The A to Z of Invisalign

There is a lot of new terminology to learn when it comes to orthodontics and Invisalign in particular. Here’s our A to Z of Invisalign treatment so you’ll be speaking the lingo in no time!

Aligner This is your clear aligner or tray that you’ll be wearing to straighten your teeth.
Attachment This is a small amount of tooth coloured material bonded to your tooth that acts like a ‘handle’ for the aligner to grip to so that the tooth moves in the right direction.
Bite Your orthodontist isn’t just straightening your teeth, they’re helping them fit together properly too.
Clincheck Invisalign’s digital treatment plan that is developed by your orthodontist.
Clear aligner therapy The general term for any system that uses clear aligners to straighten teeth. Invisalign is a brand of clear aligner therapy.
Demineralisation These are the white marks you get on your teeth if you drink or ear sugar with your aligners in. The acid permanently damages your tooth enamel, so prevention is the only way to go!
Elastics If your bite is being corrected you will probably have to wear elastics bands, just like with braces.
Fixed appliance You may need a small metal button (for hooking elastics onto) or a few braces bonded on some back teeth if your case is complex.
Gums Keep them healthy with regular brushing and flossing. As Invisalign is removable, this is easy to do.
Hygiene You need to have great oral hygiene and will find yourself brushing your teeth and aligners many times a day.
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Impression The mould that is taken at the start of your treatment. This is sent to Invisalign to develop your digital treatment plan.
IPR IPR is short for interproximal reduction. This is when we polish between your teeth to create some extra space or re-contour them.
Lite Invisalign has different products for different levels of treatment complexity. If you only require minor tooth movement, you may qualify for “Lite” treatment which is more affordable and quicker!
Malocclusion The orthodontic term for when your teeth are crooked and don’t fit together properly.
Nightguard If you grind your teeth at night, we will probably see some excessive wear on your aligners during treatment. If this is the case, we may ask your dentist to make you a nightguard at the completion of treatment to protect your teeth from being worn down.
Overbite How much the front teeth overlap the bottom teeth.
Overjet How much the upper teeth sit ahead of the lower teeth (commonly called an overbite, or buck teeth).
Plaque The white sticky stuff on your teeth that bacteria live in – it causes tooth decay and gum disease so brush, brush, brush!
Quick There is no “quick fix” in orthodontics if you want it done properly as the speed of tooth movement is biologically determined. Wear your aligners as directed to have your treatment progress at the optimum speed.
Retainer Retainers are provided to you after Invisalign treatment and may be fixed (a wire behind your front teeth) or removable. You must wear these retainers faithfully to ensure your teeth don’t go crooked again.
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Refinement A second phase of Invisalign treatment where another set of aligners are ordered to obtain further correction. The more complex the case, the more likely that refinements are needed.
Spacing Invisalign is great at dealing with small to moderate amounts of spacing.
Treatment time This depends on the complexity of your case and Invisalign treatment times can range from 4 months to 2 years.
Underbite Where the lower front teeth sit ahead of the upper teeth.
Vitality A “vital” tooth means it has a healthy nerve. If you have ever had trauma to your teeth a tooth may become “non-vital” and need root canal treatment. Don’t worry – we can still move teeth that have had root canal treatment but you should be closely monitored by an orthodontist.
Wisdom teeth These teeth are the last teeth in your mouth to form and are often impacted. Sometimes they will need to be removed before starting Invisalign treatment.
X-rays You will require two x-rays to plan your orthodontic treatment – one that shows a panoramic view of your jaw (an OPG) and another that takes an image of the side of your jaws (a lateral cephalogram).
You Invisalign treatment will only work if YOU do what is asked of YOU! Wear your trays 22 hours every day!
Zzzzz… Congratulations! If you’ve made it to the end of this list without falling asleep, you’re obviously motivated and may be a great candidate for Invisalign treatment!

If you are interested in Invisalign treatment for yourself or your child, please don’t hesitate to contact us online here or by phone on 9687 8243 to schedule a consultation with our specialist orthodontist.

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