Even though the world has seen some amazing advances in orthodontics in last decade, when faced with the news that they need braces, many patients react with dread. Sadly, traditional metal braces have a history of being awkward, restrictive, and less than aesthetically pleasing. While they are more comfortable and attractive than they’ve ever been, many teens and adults are still wary of them. If you are one of these patients, there’s great news for you: there is another way to straighten your teeth without the traditional metal braces.
Invisalign is a clear aligner system which provides a convenient and discreet alternative to traditional braces. You get the same phenomenal results of traditional braces but without the metal, wire, brackets, and bands. For this reason, many teens and adults are opting for Invisalign. With these transparent aligners, patients can avoid the look of traditional braces and the hassle that goes with them. Invisalign aligners are a marvelous choice for patients looking for minimal changes to their lifestyle and want to straighten their teeth without the look of traditional braces.
So, what is Invisalign and how does it work? Our team at Bret Johnson Orthodontics put together a quick reference guide to give you the Invisalign 101. Keep reading to learn more about how Invisalign aligners may be a great fit for you!
WHAT IS THE INVISALIGN SYSTEM?
The Invisalign system uses a series of transparent, removable plastic trays (called aligners) to help create a healthy, straighter smile for you without being obvious. Once you see the aligners, the design is so simple you think there’s no way they could give you the same results as traditional metal braces. The trays are made with a special kind of thermoplastic resin that is powerful enough to move your teeth into alignment. The movement relies on switching out custom-made aligners at specific intervals to give you a straighter smile.
HOW DOES INVISALIGN WORK?
The first step in the Invisalign process is an initial consultation which Bret Johnson Orthodontics offers free of charge! At this appoint, we’ll have an in-depth discussion about your orthodontic needs and assess whether Invisalign is a beneficial treatment option for you. Once we decide you are a fit for the system, we start the process of creating custom designed aligners specific to your smile.
We will perform a highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums in office. This scan will be used to map out your personal treatment plan. The plan will cover the movement we want your teeth to make and will estimate approximately how long the treatment is likely to take. You may even get the opportunity to see your future smile!
The 3D scan will then be used to create your custom aligners from Invisalign’s proprietary SmartTrack® material. The trays are nearly invisible, and the total number you need will range anywhere from 10-48, with a treatment time averaging between 5 to 15 months. To ensure effectiveness, you will need to wear the aligners for 20-22 hours every single day.
As treatment progresses, you will change out aligners every one to three weeks according to your treatment plan. We will also have you pop into our Spokane or Colville office every four to eight weeks for a check-up to monitor the progress of the treatment and make any changes if needed.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF INVISALIGN OVER TRADITIONAL ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?
Not only is Invisalign the most comfortable and aesthetically pleasing solution out there, but it also has other additional benefits as well.
Since the aligners are removable, you don’t have to accommodate restrictions on diet or activity, which is a huge benefit to most people! No doubt you’ve heard the stories of people who wore metal braces and had to give up many of their favorite foods during their treatment. Since metal braces have wires and brackets, patients can’t enjoy treats that are chewy, hard, sticky, or crunchy. That means not only must you forgo caramels and popcorn, you also must restrict healthy foods like apples and carrots as well. This can make social situations annoying since we love to eat with our friends and family. Invisalign aligners are removable, so you take them out whenever you consume anything with exception to water. That means you can eat whatever you want during treatment!
Removal aligners are also a game changer when it comes to your daily oral hygiene. It’s always important to stay consistent with your dental hygiene, but even more so when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. The wire, brackets, and bands which make up metal braces can make daily brushing and flossing a time-consuming and tricky task. On the flip side, you just remove your Invisalign aligner before brushing and flossing. Cleaning your Invisalign aligners couldn’t be easier; you just use your Invisalign cleaning kit or clean them gently with a soft toothbrush and denture crystals.
Athletes and musicians will especially love this next benefit. Invisalign aligners can be taken out when you participate in a contact sport (just be sure to wear a mouthguard) or if you play an instrument. You don’t have to worry about braces getting in the way of Friday night football or your jam session with the band.
Finally, the final benefit is that you can record your memories without braces in them. When it’s time to take prom, wedding, or just any special photo, you can remove your Invisalign aligners and turn up the wattage on your smile for your picture. Once picture time if over, just pop the aligners back in!
WHO ARE THE BEST CANDIDATES FOR INVISALIGN?
Invisalign is created to be used by teenage and adult patients with common orthodontic issues. Those patients who have more complicated cases are not a good fit for removable aligners in order to achieve their best results. During your complimentary consultation, we’ll be able to determine if Invisalign is a good treatment option for you, or if a more traditional orthodontic treatment would yield better results.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE INVISALIGN TREATMENT IS COMPLETE?
After your Invisalign treatment finishes up, we will provide you with retainers to maintain your results. It’s important to consistently wear your retainers as directed to keep the results you worked so hard for previously.
INVISALIGN WITH BRET JOHNSON ORTHODONTICS
Invisalign is making orthodontic treatment a more convenient option for busy teens and adults who live active lifestyles and don’t want the look of traditional braces. We are proud to be a certified Invisalign provider offering this groundbreaking technology to patients in the Spokane and Colville areas. If you are interested in learning more about the Invisalign system or would like a complimentary consultation, please contact us at 509.359.1218 or with our web inquiry form. Bret Johnson Orthodontics is ready to help you achieve the smile of your dreams!