Traditional braces move teeth into their ideal position with brackets and wires. The Invisalign system uses a series of plastic alignment trays.
The full number of trays included in your kit will be determined by your specific needs and the plan we create. As you go through treatment, you'll wear each custom set of trays for approximately two weeks before moving on to the next set of aligners in your treatment kit. When you've worn all your trays, you’ll have a straighter, more confident smile you’ll want to share with friends and family.
While Invisalign is a great solution for many patients, some should still consider traditional braces. During a consultation at our Richardson office, our orthodontists will go over the pros and cons of Invisalign vs traditional metal braces.
There are many factors to consider, but don't worry, we will guide you through your Invisalign journey.
Invisalign can be used for a wide variety of orthodontic treatments:
It can straighten crooked teeth.
Clear aligners can correct an overbite, an underbite and a crossbite by repositioning the teeth.
They can help some cases of crowded teeth that make it more difficult to remove plaque and can lead to tooth decay.
Invisalign can close some gaps depending on how much space there is.
Note that sometimes, the problem might be too complex or severe for Invisalign to work, and traditional braces may need to be used instead. That said, Invisalign can be an effective and more convenient option when it’s available.
The greatest benefit of Invisalign is that it uses clear trays. As you complete treatment, no one but you and our Richardson team will even notice that you’re wearing them.
There’s more to love about Invisalign than just the discreet appearance. Your Invisalign trays are also removable. That means you can easily take them out for meals. With traditional braces, you’re more limited in what you can eat. Certain foods are prone to getting stuck around brackets and wires. Other foods, like those that are particularly chewy or crunchy, can even damage braces. But with Invisalign, you enjoy a completely unrestricted diet.
While you can take your aligners out whenever you want, you’ll need to keep them in for at least 22 hours a day for the best results. As such, you should only remove Invisalign for eating, drinking (except for water) and regular cleanings.
Each aligner is worn for about 1 to 2 weeks. During your periodic checkups in Richardson, TX, we’ll examine your teeth and make sure they’re following the adjustment schedule. Occasionally, we may ask you to wear an aligner for a little longer than normal.
Not only are regular brushing and flossing a lot easier with Invisalign than with traditional braces, but the aligners themselves are easy to clean as well. Simply use a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear antibacterial soap; do not use toothpaste, which is abrasive and might scratch the plastic. Make sure to get every surface. Don’t use hot water, as it may cause undesired warping that can disrupt the treatment.
Alternatively, you can soak Invisalign in a denture cleaner. If the aligner starts to become discolored, however, call us right away.
Your appointment to get Invisalign will start with impressions or digital scans of your teeth, which are sent to Invisalign. Invisalign will then make a 3D model of your teeth before and after the proposed treatment.
Once you and your orthodontist have approved the model, the aligners are fabricated and sent to your dentist’s office. Your orthodontist will then bring you in to get you started treatment.
Each patient is different, so the number of aligners used will vary from person to person. Most Invisalign treatments last in the range of 6 to 18 months. Traditional braces, by comparison, may need to be worn for 18 to 24 months; in some cases, they may even take 3 years!
After you’re done with Invisalign, we’ll give you a retainer that will stop the teeth from shifting back to where they were originally. You’ll be able to enjoy your new and improved smile for the rest of your life!