For many people, the idea of wearing braces is daunting. They have the reputation of being unsightly, uncomfortable, and generally a hassle. The good news is that advancements in technology give patients a reason to smile with an innovative orthodontic treatment called Invisalign.
Invisalign is a series of clear plastic aligners that painlessly move your teeth into the correct position. The aligners are custom-made for each patient by taking a mouth mold. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks, and then the patient changes to a different aligner. The series of aligners slowly moves the teeth until they are exactly where they should be. The length of treatment is usually only about one year, a shorter period of time than most patients were traditional braces.
Of course the timeframe and success of Invisalign depends on the amount of correction needed and how consistently the patient wears the aligners. This is because, unlike regular braces, Invisalign aligners can be removed to eat, drink, and perform oral hygiene tasks. For the best results, patients should wear the aligners 22 hours a day. The more a patient wears the aligners, the faster treatment progresses.
Another great advantage of Invisalign is that patients can continue eating the foods they enjoy. Since the aligners are removable, there are no diet restrictions that keep certain foods off limits. Also, it is easier to keep the teeth clean because brushing and flossing are done without the aligners.
During treatment, patients visit the dentist once a month for checkups. Traditional braces patients dread these types of appointments because that means a painful adjustment, but Invisalign checkups are merely for monitoring progress. In the end, patients obtain a great smile without the pain or embarrassment associated with braces.