Invisalign is an orthodontic system that uses clear plastic trays or aligners to straighten teeth instead of brackets and wires used by metal and ceramic braces. Invisalign can be used in teens and adults, and the clear design means they’re nearly invisible while they’re being worn.
Invisalign treatment starts with impressions or molds of the patient’s teeth, and sometimes measurements and photographs, all of which are sent to a dental lab that specializes in Invisalign aligner fabrication. The impressions are scanned into a computer that uses computer-aided design and drafting technology to create a series of 3D models that show how the teeth need to shift during treatment to come into alignment. Then the aligners are made based on each patient’s specific needs using medical-grade plastic. During treatment, each aligner is worn for about two weeks, then it’s exchanged for the next aligner in the series. Patients visit the office about every six weeks to check on their progress. Most treatments can be completed in less than two years.
Invisalign has become an increasingly popular treatment for patients who want straighter teeth without having traditional metal or ceramic braces. In addition to being nearly invisible while they’re in place, they’re completely smooth, and there are no wires or brackets to irritate the cheeks or gums. Plus, they can be easily removed so it’s easy to brush and floss, and there are no dietary restrictions. Finally, the custom design means many patients can complete treatment in less time than with traditional braces.
Invisalign offers a solution for plenty of patients, but it’s not always the best option for all alignment needs. During the initial office visit, patients will be carefully evaluated to determine if Invisalign is the best option for their needs.
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