Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign aligners fix crooked teeth and straighten smiles without the hassles of traditional fixed braces. These clear plastic aligners have become the go-to form of orthodontic treatment for millions of teens and adults.

So, what makes Invisalign so popular, how does it work, and is it right for you? You can find out all this and more in this guide to Invisalign aligners treatment compiled by Irving dentist Dental Concepts & Orthodontics.

What Is Invisalign?

The Invisalign system was developed by Stanford University students Kelsey Worth and Zia Chishti in 1997. Their business, Align Technology, is now a global medical device company. Invisalign hit the market in 2000 after clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The concept of Invisalign revolved around a series of removable plastic aligners for people who wanted a discreet, convenient alternative to braces for addressing orthodontic issues. The resulting custom-made clear aligner trays fit over the teeth without the need for metal wires or brackets. Invisalign aligners are only available from dentists certified as Invisalign providers.

How Does Invisalign Aligner Work?

Invisalign aligner trays move teeth gradually and progressively in sequences that are precisely regulated and timed. You get a series of Invisalign aligners that should be worn 20 to 22 hours a day to get the best results from treatment. Invisalign applies less pressure on the teeth than braces but is still capable of resolving many cases of crooked, crowded, gapped or protruding teeth, and the associated problems with bite function.

What Problems Can Invisalign Aligners Fix?

Our Irving Invisalign dentists use Invisalign clear aligners to correct a broad range of orthodontic issues, including:

  • Crooked teeth.
  • Gapped teeth.
  • Crowded teeth.
  • Protruding teeth.

Overcoming problems like these ensures correct bite alignment – how your upper and lower teeth come together. So Invisalign is an effective treatment for:

  • Overbite – when upper teeth protrude in front of the lower teeth.
  • Underbite – lower teeth jutting out over upper teeth.
  • Crossbite – when upper teeth close on the inside of lower teeth.
  • Open bite – upper and lower teeth not meeting properly.

Does Invisalign Aligner Hurt?

Invisalign aligners are more comfortable than metal braces. You may, however, notice some discomfort at the start of Invisalign treatment and when you begin wearing a new set of aligner trays. This generally feels like a squeezing sensation around your teeth. If your teeth do feel a little sore, it tells you your aligners are applying the necessary tension to move them. Discomfort usually subsides within a few days.

In some cases, one tooth may hurt more than others. This happens when the tooth needs additional pressure to ensure the correct alignment of your teeth. In one clinical trial, more than one-third of Invisalign users reported a pain-free experience. Those who did get some discomfort said it disappeared after a few days of putting in a new aligner.

Discomfort during Invisalign treatment can be minimized by:

  • Using dental wax.
  • Eating only soft foods for a couple of days when wearing new aligners.
  • Taking over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol.

Invisalign vs. Braces

Invisalign has multiple advantages over braces in terms of treatment time, discretion, comfort, convenience, and oral health. Invisalign clear aligners treatment in Irving at Dental Concepts typically takes from six to 18 months. Treatment with regular braces takes on average about 24 months. Invisalign aligners are made from medical-grade transparent plastic, which is practically unnoticeable in the mouth, unlike the brackets and wires of braces. And the aligners have smooth, rounded edges, which makes them more comfortable. Any minor discomfort is further minimized by proprietary SmartTrack material in the aligners, which reduces dental pressure.

Besides SmartTrack, the Invisalign system boasts an array of other innovative technologies that provide many benefits compared with braces. These features include iTero digital scanning, which avoids the need for traditional messy impressions that may trigger a gag reflex in some individuals. A further key benefit of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable for meals and snacks. This avoids the long list of dietary restrictions you get with fixed braces. Invisalign is also better for your oral health. The brackets and wires of fixed braces make it difficult to clean your teeth properly. This increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. With Invisalign, you simply remove your aligners to brush and floss your teeth as normal.

How to Look After Your Invisalign Clear Aligners

Proper maintenance of your Invisalign clear aligners and good oral hygiene will ensure you get the best outcome from Invisalign treatment. It will also help to avoid a build-up of bacterial plaque, which causes cavities and gum disease. Take out your aligners to clean them at least twice a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and antibacterial soap and rinse the aligners in warm water. You should also remove your Invisalign aligners when you eat or drink anything except plain water. Rinse the aligners each time you remove them. Don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth regularly. When not wearing your aligners, keep them in your protective Invisalign case.

How to Remove Your Invisalign Aligners

At first you may have a little difficulty removing your Invisalign clear aligners, but it gets easier with time. Be patient when removing your aligners. This will avoid damaging the trays or your teeth. Release the clear aligners by starting from the last back tooth on each side of your mouth. This makes it easier to handle the Invisalign aligner. Wearing thin surgical gloves will give you a better grip to remove the aligners while preventing damage to your fingers or fingernails.

When putting your aligners back in, you should:

  • Start with the front teeth.
  • Work your way to the sides of your mouth.
  • Gently push the aligner over all your teeth.
  • Make sure the aligner is a snug fit, but don’t force it into place.

Is Invisalign Clear Aligner Right for You?

Most people are good candidates for Invisalign – the most advanced clear aligner system in the world. And its many benefits make it the most popular removable type of orthodontic appliance. However, braces may be a better option if you have a complex orthodontic problem. That said, experienced Irving Invisalign dentists like Dental Concepts & Orthodontics can typically treat a wider range of orthodontic issues.

Contact us to find out whether Invisalign treatment in Irving is right for you.