How Invisalign Works

Invisalign is a modern treatment that slowly straightens your teeth over time. Orthodontists use Invisalign as an alternative to braces, which can be expensive, cumbersome, and hard to handle. In today’s blog from Northside Dental Clinic, we explain how Invisalign works.

What is Invisalign Made Of? 

Invisalign utilizes clear, BPA-free plastic trays that you wear every day. These trays are invisible, and people hardly notice you’re wearing them. Hence the name. 

Rather than metal braces that stay on your teeth for up to two years, we replace these trays over time to gently move your teeth into alignment. 

The tray’s plastic form is created from a 3D model of your mouth. When you look at the tray, it should appear as if you have a clear set of plastic teeth.

Invisalign vs. Braces: What’s the Difference? 

Invisalign is see-through, while metal braces are not.

Unlike traditional braces, the Invisalign tray can be removed from the mouth, making it a convenient choice.

Lastly, the treatment length is far shorter than braces (often two years) and costs more than braces. 

Who Should Get Invisalign? 

Adults and teens can benefit from using Invisalign to correct misaligned teeth without the use of braces, which, for some, can be an embarrassing source of self-consciousness.  

How Does Invisalign Work to Straighten Teeth? 

Your teeth move about 0.25 millimeters with each tray. Imagine a line on a piece of paper made with a fine-tip pen or sharpened pencil. That’s about how much your teeth move every two weeks. 

Invisalign is a gradual process because if your teeth move any faster, it will be painful. Plus, your jaw needs time to get used to the new placement of your teeth.

How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Last?

Invisalign treatments average around 9 – 12 months, sometimes more, sometimes less. Timing depends on the patient. 

You should wear your trays for at least 20 to 22 hours a day to see results. 

The orthodontists at Northside Dental Clinic can give you a detailed analysis of your smile, forecast how long treatment can take, and provide prognostications on potential outcomes. 

You get a new set of Invisalign trays each time your teeth adjust to a pre-marked position. Each new alignment is considered a “new phase” in the treatment. 

Initial Dental Consultation

Before you get that brand-new smile, you’ll have a face-to-face discussion with a dental provider who will determine whether or not Invisalign is a good solution for your teeth. 

At Northside Dental, we discuss the cost, treatment process, and expectations – everything you need to make an informed, wise decision. 

Dental X-Rays & Photographs

Before you get Invisalign treatment, your dentist takes x-rays and photographs of your teeth, examining them closely from multiple angles to determine the appropriate size and shape of your braces. 

Our dental clinic, for instance, will occasionally use advanced imaging technology, like the lateral cephalometric x-ray, to see detailed image specs of the relationship between your jaw and cheekbone. 

Doing this allows for a more exact determination of what your final Invisalign tray will look like. 

Preparing for Your Invisalign Tray 

Sometimes, if the mouth is too crowded with teeth, small discs are used to clear away some of the enamel, giving more space for the teeth to reposition and straighten during Invisalign treatment. 

In some cases, composite patches are used to help the tray grip the teeth. The patches are created from the same composite material that makes fillings. It’s comfortable and hardly noticeable. 

What to Expect at Your First Fitting 

After analyzing the photographs and x-rays, the dental office creates a mold for you to try on. 

This Invisalign tray should feel snug to your mouth but not painful. 

Your dentist may have you try on different molds until the fit is perfect for your mouth. 

Changes to Your Mouth After Invisalign

Just like braces, getting used to Invisalign trays takes time. As your teeth reposition themselves to align better, there might be mild discomfort. It’s easily remedied with toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. 

How to Clean Your Invisalign Braces 

You should clean your trays thoroughly at night or in the morning, before, during, or after you brush your teeth. Cleaning the trays after meals helps you avoid discoloring and eliminate accumulated bacteria. 

If you avoid cleaning them, they can start to smell. Soak the trays in dental cleaner tablets when you aren’t wearing them. 

Invisalign & Northside Dental Clinic

Invisalign can help you get a winning smile, but also so much more. Straight teeth improve your bite, reduce jaw pain, make chewing more effortless, and prevent problems from occurring later in life. Contact Northside Dental Clinic or call (417) 862-2468 about Invisalign for teens or adults.