Invisalign® is a product used by orthodontists to straighten your teeth without the use of traditional fixed braces. Invisalign is probably the most well-known brand name but is not the only supplier of Clear Aligner Therapy (CAT). CAT works by using a sequence of clear aligners, with each aligner gradually moving your teeth closer to their final straightened position.
It is important to understand that Invisalign is a just another tool that orthodontists use to align your teeth, the same way they use metal or clear braces. It still requires the development of a complete orthodontic treatment plan and understanding of the complex ways in which teeth move and bites are corrected. However, CAT has really opened up orthodontic treatment to a much wider group of people, typically adults, who have always wanted straight teeth but just weren’t prepared to wear braces.
When you start your Invisalign treatment you will have a mould taken of your teeth and a digital treatment plan (called a “clincheck”) is generated. Your orthodontist will carefully review and adjust this plan, making sure all the movements shown on the digital plan are accurate and achievable. This digital treatment plan will also show how many aligners you require and if you need attachments placed on your teeth. Once your aligners are fitted you are given a few months supply and you change your aligner to a new one approximately every 2 weeks.
The big question we’re often asked is – does it work? Invisalign has been around since 2000 and over 6 million people have been treated world-wide with the product. In the early days, Invisalign was only able to treat very simple cases but the product has come a long way and now many orthodontic problems are able to be treated with Invisalign. There are many factors that determine the success of your treatment with clear aligners.
- Can you follow the rules? Clear aligners are made of a medical grade plastic and need to be removed before eating and drinking hot drinks. If you love to snack and sip on coffee all day, you will have to change your routine. The aligners must also be worn for 22 hours every day only being removed for brushing, flossing and eating.
- The complexity of your treatment. Clear aligners are perfect for simple cases where minor movement of the front teeth is required and may even be a better option than traditional braces. A great example of this is where teeth have shifted after previous orthodontic treatment (usually because you didn’t wear your retainer!). Moderately complex treatments to align crowded teeth are correct bites are also possible and your orthodontist will combine your Invisalign treatment with the use of elastic bands, just as they would if you wore braces. With more recent advances, even very complex cases that require tooth extractions can be treated with Invisalign. In these cases, your orthodontist may need to use a combination of braces on a few teeth for a short period of time, in addition to your clear aligners. Because of the intricacy of these cases it is always best to see a specialist orthodontist for your Invisalign treatment as they are the experts in moving teeth.
- Your age. Actually, this doesn’t matter at all as Invisalign is available for teenagers and adults. In fact, some of our most successful patients have been motivated teenagers! So, if your teen wants straight teeth but doesn’t want to wear braces, don’t rule out Invisalign as it can be a great option for them.
If you’re interested in talking to our specialist orthodontist about Invisalign treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us online here or by phone on 9687 8243 to schedule a consultation.