Invisalign braces may not be the best treatment choice for patients with extremely crooked teeth or crooked back teeth.
Patients will usually have to make several trips to the dentist
1 - 2 days per trip
Patients need to provide their dentists with a dental X-ray before the treatment can begin. Some patients may require other dental work before beginning treatment with Invisalign.
The Invisalign dentist will first take polyvinyl siloxane impressions, bite registrations, and photographs of the patient's gums and teeth. The dental impressions are then scanned, and a 3D model of the teeth is created. The 3D model is then altered according to the desired results, and a special program is used to create the stages between the current and the desired final teeth position. Between 6 and 48 aligners are then created, depending on the needs – each aligner can move teeth from 0.25 to 0.33 millimeters.
The average Invisalign treatment lasts for up to 13.5 months or more, but this includes the time necessary to prepare the braces as well. The patient will be required to wear the clear aligners for at least 20 hours a day during the treatment period. In certain cases and depending on the severity of the malocclusion, the treatment period may be longer or shorter – it all depends on the extent of the changes which need to be done. Patients will have to remove the clear aligners while flossing, brushing, and eating. It's also important to note that patients must maintain excellent oral hygiene during this period. Once the treatment is over, a nightguard must be worn for a similar period of time.
Invisalign risks and complications can include:
● Increased risk of tooth decay due to Invisalign
● Difficulty speaking
● Lengthier treatment for non-compliant patients
Invisalign side effects include the following:
● Dental discomfort
● Tenderness of the gums
Invisalign reviews set the average treatment success rate at 85%.
Invisalign before and after pictures may look appealing, but patients need to understand that the treatment is a lengthy process – the braces themselves need to be worn according to the dentist's guidelines for an average period of 13.5 months. Invisalign results will slowly start to appear after the first months of treatment. During this time, patients must refrain from very hot drinks such as tea, as the high temperature can warp the braces, rendering them useless. Sugary drinks and alcohol need to be avoided as well since these drinks can lead to plaque buildup. Most patients will also experience weight loss after the treatment since they will usually refrain from consuming light snacks during the day.
- How often do I need to visit my dentist during the Invisalign braces treatment?
Just as with traditional braces, patients need to visit their orthodontist every 4 to 6 weeks during the treatment duration. These checkups are meant to see if the treatment is progressing according to plan but also to receive the next sets of Invisalign aligners.
- Is Invisalign painful?
Patients generally experience some discomfort and soreness, as is expected with any type of orthodontic treatment.
- Are there any restrictions during the Invisalign treatment? Yes, a few. Patients need to stay away from alcohol, sugary drinks, and hot drinks. These restrictions exist in order to ensure the success of the Invisalign treatment and to maintain the patient's oral hygiene. Smoking is prohibited during this time as well.
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in August, 2019.