To most, it may seem like brushing teeth or correcting them is a relatively new phenomenon. We imagine people in the medieval age probably had rotted, horrendous, uncared-for grins. On the contrary, humans have been caring for their pearly whites as far back as ancient Egypt.
Thanks to modern technology, how we treat our teeth has advanced significantly. We can now straighten our smiles without anyone knowing, thanks to Invisalign. It’s a fascinating technology, so how does Invisalign work?
It’s deceptively simple, yet still requires the careful skill of an experienced dentist. In this guide, we take a look at the Invisalign process.
History of Invisalign
Invisalign is the brainchild of then-MBA student Zia Christi. Like everyone else, Christi hated the pain and discomfort of conventional retainers. Working out of his dorm room, he set out to create a better solution with his mates.
In 1997, his company, Align Technologies, created a patented, FDA-approved device. That’s right, we’re talking about the one we all know of today: Invisalign. At first, it was a retainer, but then it evolved into an orthodontic teeth-straightening alternative.
The Invisalign Concept
Invisalign makes use of 3D computer technology to craft bespoke, transparent plastic trays. These trays fit a specific pair of teeth – yours. Like braces, they slowly move teeth into a more desirable configuration.
It’s an excellent substitute, in some cases, for the metal-and-wire braces people know and hate. There’s far less discomfort when wearing them.
Importantly, it helps to avoid the embarrassment that comes with having braces. Many adults choose not to straighten their teeth based on the stigma of wire brackets alone. Invisalign helps anyone get a straight smile without drawing attention to themselves.
It provides a few notable benefits over braces. You can remove them easily whenever you eat or brush your teeth. They’re much easier to maintain than pesky braces.
Last but not least, Invisalign is safe. Many plastics can break down, contaminating the body with microscopic microplastics. Or the plastic itself triggers an allergic reaction in the user’s body.
Invisalign isn’t made of harmful plastics like Latex or BPA. It’s safe and FDA-approved for use in oral health treatment.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign dental treatment works by progressive graduation through a series of plastic trays. You don’t wear the same tray throughout your treatment. Rather, you change to a new one every couple of weeks once it has succeeded in moving your teeth.
What Issues Can It Fix?
Invisalign is not a one-for-one replacement for braces. Unfortunately, some people will need to go with brackets even if they’d prefer Invisalign. Generally speaking, Invisalign is best for those with only mild or moderately crooked teeth.
If you have the following, Invisalign may help:
- Open bite
- Crowded teeth
- Gap teeth
Whatever the case, you should visit your local dentist to see if Invisalign is right for you.
How a Dentist Creates Invisalign
The first step in the process is getting a consultation with dental services. Assuming the treatment is right for you, they take 3D scans of your mouth. Then, they order a series of custom aligners built for your mouth.
As mentioned earlier, these aligners make slow, progressive changes to your teeth. Each aligner is only slightly different from the last. This allows Invisalign to gradually move your teeth into a better smile.
Like with braces, you come in for regular visits to your dentist. They check to make sure everything is in order and then send you on your way. In rare instances, they may make some adjustments to the trays.
Dentists may have to cement little “handles” on the surface of your teeth. This helps the Invisalign stay in place and exert enough force to change particularly tricky areas. Rest assured, these handles are uncommon for most Invisalign users.
How Often Do You Wear Them?
Invisalign only works if, like braces, it’s on your teeth all the time. Users should expect to wear them for at least 20-22 hours each day. The only time you should really take them off is for meals and dental care.
How long you wear them will depend on how long your teeth need to adjust. It could be only a few months or as long as 18 months. Approximately once every week or two weeks, you change to a new tray and discard the old one.
The key is consistency. You should build a habit of brushing your teeth immediately after each meal and putting your Invisalign back on. Fail to do this, and the process could take much longer.
Invisalign vs. Braces: Which Should You Choose?
All things considered, which is best for you: Invisalign or braces? Your answer will depend on a number of key factors.
The cost of braces and Invisalign depends on your local dentist. Generally speaking, braces are usually a bit less expensive than Invisalign.
Your Treatment Needs
As mentioned, braces can tackle almost any orthodontic situation. People with severely crooked teeth will need braces. Unless you have a mild or moderate case, Invisalign will not be an option.
Invisalign can, depending on your situation, take much less time than braces. Both require regular checkups.
The biggest advantage of Invisalign is that they are nearly invisible. People won’t notice them unless they look closely. This allows you to stealthily correct your teeth without awkward stares.
Convenience and Comfort
Invisalign is also a bit more comfortable on the whole. It won’t get in the way of eating or brushing.
Although you still have to wear it all day, it won’t have as big of an impact on your lifestyle. Issues that people run into, such as slurred speech, are negligible with Invisalign.
Get Invisalign at Toccoa Falls Dental Center
How does Invisalign work? It involves (similar to braces) correcting your teeth with transparent plastic trays. It’s more convenient, less noticeable, and works well for mild or moderately crooked teeth.
Looking to get that smile you’ve always been dreaming of? Toccoa Falls Family Dental and Implant Center can help. Get started by making an appointment for your consultation.