Invisalign 101: One of the most important ways to invest in your own health and happiness is to care for your smile. Research has shown that an attractive, healthy smile can increase self-esteem and have a positive impact on people, both personally and professionally. In fact, your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, and the feature they tend to remember the most. Is it any surprise, then, that achieving a beautiful smile that looks and feels great is a serious confidence booster?
Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics is proud to offer a wide range of affordable treatment options to give you a confident smile you’ll want to share with everyone around you! One of those options is Invisalign clear aligner therapy, our most popular alternative to traditional braces. To learn all about this exciting system and how it can transform your smile, keep reading below!
What is Invisalign? How do the aligners work?
There are two different types of orthodontic appliances we can use to correct misalignments, crooked teeth, and other issues. Traditional braces are what we call a fixed appliance, which refers to the way we bond the brackets to the surface of the teeth. This type of appliance can only be removed by an orthodontic professional and patients don’t have to do much for them to work successfully.
Invisalign aligners are what’s known as a removable appliance. While they’re custom-designed to fit snugly over the patient’s own teeth, they aren’t actually attached to the surface. They’re designed to be removed before eating, drinking anything other than water, and brushing and flossing the teeth. Like braces, Invisalign aligners work by applying gentle pressure to the teeth that gradually moves them into the desired positions. But unlike braces, the success of this system relies on patient compliance! If the aligners aren’t worn as directed, it can lead to subpar results and longer treatment times.
What is the treatment process like with Invisalign aligners?
When you schedule a complimentary consultation with our practice, our doctors will be able to determine if your smile is a good fit for Invisalign. If you decide to move forward with treatment, the first step is to map out a precise treatment plan based on your specific needs. We do this using a highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums. This customized treatment plan will include all the movements we want your teeth to make. Because it’s so fine-tuned, it will be able to give us an idea of how long treatment is likely to take and we may even be able to show you a preview of what your new smile will look like when we’re done!
We’ll also use this scan to create your custom aligners. These are made from Invisalign’s special SmartTrack® material, which allows them to fit snugly but comfortably over your teeth. The number of aligners needed will always vary from case to case. The total treatment time generally tends to be about 9-18 months, but this will also depend on your particular needs and how you respond to treatment.
As we mentioned above, Invisalign requires patient compliance to work properly. The aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day, throughout the course of treatment. You’ll also be in charge of changing each aligner out for the next in the series every week or so as your teeth begin moving. Because regular check-ups are an important part of any orthodontic process, you’ll be scheduled for in-office follow-up appointments with us approximately every 12 weeks. During these visits, one of our doctors will check that everything is progressing as it should be according to your treatment plan.
What are the benefits of Invisalign clear aligners?
Invisalign aligners are clear and removable, something patients love because it offers them a bit more freedom than traditional braces would. Food restrictions are a good example of this! In order to protect the wires and brackets, patients in braces need to avoid eating anything that’s too hard or chewy. This eliminates several popular foods and snacks, which many patients will tell you is one of the toughest parts of treatment.
Invisalign patients have no food restrictions and are able to continue eating all their favorite foods throughout treatment! Simply take them out any time you want to eat, then put them back in when you’re done. This makes it easier to maintain a good oral hygiene routine, too. It can be time-consuming to brush and floss around brackets, wires, and bands, but aligners are removed before brushing and flossing as you normally would. Cleaning the aligners is a simple process, too. There are special kits designed to do this, or you can gently brush them using toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
Removable aligners are also a bonus for athletes, musicians who play certain instruments, or anyone who wants their natural smile to shine through for short periods of time, like a wedding, prom, or senior photos!
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
Whatever treatment you choose, your teeth will always remember their previous place in your mouth. Once the pressure of braces or aligners is removed, they will naturally begin to drift back towards those places. That’s why retainers are so important! Once you complete your treatment with us, we’ll provide you with a retainer to help keep your teeth in place. We also offer Vivera® retainers, which are custom-made using the same state-of-the-art technology as Invisalign clear aligners! In order to maintain your newly straightened smile, you should take care to wear any retainer exactly as directed by our doctors.
Invisalign is the clear choice with Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics
Invisalign is the most popular alternative to traditional braces around, and it’s easy to see why! This innovative treatment option continues to change the way people view orthodontics, and we’re excited to offer it to patients in Clinton, Edmond, and the Oklahoma City area.
If you’d like more information on how Invisalign can help transform your smile, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Farrow or Dr. Dewbre. There’s never been a better time to take the first step towards a happier, healthier smile with Invisalign and our expert team!