How Invisalign braces work
The Invisalign method is simpler than its predecessors, requiring only one set of impressions and photographs of the teeth, taken during an initial consultation.
These impressions are used to create a three-dimensional computer projection of how the teeth could be moved incrementally, forming the basis for developing a series of custom-made aligners designed to accomplish this movement.
Invisalign aligners are manufactured at the Align Technologies dental laboratory using computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) processes. The aligners are sent to the dentist, who typically dispenses them in groups of one or two at a time during regular check-up appointments (about every four to six weeks) so that treatment can be properly managed. Each aligner must be worn in its specific order for about two weeks, during which time it moves the teeth in small increments of about .25 millimeters to .33 millimeters. Although the aligners are removable (for eating, drinking certain beverages and brushing/flossing), they must be worn at least 20 hours a day in order to reposition the teeth successfully.
A typical Invisalign treatment requires 20 to 30 aligners for both the upper and lower teeth. Most adults complete their treatment in less than one year. However, treatment time depends on the specific alignment problem.
Invisalign is currently approved for adults and teenagers with completely erupted permanent teeth who can faithfully follow the directions for treatment – how long they have to wear the aligners each day, what they can and cannot eat and drink, seeing their dentist for follow-up appointments, etc. For example, dentists recommend that you drink only water while wearing Invisalign trays, to prevent staining of the plastic. If you do not follow treatment recommendations, you may compromise treatment success.
According to researchers and Align Technologies, Invisalign can be used to correct the following types of mild dental problems:
- Overly crowded teeth. When there is not enough room in the jaw for all of the teeth to fit comfortably or normally (one to five millimeters).
- Widely spaced teeth. When there is too much space between the teeth due to abnormal growth of the jaw or shifting of the teeth due to missing teeth (one millimeter to five millimeters).
- Overbite/overjet. When the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth.
- Crossbite. When the upper and lower jaws are misaligned, causing one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth, on either the front and/or sides of the mouth.
- Mild relapse. After traditional braces have been removed, when some relapsing tooth movement has occurred.
- Invisalign may also be a treatment alternative for certain simple malocclusions
However, for more than a little straightening, there may be other orthodontic treatments more suitable.
Simpli5 is a fast acting orthodontic technique that will enhance your smile and appearance within weeks. Some of the benefits include:
- Virtually invisible braces – Simpli5 braces are completely clear so nobody will notice you’re going through treatment.
- They are very quick – You can receive your aligners 3-4 weeks after we take the impressions then 10 – 20 weeks treatment time. Even before your Simpli5 treatment is over you will be able to enjoy the benefits of a better smile
- These braces are removable – You can remove Simpli5 clear aligners to eat, drink and floss.
- Comfortable – After a little getting used to things, most people will find them easy to wear and talk with.
- Economical – Costs up to 20% less than other clear tooth alignment systems.
Stages of Treatment
- Step 1 – You’ll have an initial consultation and during this visit you will discuss the issues you have with your teeth and what kind of results you would like to see and whether Simpli5 is the treatment that will be best suited for you. We try and have the widest choice for the right mix of speed, comfort and cost.
- Step 2 – Impressions of your teeth will be taken and digitised with 3D teeth imaging technology. From these 3D images clear aligners are produced for you to wear.
- Step 3 – You’ll visit your dentist about once every 6 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time averages 3-5 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 3 and 5, but both will vary from case to case.
- Step 4 – Each aligner is worn for a period of about three to four weeks, during which minor tooth movement is slowly taking place. When the tray starts to get loose, it’s time for the next one; and so on and so forth until all the trays have been completed.