Are you considering Invisalign clear aligners? As an alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign is becoming increasingly popular with adults and teens. What is it? Invisalign is a clear, custom-made aligner, used to move and align teeth for better health and a great smile. It is changed approximately every two weeks for about six to eighteen months, depending on the severity of misalignment. If you are considering Invisalign at Maddux Orthodontics, you probably want to know how the entire process works.
Your initial consultation
The process starts with a consultation with Dr. Maddux. Your orthodontist merely wants to examine your teeth and see if Invisalign aligners are suitable for you. This is also your first opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
After your orthodontist has confirmed that you are a good candidate for Invisalign, he will gather all the necessary records. Dr. Maddux uses specially designed software, called ClinCheck, to assess the alignment of your teeth and the necessary treatment. Other information may include:
- Dental impressions
- Photographs of your face and teeth
Invisalign creates a computerized 3D model of your teeth. The technicians can adjust the teeth on the computer model until they have reached their final positions. The model is reviewed by your orthodontist, and sometimes changes are made. Once Dr. Maddux reviews the scans and determines that you are a candidate for Invisalign, a treatment plan is developed.
Your Invisalign aligners
Once your ClinCheck has been finalized and approved, Invisalign then makes a series of trays, also known as aligners. It usually takes several weeks to complete the trays and ship them to Maddux Orthodontics so that treatment can begin. These aligners will be used to straighten your teeth. The number of aligners depends on your treatment plan, but generally, you will have one aligner for every two weeks of treatment. As you progress from one aligner to the next, your teeth will gradually become straighter as they shift to match the aligner tray. Usually, your teeth move about 1/10mm per tray.
You will wear the aligners for a minimum of 20-22 hours a day for your teeth to move to their final position for that tray. You can, however, take the aligner out to eat, brush and floss. When brushing your teeth, you will also need to clean the aligner with a toothbrush.
Typically, your orthodontist will give you a few aligners at a time. There will be check-ups every six to eight weeks. These appointments are routine checks to be sure the teeth are moving as planned. Sometimes minor adjustments may be necessary.
As you near the end of your treatment period, extra changes may be necessary to achieve the best results. Your orthodontist may need to take another set of impressions and have extra aligners made. These are called refinement trays. Typically there is no additional charge for this part of the process.
When your treatment is complete, you will be given a retainer. You may wonder why retainers are necessary. The fact is that your teeth are constantly changing. Biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift. Towards the end of your treatment, you will receive a removable retainer, similar to your aligners. These Vivera retainers are custom made using the same state-of-the-art technology as your aligners. They are strong but clear and nearly invisible. Generally, you only need to wear your removable retainer at night.
If you’re ready to begin your Invisalign journey, contact Maddux Orthodontics for a complimentary consultation at (757) 499-3530 or use our convenient online appointment request form. We can’t wait to get started!