treated with Invisalign® instead of traditional braces. There are even some situations where Invisalign® is an even more effective option than traditional braces, such as open bite cases.
6. Fewer office visits:
Invisalign® patients are seen approximately half as many times as patients undergoing traditional braces. In fact, the average Invisalign® patient is seen approximately 8-10 times in total versus 14-16 times for regular braces. This is really great for busy teens and working adults who find it difficult to take time off.
7. Shorter office visits and evening appointments:
Invisalign® appointments are approximately 25 minutes versus 45 minutes for traditional braces. As the appointments are shorter, it is easier to schedule these appointments in the evening during the school or work day.
8. No dietary restrictions:
Eat what you want when you want. Unlike traditional braces that cannot be removed, you can remove the Invisalign® trays when you eat and thus do not have to avoid certain trouble foods like popcorn, gum, nuts, apples, or even sticky candies!
9. Fewer emergency appointments:
Traditional braces have brackets that can break, wires that can poke, and elastics that can come off. Invisalign® is not permanently glued into your mouth and does not have any small, fragile components that can break off.
10. Digital smile simulation:
At Stellar Family Orthodontics, we can take a 3D scan of your teeth and provide you with a digital smile simulation of what your teeth will look like with Invisalign®.
11. Dedicated Invisalign® Center:
Stellar Family Orthodontics has dedicated Invisalign® treatment rooms where adults can get treatment in comfort and privacy.
What are the drawbacks of Invisalign®?
1. Successful Invisalign® treatment is dependent on wearing the trays for at least 22 hours a day. Simply put, if you don’t wear the trays, then Invisalign® won’t work. It’s not like traditional braces where the braces are glued onto your teeth and are at work 24 hours a day from the moment you get them on to the moment they are taken off. If you do not think that you will remember to wear the aligners, then Invisalign® may not be the right fit for you.
2. Not everyone is an Invisalign® candidate. Certain types of tooth movements which are easy in traditional braces can be complicated with Invisalign®. The opposite is also true – certain cases are treated more effectively and faster with Invisalign® compared to traditional braces. A consultation with our providers is the best way to find out if Invisalign® is right for you.
How do I get started with Invisalign®?
The first step in getting started with Invisalign® is to book a free orthodontic consultation. At this appointment, we will assess whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign®. We may take a 3D iTero scan of your teeth and show you a simulation of how your teeth will look after your completed Invisalign® treatment. At this appointment, we will also explain each step of the process to you and answer any questions you may have.
Are you curious about Invisalign®? We can guide you through the process from start to finish. Give us a call to schedule a FREE Invisalign® consultation. We look forward to meeting you!
3. How well does Invisalign work? A prospective clinical study evaluating the efficacy of tooth movement with Invisalign (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889540608008597)
4. Invisalign – early experiences (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1093/ortho/30.4.348)
5. Outcome assessment of Invisalign and traditional orthodontic treatment compared with the American Board of Orthodontics objective grading system (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889540605006268)