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Ask the Experts
When people think about orthodontic treatment, let’s be honest, most of us think metal brackets and wires. If you are a teenager or adult, a “clear alternative” might sound like a better option. Invisalign® continues to grow in popularity as an effective alternative to braces. It is most definitely talked about, but you may be wondering: What exactly is Invisalign® and how does it work?
We have put together this easy-to-follow guide to help you understand all the ins and outs of Invisalign®.
First Things First
Generally speaking, Invisalign® can treat almost anything that braces can:
- Crooked Teeth
- Gaps in Teeth
- Open Bite
- Crowded Teeth
Invisalign® is great at what it does. However, there are certain situations where it may not work as effectively as traditional braces. The determining factor in whether Invisalign® is or is not right for you is the severity of your case.
At My Imperial Care, we believe each case is unique and a complimentary consultation will help us determine what is right for you.
In order to determine weither you are a good candidate for Invisalign®, we’ll request you for some records. These records include photographs of your face and teeth and/or 3D X-rays.
Our online consultants will review each of these, discuss your desired orthodontic results and provide a customized corrective treatment plan.
We believe the key to a successful outcome with Invisalign® is a highly skilled orthodontist creating the right treatment plan for you. If during your visit in our dental clinic Invisalign® is your prescribed treatment, our orthodontists create a complete treatment plan, from the initial position of your teeth to their final desired position, with the use of advanced 3D computer imaging technology. The records taken are sent to the Invisalign® lab with detailed instructions on how the orthodontist wants your teeth to be moved. Once your orthodontist approves your treatment plan, Invisalign® clinicians start to create your custom-made clear aligners, also called trays. When the dental clinic receives the trays, you’re ready to start the straightening process!
Each set of Invisalign® aligners are worn for (usually) one to two weeks at a time. Aligners are designed to move your teeth in small increments. Each aligner is designed slightly straighter than your teeth. This puts gentle, constant pressure on your teeth, so that over the course of time, your teeth move to match the aligners.
As you progress in the series of aligners, your teeth continue to move — little by little, week by week — until they have straightened to their final positions.
After completing your initial series of aligners, your orthodontist will determine if an additional series of aligners are necessary to perfect your smile. If more aligners are needed, we will take an updated digital scan of your teeth, and your orthodontist will submit an updated prescription for additional aligners needed.
Once you’ve completely finished treatment, it’s time to celebrate that beautiful, new smile! We will also discuss retainers. Retainers are the key to maintaining that beautiful, new smile. By wearing your retainers as directed, your new healthy smile will last a long time!
- You can and should take your aligners out any time you eat or drink. This means none of the frustrating food restrictions that come with traditional braces!
- Aligners are virtually almost invisible, making it the perfect choice for a more aesthetically pleasing option and for patients who prefer a more subtle treatment option.
- Brushing and flossing can be difficult with traditional braces, but removable aligners make good dental hygiene a much easier process, helping keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- You can remove your aligners temporarily for photos, sports, events or any other special occasion.
Important Considerations With Invisalign®
Aligners alone may not move your teeth into alignment. Attachments are sometimes a necessary part of Invisalign® to help move your teeth.
Attachments enable aligners to move with a little extra force to shift teeth into their proper position. This extra force is used when alignment changes cannot be accomplished on their own because of the size, shape or angle of a specific tooth. Below are some things to know about Invisalign® attachments:
- Tiny attachments: Invisalign attachments are little, tooth-colored dots made of composite filling material that are bonded to teeth to help the Invisalign® aligners move teeth.
- Location matters: The attachments are usually placed around the middle of the tooth, serving as an anchor to make an aligner work more effectively.
- Shape can vary: An attachment can be circular, square, rectangular, or triangular. The type of attachment you receive depends on the goal that the orthodontist is trying to achieve, like tooth rotation, intrusion or extrusion.
- Attachments have an important job: Attachments serve as anchors for your aligners, allowing the aligners to fit more snugly over your teeth and move more effectively. When your teeth shift into alignment the way they’re intended, your treatment with Invisalign® will precede smoothly, and you’ll have a beautiful healthy smile before you know it!
- Attachments can sometimes be annoying: Because attachments click into the aligners at designated spots (to better secure your aligner tray over your teeth), putting in your aligners takes some precision. You won’t just be clicking Invisalign® in and out on a whim. Some patients complain that attachments irritate their mouth when their aligners are out, while others dislike that food builds up around the attachments during meals. You need to be diligent about cleaning the attachments and your teeth after every meal and before aligners are put back in place.
- Not every tooth needs an attachment: The number of attachments you need will be determined by your orthodontist. If you do require attachments on certain teeth, they may not be necessary for the entirety of your treatment.
- Attachments are not always obvious: If you need attachments on your front teeth, they’ll be more noticeable than on other teeth. Your orthodontist will match the shade of the attachments as closely to your natural tooth color as possible so they blend in with your teeth.
- Adding attachments is simple: The surface of your tooth is prepped for bonding. Your orthodontist will use an Invisalign® template to mark the locations of the attachments, fill the template, then cure the bonding so the tiny attachments harden and stay in place. When you no longer need the attachments, they will simply be buffed off your tooth.
- You may not need any attachments at all: If your treatment plan is straightforward and the Invisalign® aligners can do all the alignment work on their own, you may never need attachments on your teeth.
Invisalign® aligners and the attachments are difficult to see. They are not nearly as obvious as brackets, wires and elastics. Your attachments will be hidden by your aligners most of the time, and they will make your orthodontic treatment more effective, and therefore, faster.
To find out if you or your teen are good candidates for Invisalign®, schedule an online consultation with our consultants on WhatsApp number +90 542 512 51 64 today!
Yes, sometimes. Rubber bands are usually recommended when more force is needed to move the teeth into proper alignment, so your upper and lower jaw fit together.
When your top teeth stick out over your bottom teeth, this is called a Class II Malocclusion, better known as an overbite. When your bottom teeth stick out over your top teeth, it is called a Class III Malocclusion, or an underbite. When your bite fits together properly and evenly, it is called a Class I Malocclusion. The goal in wearing rubber bands with Invisalign® aligners is to achieve a Class I Malocclusion where your teeth come together to form a perfectly aligned bite for effective chewing, as well as improved overall health and well-being.
If rubber bands are recommended, it’s important that they are worn every day as prescribed. Remove them to eat and hook them back up after you brush and place your aligners back in your mouth.
With braces, you have hooks already on the brackets for wearing rubber bands. Invisalign® doesn’t, so our orthodontists will place “buttons” (small plastic or metal brackets) on your teeth. Then, the rubber bands are hooked on the buttons. Sometimes, the aligner itself will be one of the anchors for the rubber band. In this case, your aligner will be trimmed into a hook shape for the rubber band to hook on to. The buttons themselves are pre-made from Invisalign® and are simply adhered to your teeth.
The rule of thumb when wearing the rubber bands is to change them twice a day so they don’t lose elasticity.
The buttons are typically made in a color very close to the color of your teeth to make them less visible. They are generally placed close to the gumline to make them less noticeable. While the buttons are less visible, the rubber bands themselves will be visible when you are wearing them.
We welcome your questions. For more information, or to schedule an online consultation with our consultants, please contact us on WhatsApp number +90 542 512 51 64.