The complete guide to Invisalign Clear Aligners: your dream smile is right around the corner

By: Dental Holistix

Invisalign Clear Aligners are a revolutionary orthodontic treatment that can help you attain the beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you’re considering orthodontic treatment or  simply curious about Invisalign, this comprehensive guide is your key to unlocking the world of Clear Aligner treatment.

How Invisalign Clear Aligners work

After sending a digital scan of your teeth and bite to Invisalign, a virtual model is created with the advanced Invisalign software. This virtual model will demonstrate how your teeth will be moved into perfect alignment and what the final position and bite will be like- before we even start treatment! 

After we approve the plan, the full series of individual customised clear plastic aligners will be sent out to wear full time- removing them only to eat and clean. These are changed every 7-14 days. Each aligner (or set of upper and lower aligners) moves the teeth very slightly, resulting in a gradual and gentle alignment of the teeth.

In the last few years, a multitude of companies have tried to replicate Invisalign’s clear aligner system. However over 20 years experience and 15 million cases worldwide have ensured that Invisalign remains the most advanced and predictable system available. 

What Invisalign Clear Aligners treat

Invisalign clear aligners can generally be used to treat all the problems that fixed braces have traditionally been used for. The uprighting and rotating movements of individual teeth are generally very predictable- within reasonable limits. However, severe misalignment of the teeth and  skeletal growth factors that have led to large discrepancies in jaw size, are demanding of any orthodontic modality- and will often require specialist orthodontist management.

However, in saying that, general dentists and orthodontists alike choose to provide treatment with Invisalign clear aligners because they work, and they know that people prefer them over traditional braces for comfort and cosmetics.

Below are some indications that they have been proven to treat effectively:

Crowded teeth
Crowded teeth occur when there’s not enough space in your jaw for all your teeth, leading to overlapping or misaligned teeth. This can hinder effective cleaning and cause oral health problems, and lead to a lack of confidence when smiling.

Gapped teeth
Gaps or spaces between teeth can result from various factors, including missing teeth, small teeth, retained baby teeth, or a discrepancy between jaw and tooth size. While small midline or symmetrical gaps can add character, larger and/or asymmetrical spaces can impact both aesthetics and function.

Crossbite
Crossbites occur when your upper teeth sit inside your lower teeth when you bite down. This misalignment can lead to functional problems with wear and chipping, and asymmetry. This is usually secondary to general crowding of the teeth, which also leads to cleaning and cosmetic issues as above.

Open bite
An open bite is when your upper and lower front teeth don’t touch when you close your jaws, creating a gap. This can affect eating– by making it difficult to bite into a sandwich for example, and speech- by causing a lisp or difficulty producing “s” sounds cleanly.

This can be difficult where a habit (such as a strong tongue thrust while swallowing) is entrenched and opposes the aligning force on the teeth. However, a significant improvement can generally be achieved.

Overbite or deep bite
An excessive overbite or deep bite is a large vertical overlap of the upper and lower front teeth. This misalignment can affect your smile, lead to excessive front tooth wear, and cause discomfort eating. Invisalign clear aligners can level the bite plain by intruding the front teeth and extruding the back teeth simultaneously.

Overjet or flared teeth
This  arises when your upper front teeth protrude horizontally past your lower front teeth in a way that makes them look too protruded or flared out. This misalignment can impact your speech and create bite and cosmetic issues. Although extreme cases will require surgery, Invisalign clear aligners can be used to manage the straightening and uprighting component of this malalignment.

Invisalign Clear Aligner benefits

Comfort and convenience
Invisalign aligners are custom-made to fit comfortably over your teeth. There are no wires or brackets to worry about, reducing the likelihood of discomfort or irritation. As the teeth are moved a lot more gradually than fixed braces, there is very little pain associated with the tooth movement. Each new aligner will feel tight for a few days, and then become passive over 7-14 days indicating a new aligner is required.

Removable
Invisalign aligners are removable, giving you the flexibility to enjoy your favourite foods without restrictions. Simply remove them before eating, then brush and reinsert—It’s that easy.

Optimal oral hygiene
With Invisalign, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a breeze. Since the aligners are removable, you can brush and floss your teeth as you normally would, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum problems.

Fewer dental visits
Invisalign often requires fewer dental visits compared to traditional braces. You’ll receive multiple sets of aligners at once, and although we still like to check up on you in person, your progress can also be monitored virtually with the Invisalign app.

Aesthetic appeal
Invisalign clear aligners are a discreet and effective way to straighten your teeth and correct orthodontic issues. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign Clear aligners are virtually invisible, allowing you to smile with confidence throughout your treatment journey.

Transparent timeline
The cutting-edge ClinCheck software that we use provides you with a more precise timeline for your Invisalign treatment. This innovative tool enables you to visualise each step of your treatment journey, offering a clearer understanding of how long the process will take.

The Invisalign Clear Aligner process

Getting started with Invisalign is simple. Here’s an overview of our process at Dental Holistix:

Consultation
The first step is to complete a consultation with one of our dentists to discuss your orthodontic needs and treatment goals, and whether Invisalign clear aligners (or orthodontic treatment in general) are right for you. If you want to proceed, we will take the necessary records of xrays, photos and an intraoral digital scan-  no uncomfortable teeth moulds are required. 

Custom treatment plan
Our dentists will create a custom treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Using advanced software, our dentists can also generate a visual representation of your future smile.

Aligner fitting
Once your custom aligners are ready, you’ll visit our clinic to pick them up. Your dentist will ensure they fit comfortably and provide instructions on how to wear and care for them.

Wear your aligners
Wear your Invisalign aligners for 20-22 hours per day, removing them only for eating, drinking, and oral hygiene. Each set of aligners is worn for one to two weeks, depending on your treatment plan.

Progress check-ups
You’ll have periodic check-ups with our dentists to monitor your progress and this is often augmented with our virtual monitoring where AI is used within the Invisalign App to detect whether your aligners are still fitting well. These touchpoints are crucial to ensure your treatment stays on track.

Enjoy your new smile
As your teeth gradually shift into alignment, you’ll begin to notice significant improvements in your smile. The joy of progress and transformation is one of the most rewarding aspects of Invisalign treatment.

Treatment duration
The duration of your treatment is individually tailored to your unique requirements and will be assessed by our dentists. While some patients can achieve results in as little as 4 months, the complexity of your case may extend the treatment duration, typically falling within the range of 6 to 12 months.

Retaining your new smile
Once your Invisalign treatment is complete, our dentists will recommend a retention phase. This typically involves wearing a retainer. Retainers help keep your teeth in their new positions and prevent them from shifting back to their original alignment.

Initially, you may need to wear your retainer every night while sleeping. Over time, our dentists will provide guidance on when you can transition to wearing them less frequently. An alternative to a removable retainer could be bonding a small wire on the tongue side of the front 6 teeth to prevent future movement out of alignment.

At Dental Holistix, we’re committed to making your Invisalign journey a positive and rewarding experience. Our team of dedicated professionals combines state-of-the-art technology with a personalised approach to provide exceptional care. Schedule a consultation with us today!

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