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Getting Started with Invisalign: What to Expect

May 05, 2023
Malocclusion, or teeth misalignment, is a common condition for children that leads many to wear dental braces. Invisalign has become a popular solution to help align teeth, so let’s help you learn what to expect from treatment.

Tooth problems are widespread, but tooth misalignment (malocclusion) affects up to 56% of people worldwide. It is more common in developing children and teens. Still, the issues with bite problems like overbite, underbite, crossbite, gapped teeth, and open bite can affect their ability to eat, speak, or breathe properly. Dental braces and aligners are a common solution to this problem, and there is a variety of them to choose from.

Invisalign is a popular type of tooth aligner because it is far less noticeable when treating dental issues. If you’re about to use this product for the first time, let’s look at what the process is like by examining how Invisalign helps teeth, its advantages over other braces, and what you can expect from the procedure.

If you live in the Sacramento, California, area, and you need to correct dental misalignments or other problems with your teeth. Dr. Peter Kim and his medical team at Sierra Oaks Dental can help you improve your smile and dental health.

How Invisalign works

Traditional bracing methods use brackets attached to the front of teeth, which are held together by wiring to create the pressure necessary to start moving teeth into their correct position. They can be affixed in the front and the back (lingual), and while the wiring is metal, the brackets can also be ceramic.

Invisible aligners like Invisalign take a different approach, using a tray made of a thermoplastic material that fits snugly on teeth and works over time to help bite problems. These trays are designed to create pressure on teeth to force them into their normal position, are worn most of the day (up to 22 hours), and are replaced regularly as treatment progresses.

Advantages over other dental braces

As the name indicates, Invisalign’s clear trays are far less conspicuous than normal braces, making them a popular choice for people who don’t want undue attention drawn to ongoing dental work. In addition, these aligners are also removable, so you can eat and brush your teeth without having to navigate the metal, ceramic, or regular braces. Studies have shown that this method is just as effective at treating mild malocclusion problems as regular braces, and they can often treat problems like the segmented movement of teeth more quickly.

What to expect from the procedure

The process will begin by getting a mold of your teeth, accomplished by doing a digital scan using a wand that goes over your teeth. Next, the resulting image will be used to create a 3-D image to help build the model of the finished teeth after the aligners have done their work. This leads to a treatment plan being created and sent to the lab to start creating the trays.

When the first tray is ready, dental attachments called buttons may be used to hold the tray in place and allow for tooth movement. Once they’re placed, they will be checked to be sure they fit correctly in the first few weeks. After that, new trays will replace the current ones every week or biweekly, and on average, you’ll wear them for around 18 months and start seeing changes in the first six months.

Invisalign is an effective solution to correct dental misalignment that allows you to get on with your life without awkward stares or other disadvantages of traditional braces. If you want to see what this method can do for your teeth, visit Dr. Kim and Sierra Oaks Dental today.