Invisalign® continues to gain popularity as a preferred method of correcting cosmetic dental issues for adults. As an adult who may be in front of many people through work and family activities, you may want a less visible means of orthodontic treatment than traditional braces with brackets and wires. Invisalign® provides such a treatment. Since Invisalign® aligners are made of a clear material, they are almost invisible. This feature, along with other advantages, may make Invisalign® clear aligners the treatment option for you.
The dentists at Sninski & Schmitt Family Dentistry want to help advise you on the method of correcting your teeth that is best for you. Our dentists will give you the facts that will make it easier for you to decide. This article presents some of the differences between Invisalign® and traditional braces, the stages of treatment with Invisalign®, and important facts for you to consider as an adult who is choosing to straighten your teeth and improve your smile.
Differences Between Invisalign® and Braces
Invisalign® uses clear custom trays that progress from one to another to move the teeth into the correct positions. The clear aligners, which completely cover the surface of the teeth, put pressure on the teeth using micro-movements. Over time, when properly worn, the trays move your teeth into the proper alignment.
Braces, on the other hand, use brackets and wires to pull the teeth into better alignment and are very visible. Frequent visits to the orthodontist are required to adjust the tension in various ways to move the teeth. Braces can be rough on the gums and quite painful after the orthodontist makes adjustments.
Benefits of Invisalign® for Adults vs. Braces
Adults find the clear Invisalign® method of moving teeth to be more favorable than braces. As an adult, you may not be willing to have visible brackets and wires placed on your teeth. Invisalign® allows you to take the aligners out when you are eating, flossing, and brushing your teeth. This is a huge advantage over braces. Anyone who has worn braces can attest to the difficulty of performing these tasks.
The main benefits of Invisalign® as compared to traditional braces:
- Less visible
- Less intrusive
- More convenient
- More comfortable
- Very effective in aligning teeth
- Quicker results as compared to braces
- Fewer consultations are required
The 6-Stage Invisalign® Treatment Process
1. See your dental professional for an initial consultation.
First, your dental professional needs to determine whether the Invisalign® method is right for you. Even though Invisalign® is a versatile treatment, it may not work for all orthodontic issues. Your dentist will ask you questions that help in making the decision. Are you willing/able to keep the trays in at least 22 hours each day? This is essential for the treatment to be effective.
2. The dentist creates a treatment plan.
Your dental professional will take x-rays, photographs, and impressions of your teeth. These records are sent to the Invisalign® lab along with instructions on how the teeth need to move. Invisalign® technicians generate a 3-D rendering of your teeth and a computer model of how the teeth should be repositioned.
3. Waiting for the aligners to be made and arrive.
Usually, it takes about one month to make the aligners and for them to arrive at the dentist’s office.
4. Getting and wearing your aligners.
When you come to get your aligners, the dental team gives you the instructions for how they are meant to be worn. Each tray is different and must be worn in a specific order for two weeks. As you progress, you see that your teeth are moving into straighter positions. You can take the trays out to eat and brush, but you should always be wearing them during the treatment process. Otherwise, the treatment won’t work as designed. You will find that without wearing the aligners as you should, they won’t fit correctly.
5. Refining your smile.
You may be done with the treatment after you have worn the last tray for two weeks. Many times, however, there may need to be some tweaking. It isn’t unusual for the dentist to get back in touch with Invisalign® to order a few more trays for refining the position of your teeth.
6. Maintaining your smile after treatment.
You will need to wear retainers after the treatment is complete so your teeth continue to stay in the correct position. This will be necessary long term since teeth are continually shifting and moving.
Key Points to Know as an Adult Choosing Invisalign®
- Invisalign® works for many different types of malocclusions including underbite, overbite, crossbite, and overcrowding. Some cases may be too complex, but Invisalign can provide results for most mild or moderate malocclusions. The best way to find out for certain is to schedule a consultation with your dental professional to learn about your options.
- Adults, in particular, have great results with Invisalign®. Success requires diligence in wearing the trays for at least 22 hours per day. Most adults commit to this regimen and see the results!
- Invisalign® can provide fast treatment. While braces require longer treatment times, you can see results in a shorter amount of time with Invisalign®. The actual treatment time depends on your individual needs.
- The plan with Invisalign® is straightforward. Beginning with a consultation to determine whether treatment is a good option for you, then you move quickly onto designing the plan and receiving the trays. The latest scanning equipment provides a digital impression of your teeth and mouth that Invisalign uses to make the trays out of BPA-free clear plastic for your treatment.
- Taking care of your clear aligners is easy. To keep the aligners clean, you will soak them in an aligner cleaning solution once a day.
- You can eat what you want with Invisalign®. Since you remove the aligners when eating, you don’t have any restrictions. It’s best if you can brush your teeth before putting the trays back on after eating. Also, you can drink water while keeping the trays on, but not other beverages like soda and coffee.
- You can get Invisalign® treatment at your Fuquay-Varina dentist.
For more information, you may find it helpful to read our blog “Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign®.”
Contact Sninski & Schmitt Family Dentistry for Invisalign® Treatment
Our dental team is proud to offer the Invisalign® treatment for your orthodontic needs. If you want straight teeth and a healthier, more appealing smile, we can help! Call our Holly Springs dentist office at (919) 600-6262 and our Cary, NC dentist office at (919) 467-2203. Or, use our convenient online form to schedule an appointment.