Invisible aligners, or Invisalign, is completely new territory for a lot of people. You may have heard of the aligners from your dentist, who thought you may be a good candidate for them during your last exam. You may also know someone that has them, or have a friend that’s always popping them in and out when you go out for meals together. The aligners have been around for 20 years now, but are still a mystery to some.
If you’ve heard of Invisalign but still have questions, we’ve compiled a very detailed list for you! We’re going to explore the questions most of our patients are wanting to know when they visit us, and the questions we get the most emails and phone calls about, all in one comprehensive guide!
- What are Invisible Aligners?
Aligners, or Invisalign, are transparent orthodontic appliances used as alternative to braces or in conjunction to braces. Invisalign is almost entirely invisible, and is designed with the use of advanced 3D technology so each aligner is specific to you, and the custom treatment plan that has been created for you by your orthodontist.
Invisalign works in a series of trays, or aligners. While fixed appliances are permanently bonded to your teeth until your orthodontist removes them at the end of your treatment, Invisalign involves regular switching from one aligner to the next in your customized aligner sequence. Each tray is manufactured to be slightly straighter than the current state of your teeth, giving it the ability to apply enough pressure to help guide them into the proper position,
You will switch aligners every two weeks, and the total number of required aligners will vary on a case by case basis. No two treatments are exactly alike, but your orthodontist will give you a rough idea of a timeline for your treatment, and a rough idea of how many trays you’ll need to complete it. Deep understanding of orthodontic techniques is essential for successful delivery of esthetic orthodontic treatment using invisible aligners (Invisalign).
- How Many People Use Invisalign?
We can assure you that this number isn’t a small one - it’s also growing everyday! As of right now, over 6 million people have put the aligners to the test, and have had them successfully transform their smile. This number is, of course, growing every day when new patients decide Invisalign is right for them!
- What Are the Main Benefits of Invisalign?
While Invisalign has many benefits shared among patients, Invisalign’s real benefits will be specific to you, and why you decided to fix your teeth. Did you have crowding you wanted taken care of, or a deep bite? Will fixing these things make you more confident, relieve jaw pain, encourage you to smile in your family pictures more? Whatever the case, you’ll get the true value of them when you have a need that the clear aligners can easily fulfill.
On the other hand, these are some very common benefits of Invisalign, that all patients can agree make the aligners so worth it!
- They’re Invisible
- They Can Be Removed - This Means Easier Cleaning
- You Can View Your Treatment Plan Before You Even Begin
- Less Discomfort
When it comes to benefits, these are certainly going to be the highlights.
- How Long Does Treatment Take?
Like we said before, every treatment is unique, and no two mouths are the same! Invisalign treatment times all depends on the complexity of the case. If your treatment progresses the way it’s intended to, and whether or not you, as the patient, are compliant with what Invisalign requires to work affect the treatment time. This brings us to our next point:
- How Many Hours a Day Do I Need to Wear Invisalign?
In order for you to get the most out of your treatment, along with timely results, you’ll have to comply with a strict daily wear schedule of at least 22 hours per day.
This leaves two hours for cleaning them and your teeth, along with intervals for meal times, maybe even a quick morning coffee (as long as you brush after!) Remember - you can’t drink coffee or tea while wearing the aligners, in order to prevent warping and/or damaging them.
- Who Can Treat Me with Invisalign?
It’s very important that you choose an orthodontist that’s qualified to construct a treatment plan for you.
Orthodontists that wish to pursue Invisalign treatments for their patients must take additional courses and steps in order to be qualified to do so. It’s not hard to find a professional with the accurate training and requirements to take on your case, but it’s important to do your research, and check out the orthodontist’s qualifications before signing anything! At Smile Element Invisalign is something we specialize in, and you can be confident that you’re in good hands with our practitioners!
- Is Invisalign Treatment Painful?
Painful wouldn’t be the right word to use here - let’s go with mildly uncomfortable! This discomfort doesn’t last, however, and there are a few different ways to combat it.
The first thing you can do to help ease any discomfort is switch to your new aligners at night. Switching aligners is where much of the traditional discomfort stems from, and if you’re sleeping during the worst of it, you’ll hardly be affected.
You can also use common over the counter painkillers such as Advil and Tylenol to ease any soreness. Remember to always use these as directed.
- Is There Anything I Can’t Eat During My Invisalign Treatment?
Invisalign gives you the freedom to eat essentially whatever you want. The aligners are to be removed before every beverage or meal, meaning there’s nothing you’re forbidden from indulging in.
While you won’t be facing any dietary restrictions during your Invisalign treatment, you’ll want to still ensure that you’re brushing after each meal so your aligners are kept clean and well taken care of. Make sure that there are no remains of any sticky, sugary, or starchy foods before your aligners are returned to your teeth!