Invisalign has completely changed the field of orthodontics. Before Invisalign, the only way to straighten teeth and correct bites was with orthodontic braces, which use brackets and wires to push and pull teeth into the proper position. Invisalign is a series of clear plastic aligners that gently move your teeth into the precise positions Dr. Geni plans. Here’s how Invisalign works and what you can expect from your treatment.
Your First Appointment
When you come to our office for your first appointment, we’ll need to make sure Invisalign is a fit for you. While Invisalign works well for most patients, there are some complex orthodontic issues that are still best treated with traditional braces.
Assuming you’re a candidate for Invisalign, the first step in the process is to use a digital scanner to take impressions of your bite. Instead of messy, uncomfortable impressions taken using trays and impression material, these scans take seconds to create and they give us a much more accurate view.
We use these images to create a three-dimensional model of your smile on our computer. You’ll be able to see a preview of what your teeth will look like once your treatment is complete, but even more importantly, this model is how we plan each step of your treatment. Every set of aligners will use gentle pressure to move your teeth a little bit more until you have the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted!
Wearing Your Invisalign Aligners
Once we’ve finished your treatment plan, we’ll send the details to Invisalign, where your aligners will be fabricated. When we receive the aligners back at our office, you’re ready to begin your treatment! About every two weeks—or as directed by Dr. Geni—you’ll switch to a new set of aligners. Invisalign moves your teeth gradually and predictably, and many of our patients who have had traditional braces in the past find that Invisalign is much more comfortable.
It’s important to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours each day, or even better, only remove them when you’re brushing, flossing, eating, or drinking something other than water. The longer you wear your aligners each day, the faster you’ll be able to complete your treatment because Invisalign only works when you wear it, unlike traditional braces that work 24/7.
Every four to six weeks, Dr. Geni will see you in our office to make sure your treatment is on the right track. These appointments are quick and painless compared to what you might experience with traditional braces, but they’re just as important—close oversight from a dentist is needed with Invisalign to make sure your smile is both beautiful and healthy when treatment is complete.
Your Invisalign Results
The length of time you need for Invisalign treatment depends upon your orthodontic case and your compliance with our instructions, but most patients achieve results in 12 to 18 months. Your Invisalign results are permanent as long as you maintain them, which means wearing retainers after you’re finished with your aligners.
These retainers are made from clear plastic, much like your aligners, but the material is slightly thicker for more durability. At first, you’ll wear your retainers all day just like you wore your aligners, but eventually you’ll switch to nighttime use only, and then just a few nights a week to maintain your smile for a lifetime.