How does Invisalign® work?
As an Invisalign® dentist, our team straightens teeth using a series of aligners. First, an impression of your teeth is taken so that a series of aligners can be created in a dental lab. The aligners themselves are made out of a thermoplastic material that is strong and at the same time flexible in order to be comfortable when worn for long periods of time. The material is virtually invisible.
The aligners should be worn for 22 hours a day and every two weeks; they need to be switched out with the next one in the series. Over a period of months, the aligners will slowly move teeth into place, making one minor adjustment at a time that is targeted to specific teeth. This helps your teeth to be comfortable as they are moved into position at a manageable pace. Once you are done wearing your aligners, your teeth should be perfectly straight.
Benefits of Invisalign®
- Patients may prefer wearing Invisalign® because of how convenient it is in comparison to wearing traditional braces.
- The aligners are clear so no one can tell you are straightening your teeth.
- They are only worn for 22 hours a day so you can take them out to eat dinner, go on a date, or make an important presentation at work.
- You can brush and floss your teeth like normal, and no additional tools are required.
- There is less of a risk that your teeth will become stained as compared with wearing metal braces that can be difficult to clean.
- The procedure is more comfortable than metal braces since the aligners move teeth into place slowly and only focus on a few teeth at a time.
- Aligners are easy to take care of, and you only use the same aligner for a couple of weeks.
How do I care for my aligners?
We recommend that patients remove their aligner and rinse it with warm water on a daily basis. You may also want to brush them with a soft toothbrush.
Some patients need to wear attachments or ridges in order to ensure that their teeth move into place perfectly. An attachment is a clear bump that is made of an enamel colored composite and secured to the teeth. Bumps on your aligners will grip them in order to hold the aligner in place. Ridges work in a similar way only an indent is created instead of a raised bump. This can be necessary for more complicated cases to ensure that a particular tooth, or several teeth, move into place like they should.
Chicago, Illinois Invisalign Dentist
Patients will need to see us for checkups to ensure that teeth are moving like they are supposed to. Fortunately, since the aligners are made at the beginning of the procedure, these appointments are less frequent than if you were wearing metal braces. With traditional braces, a metal bracket is placed on each tooth, and a wire is threaded between them then held in place using rubber bands. The wires need to be adjusted on a regular basis in order to keep teeth moving in the right direction. This requires frequent office visits. For people with busy schedules and a hectic life – this is inconvenient, and any delay in appointment scheduling can prolong the timeframe that braces need to be worn for. As an Invisalign® dentist, we see patients less frequently because the checkups are not to adjust anything, just to make sure that the procedure is working. This is far more convenient for patients throughout the Chicago area.
For most patients living in the Chicago IL area, the procedure takes around twelve months. The exact timeframe will depend on your situation, and only our team can tell you how long they will need to be worn. Overall, the treatment time can be less than with metal braces. This is in part because you do not have to schedule appointments to keep your teeth moving. Simply pull out a new aligner.