Invisalign is removable and virtually invisible orthodontic braces and is a relatively modern development in the field of cosmetic dentistry. They are very convenient and since they are light and easily removable, you can eat and drink when you are under invasalign treatment.
Unlike braces, they do not cause any scratch or abrasions. They are also easier to maintain compared to braces and the patient will not need to spend as much time at the dentist for adjustments.You can also utilize the invisalign virtual treatment plan and have an idea of the results to expect at various junctures.
Once it has been determined that an Invisalign brace is best for you, a mold or impression of your teeth will be made using “dental putty” and several photographs of your teeth and smile will be taken from different angles. These will then be sent to the Invisalign (Align Technology, Inc.) laboratory, allowing them to create a 3D digital model of your teeth from a CT (computerized tomography–also known as CAT scan) scanner. Other sets will be made which will be used as your teeth move every two-to-three weeks by about a third of a millimeter.
“Attachments” and “buttons” will be added to your teeth and mouth (although the latter may not always be necessary). Attachments are small tooth-colored drops of dental bonding that are placed in specific locations on specific teeth, helping to keep the aligners in place, and thus helping to move the teeth the desired amount for the desired period of time.
Buttons are used to connect elastic between a tooth and another or a tooth and the Invisalign aligner. They are designed to help further proper tooth movement, and are created, pre-made, by the Align Technology, Inc.
The sets (called “aligners”) will be replaced when indicated by the marker tabs within the aligners, and the entire treatment can take anywhere from 3 months to 3 years, although the majority of cases take half a year to one-and-a-half years, with 14 months being average. Regular check-ups, usually every 8 weeks will help.
Instructions on the proper use and care of these braces including, most importantly, that they must be worn for 20-22 hours, taking them out only for eating, drinking, and for brushing and flossing your teeth. Eating causes numerous problems if the Invisalign braces are worn, and drinking causes special problems.
Hot liquids (such as coffee, tea and even soup) can warp the aligners; dark drinks can stain them; and acidic drinks (such as soda) can degrade the aligner. However, cool water is encouraged as it can help flush away any bacteria.
The braces are invisible only if they are clean. Invisalign has its own cleaning product called ‘Invisalign Aligner Cleaning System‘ that consist of special crystals to clean plaque. There are also other viable options, including commercial cleansers and denture cleansers; homemade solutions such as diluted hydrogen peroxide, diluted household bleach and diluted vinegar; and a toothbrush.
If you use a toothbrush to clean them, use a soft brush. Toothpaste contains mild abrasives which can cause small scratches that can make the aligners look dull. Mouthwashes are not recommended and the colored ones especially can leave traces of their color on the aligners.