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Invisalign clear aligners are an orthodontic treatment option that involves wearing removable aligners (called “trays”) that gradually move your teeth into the correct position.  For teenagers and adults, Invisalign is often the preferred option of straightening teeth because it’s less noticeable (in fact, it’s almost invisible—like the name suggests).

What problems can Invisalign correct?

As an alternative to traditional metallic braces, Invisalign can correct many orthodontic problems:

  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Teeth gaps
  • Overbites
  • Crossbites
  • Simple bite irregularities
  • Adjustments for previous traditional brace treatment

How does it work?

First, you must be evaluated by your dentist to see if you’re a candidate for Invisalign.  If you are, then a set of radiographs and digital teeth impressions will be taken.  The digital impressions will create a 3D model rendering of your teeth, showing you how your teeth will adjust over time.  This will determine your treatment plan as well as the projected number of customized aligners you will be required to wear.

Your specific situation will determine how many aligners you will need throughout your treatment.  On average, 20 to 30 aligners will be required for both your upper and lower teeth.  Our orthodontist will provide you a few sets of aligners at a time.  You’re expected to wear each aligner for about two weeks.  These aligners should be removed while you eat, brush, and floss your teeth.  They should be worn at all other times to allow for your teeth to safely adjust and shift.

Typically, you will be seen at our office every 4 to 6 weeks where your new sets of aligners will be provided, and your progress evaluated and adjusted for.  Scheduling varies and is determined by your treating orthodontist.

How long does Invisalign take?

Most adult teeth are corrected between 6 to 24 months.  The more strictly you follow the treatment plan, the more likely your treatment will be completed within the estimated time given.  That means, on average, wearing your Invisalign trays for 20 to 22 hours a day.  If they’re removed too often in your day, your teeth won’t have the time necessary to adjust to their new position.

Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

Although Invisalign is very popular, it’s not always the best option.  For more complex bite and alignment issues, traditional braces may be the required treatment.  Your orthodontist will give you recommendations after you’re properly evaluated and diagnosed.

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

  • Appearance—Invisalign clear aligners fit tightly over teeth and are hardly visible to other people.
  • Comfort—Invisalign aligners are smooth plastics.  They cause very little irritation to your tongue, gums, or the inside of your mouth.  There may be some soreness when applying them for the first time.  Fortunately, that soreness goes away rather quickly.
  • Convenience—You will receive your aligners in sets, so you don’t have to worry about losing all of them.  As treatment proceeds, you will be seen every 4 to 6 weeks to ensure you’re progressing properly and so new sets could be provided.
  • Oral hygiene—It’s easy to brush and floss with Invisalign since they’re removable.  Also, because you’re required to remove while eating and drinking, less food particles get stuck between teeth, which means less opportunity for cavities. 

To see if you’re a candidate for Invisalign, schedule an appointment with our restorative dentist or orthodontist by calling (626) 288-8940.

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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.