Cosmetic dentistry solutions now make it possible to straighten teeth with invisible braces to avoid feeling self-conscious while wearing orthodontic appliances. Invisalign treatment works as a convenient and more discrete option for straightening crooked teeth than traditional metal braces. Invisalign is a transparent orthodontic mouth tray that gently forces your teeth into a straighter position.
These clear aligners work to correct mild cases of malocclusion and are removable so you can maintain regular eating and hygiene habits throughout treatment. But how does Invisalign work? Find out how Invisalign works to straighten teeth and what the treatment process involves and start your smile journey today!
How Does Invisalign Work? The Science Behind a Straight Smile
Invisalign treatment works by applying sustained pressure to your teeth to reposition them in the correct alignment over an extended period. The Invisalign clear aligners are moulded to the contours of your teeth at each stage of the teeth straightening process.
Each tray is designed to move your teeth approximately 0.25mm. So, after one to two months of teeth straightening (or every four trays), your teeth should move 1mm.
Invisalign treatment is a type of orthodontic solution that moves your teeth along your jaw using two bone remodelling processes: Bone resorption and osteogenesis. Your teeth are connected to your jawbone via a thin membrane called the periodontal ligament.
As the clear Invisalign braces apply pressure to your teeth, the periodontal ligament stretches on one side and compresses on the other. This process gently loosens the tooth in the socket.
The pressure on the periodontal ligament works as a messenger, triggering the release of osteoblasts and osteoclasts. These two cell types are critical for the bone remodelling processes that straighten teeth.
Osteoclasts break down bone tissue on the compression side of the tooth, allowing the tooth to move forward. On the tension side of the tooth, osteoblasts regenerate bone tissue in the space left by the tooth after it moves. This helps secure the tooth in its new position.
How Does Invisalign Work: The Invisalign Procedure
Getting Invisalign clear aligners is a multi-stage process to ensure that the trays are custom fit to your mouth and that there is no underlying oral health condition that could complicate your treatment.
During your initial consultation for Invisalign aligners, your Elevate Dental dentist examines your mouth and may perform dental X-rays to assess your oral health. This allows them to check for gum disease, cavities, and structural issues, like impacted wisdom teeth, that need to be addressed before starting your Invisalign treatment.
The consultation also allows your dentist to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for Invisalign. Clear aligners are an excellent tooth straightening option for mild to moderate malocclusions, such as overbite, underbite, and teeth with minor gaps.
However, if you have rotated, intruded, or extruded teeth, or jawbone abnormalities, Invisalign may not work as the correct teeth straightening option for you.
Developing a custom treatment plan
If your dentist determines that you are a candidate for Invisalign invisible braces, they will take digital images of your mouth using an intraoral camera. This data is input into the Invisalign ClinCheck system, which maps out your orthodontic treatment plan. The software can show your teeth at each stage of the realignment process and how your smile will look after the orthodontic treatment with the advanced clear aligner system is complete.
The information is then sent to the Invisalign lab, where your polyurethane plastic aligner trays are fabricated by Invisalign technicians. The process can take around two weeks.
Fitting the clear aligners
Once your clear aligners are ready, they are sent to our dental practice. We will call you to schedule a fitting to show you how to place the clear aligners in your mouth and remove them.
During this appointment, we’ll also provide you with an easy-to-follow schedule detailing when you need to change over your Invisalign trays to the next in the series.
You need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours per day and typically need to switch trays every one to two weeks for an Invisalign system to work. We’ll also advise you on how to care for and clean your Invisalign trays.
Because you can switch aligner trays at home, you only need to visit your dentist every six to eight weeks so they can check your progress of your smile journey. During a follow-up visit, your dentist will take digital images of your mouth to assess your tooth movement and ensure that it matches the projected realignment generated by the ClinCheck software.
Your dentist will also give your teeth a thorough clean to remove built-up plaque and tartar and prevent cavities. They then polish your teeth to inhibit bacterial growth.
After Invisalign Treatment
Following your Invisalign treatment process, you’ll need to wear a retainer to prevent your teeth from reverting to their original position. The cost of these retainers is separate from the Invisalign treatment. You should wear your retainer for 12 to 22 hours each day for the first three to six months after treatment. You’ll remove it only when you’re eating and brushing your teeth, similar to wearing the Invisalign clear aligners.
After the first six months, you can switch to wearing the retainer at night. Twelve months after Invisalign treatment is complete, you can reduce the frequency of wearing your retainer. At this point, the jawbone has had time to settle and harden, keeping your teeth in their new position. However, you should still wear your retainer a few nights each week to prevent your teeth from shifting.
Straighten Your Smile With Elevate Dental
If you are wondering about the cost of braces, call Elevate Dental to schedule an appointment. Our team of dental professionals can work with you to determine whether you are a candidate for Invisalign braces and discuss the benefits of Invisalign treatment.
Contact us today at either our Richmond or Hawthorn dental clinic and let us help you achieve straighter teeth for a confident smile.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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