Invisalign is an alternative to traditional metal braces for straightening teeth. It uses a series of clear, comfortable plastic trays to move teeth into position. Because they are clear, they are nearly invisible.
Unlike traditional metal braces, there are no restrictions on what you can eat or drink. Simply remove the Invisalign tray before eating or drinking. You never have to worry about getting food stuck in your braces or damaging the wires and brackets of traditional braces. You don’t have to change the way you brush and floss your teeth either – simply remove the tray and brush/floss as you normally would.
What Does Invisalign Treat?
Invisalign can help straighten four types of minor malocclusion, or crooked teeth:
Overbite – when the top front teeth overlap the bottom front teeth
Underbite – when the lower front teeth overlap the top front teeth
Minor crossbite – when the top and bottom jaws simply do not line up correctly, but by a small margin – many cases of crossbite require traditional braces
Open bite – when the top and bottom jaws do not meet up at all
Invisalign has helped more than 12 million people achieve the smiles of their dreams. Invisalign can create a new smile for you in as little as 6 months, although you will likely notice meaningful changes in the first few weeks.
Invisalign involves a convenient 3-step procedure that helps you start your tooth-straightening journey right away.
Your dentist uses an iTero Element Scanner to quickly and precisely create a 3-dimensional image of your teeth. Next, your dentist uses the 3D image to map out your personalized Invisalign treatment plan. These images help the technicians at Invisalign create the series plastic trays that shift your teeth into position. The iTero Element Scanner also gives you a sneak peek at what your future smile will look like.
You will pick up your first Invisalign tray from your dentist, who will ensure that your tray fits well. Simply wear the Invisalign tray for a minimum of 20 hours a day for 2 weeks, taking it out only to eat and to brush your teeth. The next Invisalign trays will arrive in the mail, one set every two weeks.
After your teeth have reached their optimal position, you can keep your new smile beautiful by wearing a retainer. Invisalign has a proprietary retainer, known as the Vivera® retainer. These custom-made retainers are 30 percent stronger than other types of retainers.
Is Invisalign Right for Me?
Invisalign might be right for you if you:
- Have mild to moderate misalignment of one or more teeth
- Are worried about the inconvenience and appearance of metal braces
- Are concerned with oral hygiene while wearing traditional metal braces
- Have only slight bite problems
- Are 15 years or older
- Have all of your permanent teeth
- Are looking for a shorter treatment time than with traditional metal braces
- Are willing to wear clear, comfortable aligners for at least 20 hours a day
Invisalign is usually best for adults and responsible teens who are committed to their treatment. However, other teens may take more responsibility for wearing their Invisalign once they see the benefits and conveniences of this tooth-straightening system.
Invisalign may not be right for you if you have severely crooked teeth that can only be treated with extensive orthodontic work.
Your dentist can help you determine if Invisalign is right for you. A dental professional can also help you take the first steps towards changing your smile with Invisalign.