Invisalign is a highly effective yet straightforward teeth straightening treatment. The procedure essentially involves the use of a series of removable, clear dental aligners that applies minute forces to move your teeth to their desired position. It has been estimated that more than 4 million patients have benefited from this alternative clear brace treatment. Although not every orthodontic case may be treated with Invisalign, the system is gaining traction with young and mature orthodontic patients alike – attesting to its efficacy and fuss-free treatment process.
Invisalign may be prescribed if you have: an overbite; underbite; gapped teeth; crossbite; open bite or overly crowded teeth. Even if you have a specific condition that is not listed, you may still contact an Invisalign provider to find out the best available options.
If you have one of the listed conditions, here is what you can expect if you choose to take up the Invisalign treatment offer:
Step 1: Find an Invisalign Provider
Although all Invisalign providers undertake clinical training, it may still be beneficial to select one that has special accreditation. Invisalign providers are certified as Platinum, Platinum Elite or Diamond providers. This ranking points to the number of cases the certified dentist or practice has completed. The classification standard for the Invisalign Super Elite Providers has been updated in 2014 as such: Platinum – 51; Platinum Elite – 81; and Diamond – 151. The figures refer to the minimum number of cases required to attain the Super Elite status are as follows:
To an Invisalign customer, this ranking matters simply because they allude to the level of experience your dentist has in specific relation to working with the Invisalign system. It immediately gives you a heads up as to the relevant expertise, training and experience of the dentist who you will be relying on for your Invisalign treatment. In many ways, the higher accreditation ranking also speaks volumes about the dentist’s word-of-mouth referrals, which in turn says something about his professionalism and patient satisfaction.
Step 2: Take 3D Pictures of Your Teeth
Following the initial consultation, you will need to take some digital images, x-rays and impressions of your teeth that will be used as a blueprint of sorts to generate a highly accurate digital 3D impression of your teeth. These pictures and detailed imaging information will map out a precise treatment plan and be used to generate the custom aligners. The 3D image projections would be able depict your teeth moving towards their desired position at each stage of the treatment.
Step 3: Say ‘Hello’ to Your Custom Aligners
A series of clear plastic aligners will be then custom-created for you. These aligners are manufactured from a smooth, malleable plastic that is BPA-free. Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign aligners will not irritate your cheeks and gums. For optimum results, you should wear these aligners for at least 22 hours per day. You may remove for 1-2 hours per day when having a meal or brushing your teeth. Each set of aligners will shift your teeth closer into alignment over time.
Step 4: Go for Dental Checks to Monitor Your Progress
Each aligner is to be worn for about two weeks before you replace it with another one in the set. Every six weeks or so, you will need to visit your Invisalign practice for a progress check – just to make sure you are on the right track.
Step 5: Get Ready for a New Smile
Although treatment durations vary, it usually takes about a year for adults to complete the procedures. For teens, it takes about the same time as wearing braces. And that’s it! If you have been keeping those aligners faithfully on for about 22 hours a day, you should have straight and beautiful teeth by the end of treatment.
If you want to find out how Invisalign can work for you contact Dr Luke Cronin, Invisalign Diamond Provider at Quality Dental in North Sydney on (02) 99221159. We have helped hundreds of patients achieve straight teeth using the Invisalign system.