A Treatment Timeline for Invisalign® Patients
There are many options out there for improving your dental alignment. While braces have been one of the go-to treatments for decades, more and more people have been turning to Invisalign®. Our Los Algodones dental practice is proud to offer Invisalign® to teens an adults who are looking for an alternative to braces.
Many people ask about the length of Invisalign® treatment and what the process is like. Here's a general timeline for Invisalign® treatment that ought to help put this all into perspective.
How Invisalign® Works
Invisalign® is a unique system for straightening teeth and improving overall dental alignment. Rather than using brackets and wires like traditional braces, Invisalign® relies on clear plastic aligner trays. These aligner trays are custom-molded to a patient's teeth, allowing for a gradual adjustment of the position of the teeth over time. It's a similar principle as braces, but implemented in a different way.
The Initial Consultation
The first step of treatment is the initial consultation. During this first visit, a dentist can take x-rays and assess your candidacy for Invisalign®. If the predominant cause of your tooth misalignment is poor tooth position, Invisalign® may be helpful for you. If your malocclusion is the result of poor palate shape and more advanced issues, traditional orthodontic care or advanced treatments may be more ideal.
Taking Impressions of the Teeth
Once a patient is deemed a good candidate for Invisalign®, impressions are taken. These impressions are fed into a computer to determine the aligner shape. The program will also determine the number of Invisalign® aligners required to shift the teeth into proper position.
The Receiving the First Invisalign® Aligner
You will receive your first Invisalign® aligner around two weeks or so after the impressions have been taken. The exact time can vary based on a number of factors, but that's a common timeframe. You can start wearing your Invisalign® aligner as soon as you get it.
When Do I Wear My Invisalign® Aligners?
Patients are instructed to wear their Invisalign® aligners at all times except when eating, drinking, and cleaning their teeth. Overall, that means patients wear their Invisalign® aligners around 22 hours each day. That time is necessary to exert necessary pressure on the teeth and help shift their position.
How Often Do I Replace My Invisalign® Aligners?
A new Invisalign® aligner will be worn every two weeks. This new aligner is slightly different than the last, helping in the gradual change in dental alignment. Two weeks is ample time to achieve the proper adjustments to a patient's smile.
How Long Will I Wear Each Invisalign® Aligner?
The answer again is two weeks.
The entire process repeats every two weeks until a patient's teeth are proper aligners. A retainer may be provided or additional work may be performed after the last aligners has been worn.
How Long Will Invisalign® Treatment Take?
Invisalign® treatment can take several months to a year. This allows multiple Invisalign® aligners to aid in the gradual adjustment of tooth alignment. This is also a practical matter since accelerated treatment may prove too painful for a patient or simply impractical given the nature of treatment.
How Does Invisalign® Compare to Traditional Braces?
Invisalign® essentially requires just as much time as a traditional braces treatment, though with the benefit of invisible and no-hassle orthodontic care. That said, braces may be more ideal for a patient who suffers from severe malocclusion or issues affecting the shape of the palate and/or the position of the jaw.
Learn More About Invisalign®
For more information about Invisalign® and how it can help you have a straight and beautiful smile, be sure to contact our advanced dental care practice today. Our team will give you the answers you need to make informed and empowered decisions about your dental care needs.