Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that straightens teeth with removable plastic clear aligners. The aligner trays are made from a BPA-free transparent thermoplastic, an aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional metal braces.
If you have teeth that are crowded, gapped, or misaligned and you are considering orthodontic treatment, you may be wondering, ‘how does Invisalign work, and are you a candidate?’
Invisalign treatment consists of wearing a series of custom-designed clear aligners that you switch every one to two weeks for a new set of trays. These snuggly fitting aligners ensure the Invisalign treatment gradually straightens teeth, fills gaps, and even adjusts your bite by placing constant but gentle pressure on misaligned teeth. If you are interested in Invisalign, meet with your dentist at Sydney Dental Group to find out if you are a candidate.
Who Should Get Invisalign?
While Invisalign treatment achieves excellent results for many patients, the clear aligners work best for mild to moderate dental misalignment. Gaps in teeth up to 8mm are treatable with Invisalign, but larger gaps require alternative orthodontic devices like a traditional wire and bracket system.
Invisalign treatment works best for patients with misaligned front teeth like the incisors rather than back teeth like molars. However, a severe overbite may require conventional braces.
For impacted teeth, Invisalign can help remove other teeth obstructing the impacted tooth’s path, but the aligners do not pull teeth out of impaction. Patients with prior dental work like bridges, short teeth, or teeth that are too rotated may also need to consider other orthodontic options.
Invisalign treatment can reduce the severity of an overbite, open bite, and deep bite. Overbites and deep bites occur when the top front teeth extend beyond the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed. This can cause cosmetic issues as well as tongue and gum irritation. By adjusting the position of the incisors, Invisalign has been shown to reduce overbite distance by 0.3 mm.
Patients with a history of cavities and gum disease may prefer Invisalign rather than traditional braces. Invisalign results in decreased levels of periodontal bacteria when compared to other teeth-straightening methods like braces. This is primarily because the clear aligners are removable, so you can eat, drink, and clean your teeth without maneuvering around set-in-place braces.
How Does Invisalign Work?
You start the Invisalign process with a visit to your dentist for 3D imaging of your mouth and jaw. Your dentist uses these images to create your treatment plan, which involves creating a series of customised aligner trays. Each aligner tray works by slightly adjusting your teeth and bite towards the desired outcome.
The aligners can straighten teeth to eliminate gaps and fix a midline discrepancy. They exert pressure on teeth to rotate them, straightening teeth and reducing crowding issues.
The force created by the trays triggers cells called osteoclasts to reabsorb bone tissue on the compression side of the tooth. The tooth’s movement then stimulates the release of osteoblasts that build new bone tissue on the tension side of the tooth to secure it in its new position.
Swapping the aligner trays is similar to having a dentist tighten traditional metal braces; each new tray forces your teeth to conform to the contours of their shape. You swap out trays until they straighten teeth to the correct positions.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
Invisalign treatment takes anywhere from six months to two years to achieve the desired result. The complexity of your straightening needs plays a large part in how long your treatment lasts. The more your teeth need to be straightened, the more aligner trays are required.
Adults usually have to wear Invisalign aligners longer than teenagers and kids. This is because people under 16 have teeth that are easier to move than an adult’s teeth.
How to Care for Your Invisalign?
The key to achieving your desired results is wearing your aligners at least 20-22 hours a day. They should only be removed for cleaning, eating, and drinking. Kids and teenagers are sometimes not good candidates for Invisalign because they struggle to wear their retainers enough each day. They are also more likely to misplace the aligners, which significantly sets back progress.
You need to remove your Invisalign trays to clean them every time you brush your teeth. You should also brush your retainer with a soft-bristled toothbrush or a retainer brush. Brush the inside and the outside with small circular motions, then rinse with clean water.
Rather than brushing with toothpaste, soak your trays after brushing in Invisalign crystals or a retainer cleaning solution every time you brush your teeth. Do not soak your retainers in mouthwash because the chemicals can degrade the plastic.
Start Your Journey to a Straighter Smile at Syndey Dental Group
If you are looking to straighten your teeth without traditional metal braces, visit your dentist and ask about Invisalign treatment. They can answer questions like, ‘how does Invisalign work?’ and how long will it take?
Sydney Dental Group offers Invisalign, ClearCorrect clear aligners and traditional braces to straighten teeth. Contact us on (02) 9158 6135 today to learn more about our dental treatments and services.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Clear aligners in orthodontic treatment
Periodontal status of adult patients treated with fixed buccal appliances and removable aligners over one year of active orthodontic therapy
Management of overbite with the Invisalign appliance
Age effect on orthodontic tooth movement rate and the composition of gingival crevicular fluid: A literature review