All You Need To Know About Invisalign

January 1, 2017

The search for a great smile has been well-documented throughout history. In the late 1990s, the idea of a moldable and removable retainer led to the creation of what we know today as Invisalign. By the early 2000s, this new system, which uses clear plastic aligners, became a standard part of the curriculum at most dental schools. The use of orthodontic treatment has expanded dramatically over the past decade and there are now more than 70,000 certified providers worldwide.

How Invisalign Works

The Invisalign system has become as popular as it is for a variety of reasons. Its usage can produce the desired results often in less time than a traditional orthodontic treatment consisting of metal bands, brackets, and wires. Traditional braces can often take two to three years to correct any misalignment issues and produce straight teeth. There are many cases where the use of Invisalign has produced results in one year or even less.

The system itself uses a series of molded plastic retainers, or aligners. An orthodontist will meet with a prospective patient and, similar to what is done with traditional braces, develop a program to straighten the patient’s teeth. A set of Invisalign aligners will be created which, when worn, will progressively straighten the patient’s teeth. The aligners are worn for periods of two to three weeks before moving to the next one in the series.

Invisalign vs. Braces

Wearing the Invisalign retainer is much less noticeable than traditional braces and that is a big reason as to why its use is popular with adults. Traditional braces are often worn by young teens and adults often shy away from straightening their teeth for fear of having a mouthful of metal. Invisalign retainers are virtually invisible as the name suggests.

Straightening teeth with Invisalign is also much more comfortable than traditional braces. The wires and brackets of classic braces often irritate the tender areas of a patient’s mouth. The Invisalign aligners are made of plastic with smooth edges so as not to irritate the inside of the cheeks and gums.

The Invisalign retainers are also removable. While it is recommended that the aligners are worn 20 to 22 hours each day, they can be removed for special events. Patients can brush and floss their teeth normally. They also have the freedom to eat anything they want. With traditional metal braces, patients must stay away from certain foods that can damage them. Cleaning the retainers is easy too. Patients can brush them with a toothbrush and rinse them with tap water.