What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that moves your teeth using clear plastic aligners instead of metal wires and brackets.

The Invisalign Process

Invisalign treatment is a simple 7-step process:

Step 1: Consultation

You’ll meet with one of our Invisalign dentists, Dr. Rod Strickland, or Dr. Ryan Reeves. Your dentist will talk to you about your treatment goals. They will examine your teeth and take X-rays to determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. 

Based on your treatment goals and your exam results, your dentist might recommend Invisalign, Six Month Smiles, porcelain veneers, or another treatment approach to get you the smile you desire. Once you decide on a treatment plan, our dentists will review aspects of the treatment plan, including how long you can expect treatment to take. 

If this seems like a good plan, we’ll review costs and discuss financing information if necessary. We’ll schedule the next appointment if you want to proceed with treatment. 

Step 2: Designing a Treatment Plan

Your Invisalign dentist will take digital impressions of your teeth at your second appointment. This is simply waving a wand over your teeth, which allows the computer to construct a 3D model of your teeth. Your dentist uploads this model to the planning software. He then uses it to design your treatment plan, mapping out each step in the process.

Once the plan is right, your dentist will send the plan to Invisalign’s lab. 

Stage 3: Aligners Created in Lab

Following the plan by your Invisalign dentist, the Invisalign lab will create a series of aligners to guide your teeth into their desired locations. This process can take about two weeks. We’ll call you in for your next appointment when your aligners arrive. 

Stage 4: Wearing the Aligners

When your aligners are ready, we’ll call you in and give detailed instructions about wearing your aligners. However, here are the basics. 

To get accurate treatment on schedule, wear your aligners as much as possible. You need to wear them at least 20 hours a day; ideally, you should wear them 22 hours a day. Always remove your aligners for eating, and always clean your teeth before putting the aligners back in. 

Now Invisalign aligners can also act as teeth-whitening trays, letting you brighten and straighten your smile simultaneously. 

Stage 5: Progress Check-Ups

You will have a check-up with your Invisalign dentist every six to eight weeks. They’ll evaluate the progress of your tooth movements and check the health of your teeth and gums. If we notice health concerns, we might recommend changes to your hygiene routine. 

Sometimes, we might recommend changes in how you’re wearing your aligners. If your treatment is going well, for example, we might say that you can switch to new aligners faster. In the past, everyone had to wear aligners for two weeks each. Now many people can wear them for just one week each–cutting treatment time in half!

Stage 6: Final Adjustments

As we near the end of your treatment, we might notice that your progress could be advancing more. If so, we will adjust your treatment by adding a few additional aligners. This is becoming increasingly rare. 

Stage 7: Wear Your Retainers

As with other orthodontic treatments, your teeth can return to their previous positions if not held in place. This is the reason why you should wear retainers. At first, you should wear your retainers as much as your aligners. Eventually, you will just wear retainers at night, then just a few nights a week to keep your teeth in place. 

Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign’s advanced approach to orthodontic treatment means it won’t interfere with your daily life. The benefits include:

  • Nearly invisible
  • Removable for pictures or special meetings
  • No diet restrictions
  • No special cleaning instructions
  • Comfortable–no metal wires or brackets
  • Fast treatment

Invisalign aligners are made of clear plastic that is hard to see on your teeth. Even if you talk to people face-to-face daily, they are unlikely to notice that you have them in.

Although Invisalign is nearly invisible under most conditions, it can sometimes show up under special circumstances, such as when getting professional headshots. If you can’t put off these situations until after treatment, when your smile will be straighter, you can remove aligners so they won’t be in your pictures. 

You take your aligners out to eat, so you don’t have to give up your favorite foods while straightening your teeth. This also means you don’t have to worry about brushing and flossing around metal brackets and wires. 

There won’t be any metal brackets or wires to poke or cut your cheeks. The smooth plastic aligners are very comfortable. 

In the past, Invisalign took about as long as traditional braces. Advanced technology is making Invisalign faster than ever, and now many people will see results faster with Invisalign than with traditional braces. 

 These benefits are responsible for Invisalign’s increasing popularity.

hand holding up Invisalign Clear Braces, Alternative To OrthodonticsHow Invisalign Works

Invisalign works by the same basic method traditional braces do: constant pressure that encourages your teeth to move into their desired positions. But instead of metal wires and brackets that pull your teeth into place, it uses clear, BPA-free plastic aligners that gently push your teeth into place.

At your first appointment, we take a digital impression of your teeth. This is then used to plan a precise sequence of tooth movements to achieve your straight, attractive smile. Then a sequence of aligners is manufactured for you. You will wear each aligner for about two weeks and then switch to a new one.

What Invisalign Can Treat

Because Invisalign uses the same basic principles of tooth movement, it can correct most of the same problems as traditional braces, including:

  • Crowded Teeth
  • Gapped teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite

It is available for both teens and adults. Technology improvements mean that Invisalign works for more cases than ever. If a dentist told you that Invisalign wouldn’t work for you, you should get an updated opinion. 

Invisalign in Savannah

You don’t have to live with an unattractive smile. To learn whether you’re a candidate for Invisalign, please contact Beyond Exceptional Dentistry today for an appointment with our Savannah, Georgia dentists.