If you’re getting braces as an adult, more than likely you’re considering whether Invisalign is right for you. But do clear aligner orthodontics work the same way as conventional braces? Understanding how Invisalign works can help you feel more confident in your decision about teeth straightening in Long Island.
No Wires, Just Aligners
Regular braces use brackets on specific tooth surfaces to move entire teeth. With how Invisalign works, your orthodontic system moves each tooth from both sides (not just one.) That’s because the trays are fitted to your unique smile, hugging every surface of each tooth.
When you first put your Invisalign trays in, they’ll feel a little snug. That’s because the aligners are placing small amounts of pressure across your entire bite. As you wear them over several days, they won’t feel as tight anymore. But then, it’s time to change them out with the next set in your series. Typically, our Suffolk County Invisalign dentists will have you progress to the next pair every two weeks.
Since your teeth are being nudged in smaller increments on a more frequent basis, it’s possible to enjoy a gentler teeth-straightening experience. The trays do all the work, putting you in charge of your tooth movement without the extra “adjustments” a traditional braces patient needs. The preprogrammed system is the foundation of how Invisalign works.
Why it’s Better for You
Although most people choose Invisalign because it’s practically invisible, these adult and teen braces are better in that they have the least impact on your lifestyle. You won’t have to alter your diet or worry about breaking anything. But the best part is that Invisalign makes it easier for you to take care of your teeth and gums. Since the aligners are removable, brushing and flossing are simple. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the dreaded “white circles” on your teeth, as people with heavy plaque buildup around regular braces do.
When an Extra “Attachment” is Needed
How Invisalign works has evolved significantly over the past several years. One of the reasons why it’s an option for more people than in the past is because of adaptions that allow for more moderate to severe tooth movement needs.
For significant gaps, rotation, or misalignment, Invisalign doesn’t use fixed brackets that put pressure on the tooth to move them. Instead, it’s possible for us to add a small tooth-colored “button” to the tooth. This small extension provides an extra surface area for the aligners to grip on to, so those specific teeth can be moved in precise ways. Although you can see these buttons up close, they blend in with the overall shade of your tooth. We remove them when they’re no longer necessary.
The Time Involved
The most common question people ask about how Invisalign works is, “How long does the treatment take?”
As with every smile, your tooth movement is unique to your personal anatomy and desired results. Our Long Island Invisalign dentists will need to look at your bite and discuss special considerations (if needed). At the time of your initial evaluation, we’ll be able to provide you with a fair estimate as to how long Invisalign takes for your case.
On average, most people complete their Invisalign treatment in 12-24 months. However, cosmetic options exist that allow us to straighten your smile in less time by focusing on the teeth at the front of your mouth. Cosmetic teeth straightening like Invisalign Express is a short-term braces option that can give you a straighter looking smile in as quickly as six months. That’s because it doesn’t affect the teeth further back in your mouth.
Part of every new patient Invisalign consultation is estimating the length of time it will take to complete your treatment. You’ll have a good idea as to how long your process will take before you leave our office, whether it’s 10 months or 20.
Compared to traditional braces, our Long Island Invisalign patients don’t have to make as many trips back and forth to the dentist’s office. Everything is mapped out digitally, so you essentially complete the tooth movement process in your own home.
The only time our Invisalign dentists will need to see you is to ensure your bite is moving along as it ought to. There aren’t wires to change out or bands to replace. As a patient, this process means your orthodontic appointments tend to be quicker and less frequent that someone who wears traditional braces. So instead of being at our office for a 20-minute appointment every 4-6 weeks, you’re only stopping by for a 10-minute evaluation every other month (or less).
Invisalign is easy to work into your busy personal and professional lifestyle!
What About Retainers?
Just like regular braces, people who wear Invisalign will need to have a retention program in place for when orthodontic therapy is completed. Otherwise, your teeth can be prone to relapse (where they start to drift back to their original position.)
Most of our Long Island Invisalign patients prefer to wear removable, clear retainers (sometimes called Essix retainers.) These devices look nearly identical to Invisalign trays, in that they’re fitted to each tooth and made out of translucent BPA-free plastic.
Seeing is Believing
Invisalign braces use technology that virtually maps your tooth movement over the course of the orthodontic treatment. What that means is that sometimes it’s possible to get a virtual preview of your before, during, and after results well prior to initiating the Invisalign treatment. If you want, we can request this simulation directly from Invisalign labs, so that you can watch how your teeth plan to be moved throughout the duration of your experience. The short video simulation will show you how and where the teeth are moved (and in what order) so that you can see the process unfold before your very eyes.
If Invisalign sounds like the best type of braces for you (or your teen) then request a no-pressure consultation at Sachem Dental Group today. We offer flexible financing on all braces and have proudly served Long Island families for over 35 years!