Invisalign® uses a set of clear, removable plastic aligners to exert gentle pressure on your teeth, encouraging them to move into a more aesthetically pleasing position.
Invisalign® sets itself apart from other treatment methods by being ultra-discreet even compared to tooth-coloured ceramic braces. It is also a far less invasive method of treating orthodontic problems, as it is a removable device, rather than a semi-permanent fixture in the mouth like traditional braces.
We can use Invisalign® to correct a wide range of orthodontic problems, so the treatment is viable for many of our patients. Your candidacy for the procedure will depend on the complexity of your case.
You also need to be willing to commit to wearing the system to achieve the results you want. If you are concerned you may regularly forget to wear your Invisalign® aligners; a fixed alternative may be more suitable for you.
To start with, your dentist will assess your suitability for Invisalign®. Using iTero® state-of-the-art technology your dentist will take a 3D digital impression of your mouth using a wand to capture images of your teeth and gums. The scan is used to build a customised 3D simulation of your treatment journey. It also allows for more accurate fitting aligners so treatment will be more predictable and more efficient.
The software not only provides all the information your dentist needs to have your aligners produced, but it will also provide you with a visual representation of how you can expect your teeth to look when your treatment is complete.
Once your aligners arrive, your dentist will demonstrate how to use them. You will wear the first aligner in the set for a week, 20-22 hours a day, removing them only to eat, brush, and floss. After a week, you will switch to the next aligner in the series and repeat the process to advance your treatment.
Your aligners are bespoke-made to fit your teeth and gums perfectly, so they are incredibly comfortable to wear. However, because they are putting pressure on your teeth to move them to their optimal position, you may experience mild discomfort when you first begin the treatment or shortly after switching to a new aligner.
The duration of your treatment plan will depend on the initial condition of your teeth and jaw, and the results you want to achieve.
On average, Invisalign® treatment typically takes between 12 and 18 months from start to finish, although you should begin to see results after 2 to 3 months. In minor, cases, we can sometimes complete the treatment in as little as 6 months.
Movement of the teeth causes the periodontal ligaments — the connective tissue fibres that attach your teeth to your jaw — to soften and stretch. Without proper retention, these ligaments will eventually reform, pulling the teeth back into their original position and undoing all your progress.
We prescribe anyone undergoing orthodontic treatment with a retainer to wear once their treatment is over. A removable retainer is very similar to the Invisalign® aligners, preventing the teeth from shifting out of alignment again.
We recommend you wear a retainer indefinitely to preserve the results of your Invisalign® treatment. On average, patients need to wear a retainer every night for the first year, giving the periodontal ligaments ample time to reshape.
Once this initial 12-month period is over, patients can switch to wearing their retainer overnight a few times a week, but we advise you to do this for the rest of your life. Fortunately, the process of producing a removable retainer is very similar to how we have your Invisalign® aligners made, so it will be equally as comfortable and discreet.