Many patients, especially adults, are unhappy with the crooked appearance of their teeth but do not want to wear traditional braces. Not only do traditional, metal braces affect the appearance of a smile, but they also can cut the mouth, require inconvenient maintenance, and hinder regular brushing and flossing. For patients who wish to straighten their smiles without the hassle of traditional braces, Invisalign® invisible braces are an excellent solution.
Invisalign® invisible braces are thin, clear plastic aligners that are worn over the teeth cause teeth to shift position gradually, discreetly, and comfortably. The first step in the Invisalign® process is a consultation with a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist, during which the patient will discuss his or her treatment goals and learn whether he or she is a good candidate for Invisalign®. If so, the dentist or orthodontist will then take an impression of the patient's teeth, and send this mold to a specialized laboratory where a series of Invisalign® aligners will be crafted using precise computer imaging.
Patients wear each aligner for roughly two to four weeks, then move on to a slightly different aligner after that. Each successive aligner will use gentle pressure to allow teeth to gradually shift position. These aligners are created from thin, clear plastic and are all but invisible, unlike traditional braces. Also unlike traditional braces, Invisalign® aligners can be removed for convenient eating, cleaning, brushing, and flossing, though they should be worn as much as possible, day and night.
Most patients complete their Invisalign® invisible braces treatment in less than one year; some patients achieve maximum results in as few as six months. While orthodontic treatment with Invisalign® invisible braces may cost more than traditional braces do, most patients find that the convenience and cosmetics of Invisalign® make the investment worthwhile.