Invisalign dentistry has increased considerably in popularity over the past decade as an alternative to traditional braces, with many patients – particularly teens and adults – eager to try this almost invisible system to help straighten out their teeth.
At Maven Dental Yokine, we get many questions from hopeful patients about what exactly Invisalign dentistry is, how long it takes and what benefits it has compared to traditional braces. So, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the top 20 questions patients have about Invisalign Dentistry to answer all your burning queries.
- What is Invisalign?
As the name suggests, Invisalign is an almost invisible system that works to straighten your teeth and smile without the bulky, metal appearance of traditional braces.
- How does Invisalign work to straighten my teeth?
Invisalign uses a series of clear, personalised and removable aligners to gradually shift your teeth into the desired position.
Patients wear one set of Invisalign trays for a scheduled amount of time – as recommended by your dentist – before moving onto the next set of aligners, which are slightly different. Over time, through the subtle movement of each set of aligners, your teeth will move into the correct position.
- How long has Invisalign been around for?
The company who founded Invisalign – Align Technology, Inc. – was founded in 1997.
They took the vision of Dr. H.D. Kiesling, who imagined back in 1945 that modern technology could create a series of tooth positioners to be used in comprehensive orthodontic treatment, and made it a reality!
- How many people have been treated with Invisalign dentistry?
According to Invisalign, More than four million patients worldwide have been treated with Invisalign dentistry.
- How much does Invisalign cost?
Like any procedure, the cost of Invisalign varies from person to person, depending on factors such as the complexity of your problem and the subsequent length of treatment.
However, as a note, the cost of Invisalign is comparable to the cost of traditional braces.
- What are the Invisalign aligners made from?
Invisalign aligner trays are made from a strong medical grade thermoplastic material that is moulded to the shape of your teeth to ensure a comfortable fit.
- What orthodontic issues can Invisalign fix?
Invisalign can be used to treat most orthodontic cases, from mild to moderate complexity. Invisalign can generally treat the following issues, however, it depends on the severity of the issues present.
- Crooked Teeth
- Gaps in Teeth
- Open Bite
- What is the difference between braces and Invisalign?
Traditional braces are made from stainless steel brackets and wires, which are attached to the outside of the teeth. The wires in these braces are gradually adjusted during the treatment schedule to move the teeth progressively into position.
Alternatively, Invisalign is a series of plastic, personalised aligners that are changed approximately every two weeks to move teeth into the desired position over time.
Without the metal in your mouth, your gums, lips and tongue
- What is the process to get Invisalign?
In order to get you started on your Invisalign journey, you will need to have an initial consultation with an orthodontist at Maven Dental Yokine to see whether you are a suitable candidate for Invisalign Dentistry.
After your initial consult, you will come back in for x-rays, photos and impressions of your mouth and teeth, which will form the basis of your Invisalign aligners. This information is sent off to Invisalign, where your aligners are custom-made according to your needs.
Once your Invisalign aligners have come back from the specialists, your orthodontist will get you back into the dental office to fit your first set of aligners, along with all the important care information you will need.
- How often do I need to see my dentist after getting my Invisalign aligners?
The frequency of your orthodontist visits will be determined by your practitioner, however, as a general guide, expect a visit to your dentist every 4-6 weeks.
- How long does a course of Invisalign aligners take to straighten teeth?
Typically, Invisalign treatment schedules last between 9-18 months. But it is important to remember that everybody is different and the complexity of your teeth and mouth problems will influence the total treatment time required.
- What are the benefits of Invisalign dentistry?
The biggest benefit of Invisalign is its practically invisible appearance, allowing patients to go about their normal activities and lifestyle without feeling hindered by traditional braces.
As Invisalign retainers are removable, patients can eat and drink normally by removing their aligners.
Patients also spend less time in the dentist’s chair, compared to traditional braces, as there is no need for adjustments to wires.
- What impact will the aligners have on my speech?
While many patients have no reported change to their speech, it isn’t uncommon for patients to experience an adjustment period to the Invisalign, where their speech may be slightly altered.
- How long do I need to wear Invisalign for each day?
In order to straighten your teeth in the quickest amount of time possible, you should wear your Invisalign aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours per day. If you do not wear them for the recommended amount of time, you may find your teeth begin to relapse into their previous position.
- Are there any special things to remember while wearing Invisalign?
- Avoid any food or drinks that may stain your teeth, like coffee and brightly coloured drinks.
- Be prepared to brush your teeth more often – after each meal, drink or snack
- Don’t chew gum while you’re going through your Invisalign treatments, as it may get stuck to your aligners and impact your treatment.
- How do I clean the Invisalign trays?
Your aligners should be cleaned regularly, particularly after each meal, by brushing them with a normal toothbrush, then rinsing them with lukewarm water.
- Can I wear Invisalign if I have a crown?
If you have a crown, it generally won’t affect your Invisalign treatment, however, it is determined on a case by case basis and your orthodontist will discuss your situation with you.
- Will I experience any pain from wearing Invisalign?
As the aligners are designed to shift your teeth, some patients may feel some minor temporary discomfort, like a feeling of pressure on the teeth, when a new aligner is fitted. This feeling is completely normal and is an indication that your Invisalign is working.
- Can I eat while wearing Invisalign?
As Invisalign is easily removable, there is no need to eat while wearing your Invisalign – you can take your aligner out to eat and drink. However, it is important to create good oral hygiene habits after every meal to ensure any food or bacteria is removed from around and in between your teeth.
- Do I have to wear a retainer after having Invisalign?
After your treatment has finished with Invisalign, you will need to wear a retainer to ensure your teeth do not move back to their original position.
Immediately after finishing your treatment, you may be required to wear a retainer for 12-22 hours per day for the first 3-6 months, before reducing the wear time to 3-5 times a week.