Modern orthodontics has come along in leaps and bounds in recent years, thanks in large part to the incredible advances technology has made. By combining the latest techniques with state-of-the-art equipment, we’re able to offer patients multiple treatment options that are more comfortable and efficient than ever before. The innovative Invisalign clear aligner system is a perfect example of this!
Even though Invisalign is currently the most popular alternative to traditional braces, you may not be familiar with it. This treatment option uses removable clear aligners to straighten smiles, rather than the brackets, wires, and bands that come with braces. This gives patients a more subtle way to treat their orthodontic issues, something that really appeals to teens and adults who prefer to avoid treatment that interferes with their day-to-day life.
Here at Petrunic Orthodontics, we hear from people every day who are interested in learning more about improving their smile, but worry that braces will be their only option. Does this sound like you? If so, Invisalign could be just what you’re looking for! It offers a measure of freedom and flexibility that traditional braces just can’t match for a superior orthodontic experience and beautiful, long-lasting results.
But what exactly is Invisalign? Let’s take a closer look at how this exciting system can give you the smile you’ve always wanted!
(Want to see if you’re a good fit for Invisalign? Click here to schedule a FREE consultation!)
What is Invisalign?
In orthodontics, we use both fixed and removable orthodontic appliances to correct orthodontic issues and improve oral health. To fully understand why Invisalign differs from braces and how the system works, it helps to know the distinction between the two. Metal, clear, and self-ligating braces are fixed orthodontic appliances. This means that they are attached directly to the teeth, and can only be removed by a trained orthodontic specialist. Invisalign, on the other hand, is a removable appliance. While the aligners are custom-made to fit snugly over a patient’s teeth, no part of the aligner is attached to the teeth themselves.
If you’ve ever seen a clear aligner, you may be surprised by how simple the design appears! But these trays actually pack a lot of punch thanks to the special thermoplastic resin they’re made of, which provides comfort while still being strong enough to move the teeth over time. In order to do so, patients must wear their aligners for a certain number of hours each day, as well as switch them out for the next in the series at predetermined intervals.
How does Invisalign work?
Once Dr. Petrunic determines you’re a good fit for Invisalign, we can begin mapping out a precise treatment plan for you. To do this, we’ll use a highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums to plot the exact movements we want your teeth to make. We’ll then start the process of designing your aligners.
Invisalign’s special SmartTrack® material is what gives the aligners their durability and near invisibility. Because the trays are customized for your unique smile, they’ll fit firmly over your teeth but will still be comfortable once you get used to them. The total number of aligners needed will vary from case to case, but most patients will need anywhere from 10 to 48 to produce the best results. Treatment time will also vary, but tends to last approximately 6-18 months on average. The individualized treatment plan Dr. Petrunic creates for you will give us an idea of how long your own treatment is likely to take.
With Invisalign, you play an important role in the success of your own treatment. Because the aligners are removable, it’s up to you to wear them as directed, which is generally for 20-22 hours each day. If you aren’t compliant with these recommendations, the system won’t be able to work properly. You’ll also need to be vigilant about switching your aligners out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks, or as directed by Dr. Petrunic. This allows the trays to keep up with the movements your teeth are making. Failure to do either of these things can lead to poor results or additional treatment time.
Regular check-ups are an essential part of the treatment process, so you should expect to see us for follow-up appointments every 4-8 weeks or so. These will be fairly brief since there are no appliances to adjust. During these visits, Dr. Petrunic will check how your teeth are moving and ensure everything is progressing the way it should be, so it’s important not to skip them.
Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?
In general, Invisalign works best for teen and adult patients who have mild to moderate orthodontic issues. If your case turns out to be particularly complex or severe, it may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve. In the event that a different method of treatment would be more suitable for you, Dr. Petrunic will discuss this with you during your consultation.
What are the benefits of Invisalign?
There are lots of reasons to love Invisalign! A lack of food restrictions is a big deal for many of our patients. In order to protect their appliance, braces patients must avoid a number of crunchy and chewy foods during treatment. While all the effort is definitely worth it in the end, it can be a pretty big learning curve. With removable aligners, however, you simply take them out whenever you eat or drink anything other than water, then put it back in when you’re done. This makes dental hygiene easier, too. Brushing and flossing with braces can sometimes be frustrating, but Invisalign aligners are removed before brushing and flossing as normal, so keeping your teeth and gums clean couldn’t be easier.
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
Your teeth will always remember their previous place in your mouth, whether you have braces, use Invisalign aligners, or are treated with some other method. Over time, they will naturally begin drifting back to those positions if there’s nothing in place to stop them. This is why wearing a retainer is so important for every orthodontic patient! Once you’ve completed your Invisalign treatment, our office will provide you with a retainer. For the longest-lasting results, you should always wear it exactly as directed by Dr. Petrunic.
Improve your smile with Invisalign and Petrunic Orthodontics
Invisalign clear aligner therapy is hugely popular with patients for a reason! This innovative system is changing the way people think about orthodontic treatment all over the world. Would you like more information on how this exciting system can help give you the smile you’ve always wanted? We’d love to meet you and talk more about it! Get in touch with us today to schedule your complimentary consultation, and take the first step towards a straighter, healthier smile.