Even while Invisalign’s clear plastic trays appear to have been around for a long time, the firm that launched it is only about twenty years old, and it took a while for the notion of utilizing Invisalign’s clear plastic trays to catch on. It wasn’t until about 2004 that the treatments became widely accepted. The treatment process is nearly invisible. Because the trays are detachable, patients can eat whatever they want and wash their teeth without a problem. If you’re curious about how the Invisalign system works, here’s a basic overview:
- Make an appointment with your orthodontist.
If you’re considering Invisalign, we’ll need to figure out if it’s right for you. Although Invisalign is a diverse treatment option, it is not appropriate for all orthodontic disorders. Aside from clinical issues, we must also evaluate a patient’s capacity or willingness to keep the trays fitted in the mouth for nearly 20 hours daily. Patients and their families will, of course, want to verify insurance coverage and compare costs. Even if you don’t get treatment from us, we recommend that you get Invisalign therapy from an orthodontist rather than a general dentist. Many dentists now offer Invisalign but lack the added training and specialty that orthodontists have, and the results are frequently disappointing.
2. Your orthodontist draws out a treatment plan for you.
We take x-rays, pictures, and impressions of your teeth once you’ve opted to start Invisalign treatment. These records, combined with our directions for how we want the teeth to move, are transmitted to the Invisalign business. The information is entered into a computer, which generates a 3-D representation of your teeth and a computer model of how they will migrate to their ideal places.
3. Wait for your aligners.
The aligners may take up to a month to arrive at our clinic.
4. Wear your aligners
Come to our office when your aligners are ready, and we’ll hand them over to you. They’re all unique and should be worn in a precise order. For two weeks, each aligner should be utilized. Each aligner will help move your teeth into straighter and straighter positions as your treatment develops. You can remove an aligner to eat or brush your teeth, but you should keep it on for the duration of your treatment. If you don’t, your teeth will not move as planned, and new aligners will not fit properly.
5. For you, your orthodontist creates a treatment plan.
You may be finished with your Invisalign after two weeks of wearing the last tray, but a few teeth may still require modifications. It’s not uncommon for this to occur. We’ll examine your teeth and, if necessary, contact Invisalign to place an order for a few extra “refinement” trays. They may take up to a month to arrive. Many patients will require refining trays, at no additional cost.