Clear orthodontic aligners have been growing in popularity for many years. One of the most recognizable brands is Invisalign®. Invisalign is a form of orthodontics that uses clear tray aligners to straighten the teeth instead of the traditional mouthful of metal wires and brackets. An Invisalign® dentist can help people fix crooked and misaligned teeth.
Invisalign is available at Fort Lauderdale Dental Studio in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area. Patients in search of a discreet method of tooth correction can wear Invisalign without anyone knowing. Contact us at (954) 519-7792 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.
How Invisalign Works To Straighten Teeth
Invisalign treatment involves wearing a series of clear aligners that gradually straighten teeth over time. These aligners are removable and do not have any brackets or wires. They consist of a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack® that fits snugly over teeth. Each aligner in the series encourages a slightly different position than the previous one, making the overall correction a steady yet gentle progression.
Before a patient can begin Invisalign, they must have a consultation to discuss the treatment process and have their smile evaluated. We will map out a precise, customized digital treatment plan that shows the patient the step-by-step transformation of their smile during this appointment. Once the patient approves the plan, we will take digital scans, X-rays, and photos of their teeth and mouth to create an accurate model. This information goes to the Invisalign laboratory to create custom-fitting trays.
“Invisalign treatment involves wearing a series of clear aligners that gradually straighten teeth over time.”
Invisalign’s Three Steps
The first step to getting Invisalign is by scheduling a consultation with our dentist. Our staff will look at overall oral health and take impressions of the mouth. Next, that impression is sent to Invisalign and used to make aligners unique to the patient’s mouth for a custom fit.
Once the aligners have been made, our staff will make sure they fit well, answer any questions, and go over the treatment plan. Patients will be expected to wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day to get results. Regular checkups with Fort Lauderdale Dental Studio will make sure treatment stays on track. Our staff will determine how often new aligners are needed.
After the desired results have been achieved, the patient may be expected to wear a retainer to maintain those results. This will prevent teeth from gradually shifting back to their initial position. Our doctor will provide specific instructions on how often a retainer will need to be worn.
“The first step to getting Invisalign is by scheduling a consultation with our dentist.”
The Creation of Invisalign Trays
The process of receiving Invisalign trays usually takes around four weeks. Once we take impressions or scans of the patient’s teeth, we must send them to the Invisalign factory with notes about how the treatment should progress. Then, the factory will determine the optimal amount of trays and send the specifications back to us.
We will make any necessary modifications and then email the changes to the factory. Once implemented, the factory will create the trays, and lab technicians trim each one individually to match the patient’s gumline. Although there is a waiting period before a patient can begin treatment, this process ensures that the treatment process will be effective and comfortable.
“The process of receiving Invisalign trays usually takes around four weeks.”
The Pros and Cons of Invisalign
One of the greatest benefits of Invisalign is its clear, almost invisible appearance. The clear aligners are also easy to remove for eating, so patients can eat and drink without restrictions. Once removed, wearers can easily clean their teeth since there are no metal wires in the way. Straighter teeth are easier to clean, making for improved oral hygiene and health. Crooked teeth can trap debris and bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. When untreated, this can cause a range of problems, from teeth loss to gum disease.
In most cases, adults and teens are the best candidates since they have fully or mostly developed bones and teeth. Invisalign works more effectively for patients with less severe crowding, spacing, overbites, underbites, and crossbites. People with severely misaligned teeth, bites, or significant gaps may benefit from a different means of correction.
However, since they are removable, they are more likely to be lost or broken. Patients also need to be careful about what they drink when their aligners are in. Anything but water should be avoided. Liquids can seep into the plastic and stay there until the aligner is removed. This can lead to staining of the aligner and even tooth decay.
“One of the greatest benefits of Invisalign is its clear, almost invisible appearance.”
Taking Care of Invisalign Aligners
It is essential to use and care for Invisalign aligners appropriately to have a good orthodontic outcome. For Invisalign to work, the aligners have to be worn for the recommended number of hours a day. Patients should try to limit the number of times they remove the aligners since it will not take long to exceed the time they can be left off.
Cleaning the Aligners
Patients should always rinse the aligners when they are removed. Bacteria and plaque can easily attach to them, which can cause an unpleasant odor and sticky feeling on the teeth. Aligners should be cleaned with a clear and unscented antibacterial soap. If patients use toothpaste to clean the aligners, they should make sure that it is not a brand with whitening agents, as these can wear away the plastic.
Invisalign aligners need to be stored in a case when not being worn. Leaving them out in the open exposes them to germs that can then be transferred to the mouth.
Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene
Proper oral hygiene is essential at any time, but it is a bit easier when using Invisalign versus traditional braces. Food and plaque can get trapped in conventional braces' metal brackets and can be tough to brush. Since Invisalign aligners can be removed, it is simple to brush and floss and replace the aligners when finished.
Make sure to brush and floss after meals before putting the aligners back in the mouth. This helps keep food particles from getting stuck in the aligners, leading to bacteria growth and bad breath.
“It is essential to use and care for Invisalign aligners appropriately to have a good orthodontic outcome.”
Length of Treatment Time
Only a dentist can reasonably predict the length of the Invisalign treatment time. The severity of the condition, how well the patient adheres to the treatment plan, and age are all factors. On average, it takes less than two years to see results. The treatment time for teens is typically a little shorter than adults.
Following all the recommended guidelines will ensure patients do not extend the treatment time. Patients need to switch trays on schedule and talk to our staff if there are any concerns. If the aligners are not worn for the recommended time, the teeth may start to shift back to their original positions.
