What Are Invisalign Braces and How Are They Used?

Invisalign orthodontic treatment is popular for adults and teens who want a subtle way to straighten their teeth without wearing brackets, metal wires, or colorful rubber bands. The Invisalign system uses clear, custom-made aligners that are virtually invisible when worn. These aligners gradually move your teeth into the proper position over time, providing an effective and comfortable orthodontic solution.

How Do Invisalign Braces Work?

Invisalign braces are made of a series of custom, clear plastic aligners that fit snugly over your teeth. Each aligner is designed based on images taken by your dentist or orthodontist as part of your treatment plan. 

The aligners slowly move your teeth into their correct position over time. You must wear each set of aligners for a set amount of time (usually two weeks) before switching to the next set in the series. It can take anywhere from nine to 18 months to complete an Invisalign treatment plan, depending on the complexity of the case.

Dental Conditions That Can Be Treated with Invisalign Braces

Invisalign braces are an effective and convenient way to correct a wide range of dental conditions, including crooked teeth, gaps between teeth, crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, and other bite issues. They are particularly effective for mild-to-moderate cases of misalignment. They may also be used with traditional metal braces to correct more complex orthodontic problems.

Pros and Cons of Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign orthodontic treatment offers several advantages for patients. 

#1. They are nearly invisible.

Invisalign braces are made from clear plastic, so they blend in with your teeth and are barely noticeable when worn. This makes them an excellent option for adults or teens who want to avoid drawing attention to their orthodontic treatment.

#2. They are removable.

One of the most significant advantages of Invisalign treatment is that the aligners are removable, so you can take them out when eating, brushing, and flossing your teeth or for special occasions. This allows you to maintain a normal diet and oral hygiene routine without hassle. It also means you don’t have to worry about food getting stuck in your braces.

#3. No food restrictions.

Invisalign braces offer a major advantage over traditional metal braces when it comes to diet: there are no food restrictions. With metal braces, patients have to be careful about what they eat as certain foods, such as hard or sticky foods, can damage the metal brackets or wires, which can set back treatment progress. Invisalign aligners are removable, so you don’t have to worry about damaging them with certain foods.

#4. You’ll need fewer appointments.

Invisalign treatment also requires fewer dental appointments than traditional braces, as adjustments to the aligners are unnecessary. This makes it a more time-efficient solution for busy adults and teens who don’t have the time or flexibility to take frequent trips to the Invisalign dentist. Instead, patients will need to visit their orthodontist every 4-6 weeks to ensure the treatment is progressing as planned.

#5. They cause less discomfort than traditional braces.

Invisalign braces are made from smooth plastic, which fits snugly over your teeth without irritating the gums or causing discomfort. This makes them an excellent option for those who want to avoid the pain and irritations associated with metal braces.

#6. The treatment time is shorter.

The average Invisalign treatment time is 9-18 months, which is shorter than the average 2-3 year treatment time for traditional metal braces. This makes it an excellent option for those who want to achieve their desired results in the shortest possible time.

Despite the many advantages of Invisalign braces, there are also a few drawbacks. 

#1. The treatment cost is typically higher.

Invisalign treatment typically costs more than traditional braces. This is because the aligners are custom-made for each patient and require more sophisticated technology to create. The average cost of Invisalign treatment is around $3,500 to $8,000, while the cost of braces can range from $2,500 to $7,000.

If you want a more affordable treatment option while still offering similar aesthetic results, ask your orthodontist about lingual braces and ceramic braces, which are a type of traditional braces that are less visible.

#2. They may not be suitable for complex cases.

Invisalign braces may not be the best solution for patients with more complex orthodontic issues. In some cases, traditional metal braces are still the most effective option, as they can provide the necessary pressure and control to move teeth into the desired position.

#3. The process requires compliance and self-discipline.

Invisalign treatment requires a high level of compliance from the patient for it to be effective. To get the best results, you must wear the aligners at least 20-22 hours a day, taking them out only when eating or cleaning your teeth. If you don’t wear the aligners as instructed, your treatment may not progress as planned, and it could take longer to get the desired results.

The Process for Getting Invisalign Braces

The process for getting Invisalign braces begins with a consultation with an orthodontist. During the consultation, the orthodontist will examine your teeth and assess your needs to determine if Invisalign is right for you. Then, they will create a customized treatment plan that includes taking detailed impressions of your teeth and mouth. The impressions are used to create a series of custom-made aligners that will gradually move your teeth into the desired position.

Once you have your aligners, you’ll need to wear them for 20 – 22 hours daily and switch to a new set every few weeks. You’ll also need to visit the orthodontist every 4-6 weeks to ensure everything is progressing as planned. Once your treatment is complete, you’ll need to wear a retainer to ensure your teeth stay in place and don’t move back into their original position.

Care and Maintenance of Invisalign Braces

Proper care and maintenance of Invisalign braces are essential for achieving the desired results. To ensure that your treatment progresses as planned, it’s essential to take proper care of your aligners. Here are some tips on how to effectively care for your Invisalign braces.

    • Brush after eating or drinking. It’s important to brush after eating or drinking anything other than water to ensure your aligners are clean and free of food particles.

    • Rinse after brushing. Rinsing with cold water or a mild antiseptic mouthwash can help keep your aligners clean and fresh.

    • Soak your aligners in a cleaning solution. You should soak your aligners in a cleaning solution at least once weekly to keep them free of bacteria and plaque.

Achieve a Beautiful Smile With Kids and Family Dentistry!

Invisalign braces are an excellent option for those looking to improve their smile without the hassle of traditional metal braces. With proper care and maintenance, Invisalign can provide you with the straight teeth you desire in less time than conventional braces.

Our experienced dentists will work with you to create a customized treatment plan tailored to your unique dental needs. With the latest technology and treatments, we can help you get the smile of your dreams without going through invasive procedures.