Fast Facts About Invisalign® and How It Works
Are you thinking of getting braces from your orthodontist? As an adult, it has probably crossed your mind severally of the need to keep your treatment on the down-low. This is not possible if you are to get traditional metal braces.
Thankfully, some alternative teeth braces can help you achieve the orthodontic dental goals you have. They are popularly known as Invisalign® and have provided a suitable solution for many adults and children alike in orthodontic dentistry.
What Is Invisalign®?
It is a term used to refer to a brand of teeth aligners used in orthodontics to realign and reposition malpositioned teeth. These aligners are popular for their invisibility, thanks to the materials used to make them. The teeth aligners feature a transparent plastic-like material that is tailored to fit the teeth of patients to reposition teeth. For this reason, the aligners are also called clear or invisible braces.
These braces are praised for their cosmetic advantage in orthodontic dentistry. However, that is not all that is unique about the invisible braces.
How Do They Work?
Clear braces work with a similar concept as other types of braces. They rely on applying continuous pressure on teeth to cause them to shift. This process banks on bone regeneration, which is the only factor that allows teeth to shift and find ample support in the new position.
Your dentist will take molds of your teeth and use them as measurements to develop your aligners. The oral appliances are then tailored to the specifications of your teeth, allowing them to apply maximum pressure on your teeth by being a tight fit. Over time, your teeth will keep shifting to the target direction and position.
Things You Must Know About Clear Braces
- They are not for everyone – even though they may be eye-catching to you, the invisible teeth aligners may not be suitable for you. The dentist offering your orthodontic treatment has to recommend the braces before you can try them. Ideally, they are suited for patients with mild and moderate cases of dental misalignment.
- They are removable – other than the cosmetic benefit clear aligners, they are also praised for their flexibility. You can choose when to remove your clear aligners, unlike the case with metal braces. This removability feature allows patients the freedom to eat what they want without the worry of damaging their teeth aligners.
- You must keep your aligners in for between 20-22 hours every day – even though they are removable, clear aligners dictate that you keep them on for most of the hours in your day. You have about 2-4 hours of freedom without your teeth aligners. The essence of this is to continually and consistently place the pressure on your teeth, necessary for the shifting process. How disciplined and committed you are to keep your aligners on through your treatment will affect the success of your treatment, as well as the speed of the results.
- You need regular dental visits – you may need to make your dentist your new best friend once you get the invisible aligners. The reason is that you need to get a change of trays every several weeks. The first set of clear aligners you get, therefore, are not the same ones that will complete your treatment. Depending on the treatment plan that your dentist creates for you, you will visit him/her every 6 weeks or so. For each visit, you will get a new set of clear aligners, which will be of a tighter fit than the previous ones. This process will continue throughout your treatment until you have achieved your desired goals.
- The treatment takes time – like with all orthodontic procedures, the result of using clear aligners also takes time. Depending on how severe your orthodontic problem was, it may take 6 months, a year, or even longer before your treatment is complete.
- You will need to wear retainers after your treatment – once you are happy with how your teeth are aligned in your mouth, you will need retainers. These are oral appliances used to hold your teeth in position. Since the new position is not the original one, your teeth may shift back after a while, unless they are secured in place. Some patients may be in retainers for the rest of their lives.