Invisalign is an involved process and a straightforward one. The treatment is customized to every patient, but there are some elements that everyone has in common. Understand this innovative tooth alignment method with these Invisalign 101 facts from Premier Smile Center in Fort Lauderdale and certified Invisalign provider Dr. Charmaine Johnson.
The Invisalign Time Commitment
Yes, Invisalign is a time commitment, but it is less taxing than you may have initially thought.
- 1 year: Treatment lasts an average of 12 months, though some patients need more time to straighten their smile and others qualify for a less intensive treatment that could take as little as three to six months. It depends on how complex your case is and how well teeth respond to the alignment method.
- 6-8 weeks: You will visit your Fort Lauderdale Invisalign provider every six to eight weeks for a progress checkup and to collect your upcoming sets of trays.
- 2 weeks: Each set of trays is for two weeks, unless otherwise directed by your dentist.
- 20 to 22 hours: Trays must be worn the majority of every day and only removed for meals, snacks, and cleanings.
Invisalign vs. Conventional Braces
Many people have flocked to Invisalign because they want straight teeth and love the idea of a discreet alignment method, but visibility isn’t the only difference between Invisalign and conventional metal braces.
- Minimal discomfort: All tooth-alignment methods involve some level of discomfort because you are moving tooth crowns and roots into new positions. Invisalign, however, is far more comfortable in general because the trays are smooth and sleek. There are no brackets or wires to pierce your lips, cheeks, or gums.
- Easy cleaning: Braces wearers need special tools to get in and around all their hardware and must clean meticulously throughout each day. Invisalign wearers only need to soak their trays and brush and floss their teeth as usual.
- Speedy treatment: Traditional metal braces usually take about two years to complete. No matter what type of Invisalign you get, it will nearly always be completed faster than a round of conventional braces.
- No food restrictions: Every Invisalign wearer loves that they can continue to eat whatever foods their teeth can handle. People with braces are limited in their options, as crunchy, chewy, sticky, and stringy foods are off-limits if you want to keep your hardware safe from damage.
The Reality of Wearing Invisalign
An essential part of Invisalign 101 is knowing exactly what you’re getting into with this treatment. The day-to-day reality is this: Invisalign requires concentrated effort. But it’s worth it.
- Adapt to a new routine: You will have to immediately adapt your life to the wearing of Invisalign. This means carrying around your case so it’s always available when you remove your trays, always having toothbrush and toothpaste at the ready, nixing bad behaviors that could damage the trays (like nail biting and constant coffee drinking), and adjusting your eating routine.
- Gain new confidence: It will take time for you to get used to have trays on your teeth. You may even have a little lisp for a few days and there will be moments of discomfort as you adjust to the pressure. But, you will quickly discover that the clear, thin trays and the visible results that appear soon after treatment begins will boost your confidence and encourage you to keep going.
- Prepare yourself for retainers: No matter what kind of orthodontic treatment you undergo, retainers are a necessity when the hard work is over to ensure that your newly aligned teeth stay in place. But the retainers will still be clear, just like Invisalign.
Are You a Good Candidate for Invisalign?
Only your cosmetic dentist can tell you for sure whether you’re a good candidate for Invisalign, after conducting a full dental exam and taking 3D images and X-rays. No matter what age you are, Invisalign is a possibility, with special versions available for teens, adults, and those with minor or complex alignment issues. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Johnson at Premier Smile Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to find out if Invisalign is right for you.