Want to know the facts about Invisalign? This San Mateo dentist is sharing what you need to know
Not so long ago, the only option for straightening teeth was traditional braces with brackets and wires. Luckily, Invisalign came along and changed the discussion around orthodontics. Patients now have the option to straighten teeth with a set of clear plastic aligners, allowing them the benefits of a straighter smile without the hassle of braces. At San Mateo Dental Care, we recommend Invisalign to many of our patients as a way to improve the health and appearance of the smile. Of course, before starting any dental treatment, it’s important to do your research.
Here are some important facts you should know about Invisalign.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a system for straightening teeth that uses sets of clear plastic aligners to slowly reposition teeth into a more aligned position.
How does Invisalign differ from traditional braces?
Traditional braces use a set of metal brackets that are glued to the front of teeth and connected together with wires and rubber bands. Invisalign uses removable, smooth plastic trays that are worn over the teeth to gently move them. Both methods are effective at straightening teeth and each has a unique set of benefits. Determining which one is right for you should be done after a consultation with your dentist.
What conditions does Invisalign treat?
Invisalign is great because it can correct a wide range of orthodontic problem such as:
- Crooked teeth
- Overbite (when the upper teeth come out further than the bottom teeth)
- Underbite (when the bottom teeth come out further than the upper teeth)
- Crossbite (when upper teeth sit inside lower teeth)
- Crowded teeth
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What is the Invisalign process?
Once it’s determined that Invisalign is the right treatment for you, we will follow through with several steps.
- X-Rays and impressions are taken of the teeth. These images are used for a 3-D model that will map out the movement of your teeth over the course of treatment.
- An Invisalign laboratory makes your customized set of plastic aligner trays based on specifications from the dentist.
- You will be given instructions for wearing your aligners anywhere from 20-22 hours each day removing them only to eat, brush, and floss.
- Every two weeks you will swap out your existing trays for the next set in the series. It’s normal to feel a little pressure from a new set of trays.
- You will return to the dentist every six weeks for follow-up visits to monitor treatment.
- Once treatment is complete, you will be given a retainer to wear to keep your teeth from returning to their original position.
How long does Invisalign treatment last?
The length of treatment varies by individual, depending on the severity of the case and if they aligners are worn as instructed. The average treatment time for Invisalign is 12-18 months and most people will start to see improvement after just a few weeks.
How do I take care of my aligners?
Taking care of Invisalign aligners is easy. Patients should rinse the trays out every night and gently brush them with the toothbrush. There are also Invisalign specific cleaners that can be used during treatment.
Does wearing the aligners impact my speech?
There is an adjustment period while learning to talk with Invisalign trays, but it should only last a few days. Over time, your tongue will adjust to the aligners and any speech impediments should resolve themselves.
Does Invisalign work for teenagers?
Yes, teenagers who have all their teeth, including second molars, make good candidates for Invisalign treated.
Call San Mateo Dental Care for your Invisalign Consultation
Straightening your teeth has many benefits. It can boost your self-esteem, enhance your confidence, and improve your oral health. If you have thought about having a straighter smile but have avoided treatment because you didn’t want to wear braces, you should consider Invisalign treatment. In 18 months or less, you could have a brand-new smile – and the best part is many people won’t have any idea that you have had orthodontic treatment.Back to Invisalign Page