“Only a dentist can reasonably predict the length of the Invisalign treatment time.”
Finding the Right Invisalign Dentist
People who are interested in Invisalign treatment should conduct thorough research to find the right Invisalign dentist. It is crucial to find a skilled and reliable dentist since the provider will dictate the quality of treatment results. People should research the dentist’s education, training, and certifications to ensure that they have the right experience and knowledge.
It is also helpful to look at reviews and before and after photos to see if the results align with their orthodontic goals. During the consultation, people should ask the right questions regarding the treatment process, results, and concerns. The right Invisalign provider will also genuinely care for their patient’s oral health. Our team works with each patient to create a personalized treatment plan for their needs and goals.
“People who are interested in Invisalign treatment should conduct thorough research to find the right Invisalign dentist.”
Services and Future Check-ups
When the aligners are ready, patients will return to our office for a fitting. Invisalign dentists can also provide Invisalign attachments, which are small and button-like. They are attached to a patient’s teeth to ensure aligners stay in place. These attachments are temporary and removed when treatment is complete.
Throughout treatment, patients will return for follow-up appointments. We will check the fit of the aligners and the progress made in shifting teeth. While Invisalign wearers do not require regular appointments for adjustment, they will have periodic checkups to check their progress.
“Upon returning for their first visit, we will first conduct a fitting to ensure the aligners fit properly and are fairly comfortable.”
Questions Answered on This Page
People Also Ask
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How long does it take an Invisalign dentist to straighten teeth?
A. The treatment length depends on the severity of the problem. Slight misalignments take less time, while more significant issues take longer. Our team can offer a more precise estimate during consultation.
Q. Is teeth straightening only about a great smile?
A. Straighter teeth can lead to better oral health. When teeth are crooked, people can find it difficult to clean some areas properly. Having straighter teeth should help people clean their teeth more easily and thoroughly.
Q. Do aligners hurt?
A. Patients may feel discomfort for the first few days with each new aligner. The treatment design shifts teeth with each new aligner. Patients will feel the most pressure at the start of each new position, but this signifies that the treatment is progressing.
Q. How should I clean my aligners?
A. Patients can choose to use the Invisalign cleaning system or brush the aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear liquid soap. Avoid using hot water, which may warp the trays. It is also important to soak the trays every day for 15 to 30 minutes.
Q. Will I have to wear a retainer?
A. Although Invisalign moves teeth differently from traditional metal braces, the results are still the same. After treatment, a retainer will prevent teeth from shifting back out of alignment. Patients can discuss retainers with our team for more information.
Q. What are the advantages of Invisalign over traditional metal braces?
A. Since Invisalign aligners are clear, patients can avoid the unsightly look of a mouth filled with metal brackets and wires. They are also more comfortable to wear and allow the patient fewer restrictions on foods they can eat. Since they are removable, it is easier to brush and floss your teeth.
Q. Do I have to avoid any foods with Invisalign?
A. If you eat with the aligners in place, make sure to avoid hard foods like raw carrots and sticky foods like gum. Hard and sticky candies should also be avoided. You will also want to avoid drinking anything other than water when the aligners are in place. Coffee and tea can stain the aligners, while soda has acidic properties that can break down the plastic.
- Aligner Trays
- With Invisalign® treatment, the patient will receive a series of aligner trays and swap out each one for the next one in the series every two weeks in order to gradually straighten the teeth.
- Blue Compliance Indicator (Invisalign® Teen)
- The blue compliance indicator is a small blue dot on the aligners that will fade from blue to clear in order to indicate if the patient is wearing the aligner for the proper amount of time and where the patient is in the Invisalign® process.
- ClinCheck® Software
- ClinCheck® software allows professionals to map out the straightening process the patient’s teeth will go through with Invisalign® in great detail.
- Gum Line
- The gum line is the line in the mouth where the teeth and gums meet. If a patient struggles with gum recession, then the gum tissue around the teeth may begin to wear away.
- Incisal Ridges
- Incisal ridges are the portion of the crown of the tooth that makes up the incisal portion and can be a direct cause of overbite if they are extended too far.
- iTero Element® Scanner
- An iTero Element® scanner allows professionals to create a 3D image of the patient’s teeth in minutes and predict what it will take to move the teeth into proper alignment.
- Malocclusion is the condition in which the upper and lower teeth do not meet properly when the bite is closed. Conditions of malocclusion can include overbite, underbite, crossbite and open bite; all of which are treatable with Invisalign®.
- An overbite is a type of malocclusion that occurs when the upper teeth jut out over the lower teeth, covering them and causing other issues.
- Polyurethane Resin
- Polyurethane Resin is a USP Class VI medical grade, high molecular weight compound that makes up the Invisalign® aligners.
- SmartForce Attachments
- SmartForce attachments are small attachments that professionals place on the patient’s teeth before placing aligners to help move the teeth.
- Smart Track® Material
- Smart Track® material is in Invisalign® aligners to increase comfort, improve control of movement, increases the speed of treatment and applies a gentle force to the teeth over time.
- Smile-Scan analyzes the way a patient smiles by measuring the position of the mouth and eyes before giving a score.
- Vivera® Retainers
- Vivera® retainers are a type of retainer that consists of clear plastic material and helps to maintain orthodontic corrections after a treatment.
Learn More About Invisalign
For many patients, Invisalign is a practical alternative to traditional braces. If you are interested in finding out whether this treatment is right for you, call Fort Lauderdale Dental Studio in Fort Lauderdale at (954) 519-7792 to learn more about whether or not you are a candidate.