Metal braces used to be the only way to achieve straight teeth and a stunning smile. However, many patients often felt self-conscious about their appearance when wearing metal braces, which negatively impacted their self-esteem. Fortunately, there is a less noticeable option for orthodontic correction. Invisalign clear aligners offer an effective alternative to metal braces for correcting a range of orthodontic issues. But how does Invisalign work?
What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign is an orthodontic device for correcting mild to moderate tooth misalignment. Invisalign are a series of moulded plastic trays that are customised to fit your mouth. They are suitable for patients of all ages and have successfully treated over five million people worldwide.
Benefits of Invisalign®
Invisalign aligners offer several benefits over traditional metal braces that may make them a better choice for your orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign aligners are constructed from clear, thin, flexible BPA-free plastic making them less noticeable while you wear them.
Studies have shown that Invisalign braces offer better patient satisfaction and less negative impact on the quality of life of adult patients and older teens due to their aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Compared with traditional braces, Invisalign braces have no sharp edges or wires which can dig into cheeks and gums causing discomfort. Invisalign also exerts less force on the teeth to avoid excess pressure on the jaw.
Eating and oral hygiene can be a challenge while wearing braces. However, since Invisalign braces are removable, you can take them out while you eat and put them back when you are done. They also make good oral hygiene a breeze. Simply rinse the trays under water and brush and floss your teeth as usual. You switch the aligners every couple of weeks, so they always look clean and new.
How Does Invisalign® Work?
Invisalign works similarly to braces, by exerting mild force on your teeth and jaw to gradually move your teeth into the correct position. However, rather than tightening arch wires, you swap your pre-made Invisalign trays every two weeks for the next in the series. Each tray is fabricated differently. The successive trays are slightly smaller. Each mover the teeth gradually, about 0.25 mm per tray, until reaching the ideal positions.
In some cases, you may also be fitted with additional Smart Force attachment, which are small components that are attached to your teeth to hold the trays more securely. These attachments are also invisible and are removed at the end of treatment.
To create the custom invisible trays, your mouth is scanned using state-of-the-art 3D technology, and the data is sent to the Invisalign lab where your customized trays will be fabricated. Using Invisalign’s patented software, your dentist can demonstrate how your teeth will move over time from the start of treatment until the end.
During your follow up appointment, you will be fitted with your new trays to determine the best fit, and the Smart Force attachments will be put on your teeth if necessary.
You need to wear your clear aligners for 20-22 hours per day for the most effective results, taking them out only to eat and brush and floss your teeth.
What to Expect
Unlike traditional braces, you will not have to get your Invisalign aligners adjusted. You rotate the trays every 1 – 2 weeks as recommended by your dentist. You may experience some difficulty speaking when adjusting to your new aligners, but this passes as your mouth becomes accustomed to the shape of the new trays. You will still need to schedule regular appointments with your dentist so they can check your progress but only every 6 – 8 weeks.
Invisalign is equally effective as metal braces for correcting a range of simple misalignment issues.
For most levels of treatment, Invisalign offers a quicker way to achieve results than traditional braces. While most patients wear metal braces for up to 24 months, most Invisalign patients only wear the aligner trays for 12 – 18 months.
After Invisalign® Treatment
Once you’ve achieved your ultimate goal with Invisalign, your dentist will recommend retainers to prevent your teeth from relapsing. Vivera retainers use the same technology Invisalign aligners use. The retainers are more comfortable than traditional retainers because they are tailor made using a scan of your teeth and the material used is 30% stronger than other clear materials, so they keep your teeth in line better.
Invisalign is an excellent alternative to traditional braces for a discreet way to correct simple misalignment issues. But it is essential to understand how Invisalign works before undergoing the procedure to ensure that you know what to expect. To learn more about Invisalign and how does Invisalign work to help you achieve a radiant smile, call Dental Spot on (02) 9158 6115 to book your consultation.