Invisalign clear aligners offer a discrete alternative to traditional braces for straightening your teeth. Many people opt for Invisalign as it is a faster, affordable, more comfortable and less noticeable way to straighten teeth.
However, for many people the concept of clear aligners makes them skeptical of the efficacy of the orthodontic treatment. If you need to correct misaligned teeth or bite issues, and have wondered, how does Invisalign work? Here is our step-by-step guide to the Invisalign procedure and the mechanics of this revolutionary orthodontic device.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Like other orthodontic devices, Invisalign works by using gentle pressure to move misaligned teeth along the periodontal membrane into the correct position. The force encourages the gum tissue to decrease and reabsorb back into the membrane on the side where the force is applied, and new tissue grows in the space left by the shifting tooth.
However, rather than using adjustable wires and brackets like metal braces, the Invisalign system uses a series of clear aligners that are changed periodically to force the teeth to conform to the shape of the tray.
The Invisalign Procedure: Step-by-Step
Step 1: The Initial Consultation
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign treatment. Invisalign cannot straighten teeth that are rotated more than 20° or move teeth vertically up or down in the gum membrane.
To determine whether you are eligible to receive Invisalign treatment, you need to attend an initial consultation where your dentist examines your teeth and gums, and takes X-rays and digital scans to assess your oral health.
Step 2: Creating a Customised Treatment Plan
If your dentist recommends Invisalign to straighten your teeth, they take 3D scans of your mouth and input the data into a specialised software system to create a 3D mockup of the different stages of teeth positioning. This information is sent to an off-site lab where your series of clear aligners is fabricated from clear BPA-free thermoplastic.
Step 3: Receive Your Aligner Trays
Once your aligner trays are ready, your dentist shows you how to place them properly in your mouth, and provides you with your treatment plan. Patients typically need to switch over to the next set of trays in the series every 1-2 weeks, depending on the extent of correction needed.
One of the benefits of the Invisalign treatment is that you can remove the trays to eat, drink, brush and floss, so it has little impact on your daily activities. However, it is imperative that you rinse and replace your aligners immediately. Invisalign must be worn for at least 22 hours per day to achieve optimum results.
Step 4: Go for Check Ups Every 6 Weeks
To monitor your progress, you need to visit your dentist every 6 weeks. At these appointments your dentist can check the movement of your teeth, and assess your oral health. You may need a professional cleaning to remove any tartar and plaque build-up to protect your oral health and prevent decay.
Maintaining adequate oral hygiene during your Invisalign treatment is vital to keep your smile bright and beautiful. Remove your trays and brush and floss daily, morning and evening. You should also ensure that you properly clean your Invisalign trays as they may change colour or become scratched without the right care.
How Does Invisalign Work? Call Us
Understanding how Invisalign works is important for abiding by the treatment protocols and getting the best results. If you have misaligned teeth, call the team at Dapto Dentists on (02) 4210 9058 to book your appointment and discuss whether you are a candidate for Invisalign.