Once upon a time, the options were extremely limited for anyone who wanted to straighten their smile and improve their oral health. Thankfully, those days are over! In fact, there’s never been a better time to be an orthodontic patient thanks to innovative techniques, state-of-the-art technology, and a variety of treatment options. The exciting Invisalign clear aligner system is a perfect example of this!
Have you been considering orthodontic treatment but aren’t sure if braces are for you? As our most popular alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign aligners offer patients a subtle way to achieve a healthier smile! Instead of brackets and wires, this system uses clear, removable aligners to correct orthodontic issues. This gives patients an extra measure of freedom that appeals to teens and adults who worry that traditional braces may not be a good fit for their lifestyle.
Here at New England Orthodontic Specialists, your smile is our specialty. We want to help you find the best solution for your specific needs, whether it’s a more traditional method of treatment like braces or a cutting-edge option like Invisalign. Let’s take a closer look at what this system is and how it works to give you beautiful, long-lasting results!
What is Invisalign?
To understand how Invisalign differs from braces, it helps to know about fixed and removable orthodontic appliances. Appliances like clear and metal braces are what we refer to as fixed appliances—the brackets are affixed directly to the surface of the teeth, and only a trained orthodontic specialist can remove them. In contrast, Invisalign is a removable appliance. The aligners are custom-made to fit snugly over a patient’s teeth, but no part of the aligner is directly attached to them.
The appearance of Invisalign aligners is deceptively simple. They’re made of a special thermoplastic resin that is strong enough to move the teeth into new positions, but comfortable enough to wear for the recommended 20-22 hours each day. The aligners also need to be switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks, depending on the treatment plan. This allows them to keep up with the movements the teeth are making.
How does Invisalign work?
When you schedule a free consultation at our Beverly or Topsfield office, we’ll be able to determine if you’re a good fit for Invisalign. If you decide to move forward with the system, Dr. Diana or Dr. Neil will begin the process by mapping out a precise treatment plan for you. We’ll use a highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums to plot the exact movements we want your teeth to make and provide the design for your customized aligners.
Invisalign’s special SmartTrack® material is what gives the aligners their durability and near invisibility. Because the trays are customized for your unique smile, they’ll fit snugly but comfortably over your teeth. As we mentioned above, the aligners need to be worn for 20-22 hours each day to successfully move the teeth into their new positions. You’ll be responsible for switching the aligners out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks as well. If you fail to follow these guidelines, the Invisalign system won’t be able to work properly. This may lead to subpar results and longer treatment times.
Speaking of treatment times, this varies from case to case, but most patients will need aligners for about 6-18 months on average. The personalized treatment plan we create for you will give us a good idea of how long your own treatment process is likely to take! You can expect to have regular check-ups with Dr. Diana or Dr. Neil every 4-8 weeks or so. These allow us to ensure everything is progressing the way it should be and tend to be fairly brief since there are no appliances to adjust.
What are the benefits of Invisalign?
There are so many reasons to love Invisalign! Not having to deal with food restrictions is a big one. To protect the brackets and wires of their appliance, braces patients must avoid crunchy and chewy foods during treatment. While all that effort is worth it in the end, it can be frustrating to have to give up some of your favorite meals and snacks.
Invisalign patients can continue eating anything they’d like throughout the treatment process! The aligners are designed to be removed whenever you eat or drink anything other than water, then put back in when you’re done. This makes dental hygiene easier, too. Brushing and flossing with braces can be time-consuming, but Invisalign aligners are removed before brushing and flossing as normal. Keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy couldn’t be easier!
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
Whatever orthodontic treatment you choose, your teeth will always remember their previous place in your mouth. Over time, they’ll begin naturally drifting back to those positions if there’s nothing in place to stop them. This is why wearing a retainer is so important for every orthodontic patient! Once your Invisalign treatment is complete, our office will provide you with a retainer. For the longest-lasting results, you should always wear it exactly as directed.
Invisalign is the clear choice at New England Orthodontic Specialists
Invisalign can be an excellent choice for many teens and adults, and in most cases, it can work as well as braces for correcting many common orthodontic issues. It’s not suited to everyone, though. Some patients who have complex or severe cases may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner can achieve. If a different method of treatment would be more suitable for you, our doctors will discuss this with you during your consultation.
Invisalign clear aligners continue to grow in popularity and change the way people think about orthodontic treatment all over the world! If you’d like to learn more about how this exciting system can transform your smile into something special, get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Diana or Dr. Neil! This is the perfect time to take the first step towards the healthier, happier smile you deserve.