Invisalign Step-By-Step Procedure
While Invisalign may not seem like a fairly new procedure, and, instead, one that’s been in the orthodontic toolbox for some time, the company itself is only 20 years old. Although, since gaining mainstream acceptance around 2004, with new innovative technology emerging within the field, the idea of clear, removable plastic trays to straighten your smiles now accounts for 6% of teen orthodontics and an impressive 31% of adult orthodontics.
It’s not at all a shock as to why such a phenomenon has become such a popular procedure within many dental practices across the globe – and particularly one here at Procopio Towle Dental Office, Invisible trays that are discreet, removable and pain-free? It’s as if the orthodontic gods answered all our prayers.
Consequently, to shed light onto this popular dental procedure, here is a breakdown of the Invisalign procedure.
The Invisalign procedure often starts with an in-depth consultation with your Orthodontist or Invisalign Specialist. Asides from the clinical considerations based on a patient’s overall health, at this stage we will determine whether a patient is able to keep their trays in for almost 24 hours a day and whether the likes of train tracks may be a more suitable option (particularly amongst children). This particular method of realignment is not recommended for children as it requires regular compliance, and is, therefore, most commonly used for teenagers and adults. The best candidates for Invisalign are those with mild to moderate misalignment of the bite and dental arch that can easily be addressed with this treatment.
The consultation will also cover the overall cost of the dental procedure, as well as outlining any insurance coverage if required.
Creates an Invisalign Plan
Once we have all agreed that Invisalign treatment is a desirable option for you and your teeth, we take x-rays, photographs and impressions of your mouth. We will take polyvinyl siloxane (PVS) impressions and these record molds can be sent to the aligner tray laboratory, who then fabricate a series of aligners for the entire treatment. These are designed to fit precisely over the dental arch to straighten your teeth. Once Invisalign laboratories have utilized computers to create 3-D renderings of your teeth, this information is stored within our own dental office computers.
There may be a back and forth process between the office and laboratory regarding Invisalign adjustments until we are completely satisfied with the trays to then start the overall procedure. Perfection is key to much of our work.
Wait for your Aligners
In terms of the tray aligners, it may take a month or so for them to be properly sculpted to fit your mouth. After that, each aligner tray is worn for approximately two weeks during which the next tray in the series is used. This sequence of trays may be anywhere from 8 trays to 48 trays, depending on the severity of the misalignment and the compliance by patients.
Wear Your Aligners
Next, Patients will come to our dental office in Walnut Creek when the aligners are ready, and we will give them to you. They are all different and are meant to be worn in a specific order. As aforementioned, each aligner should be used for two weeks. The number of aligners that you’ll need will depend on how complex your treatment plan is. Usually, you’ll have one aligner for every two weeks of treatment. It’s imperative that you wear your retainers between 20 and 22 hours every day.
As your treatment progresses, each new aligner will serve to bring your teeth into straighter positions. You can take out an aligner to eat or brush, but otherwise, you should basically always be wearing one during the treatment process. If you don’t, your teeth movements won’t progress according to plan, and as you put in new aligners, they won’t fit correctly.
When the last of your Invisalign trays have been worn for two weeks, you may have completed the whole teeth aligning process. Although, more often than not, a few teeth might still need some minor adjustments to create the perfect smile. Our dental specialists here at Procopio Towle Dental Office will inspect your teeth to assess the overall results. In some cases, we may create a few more “refinement” trays, if required.
Once your treatment is complete you’ll be given removable retainers. Before you stop wearing your Invisalign braces we’ll fit a discreet fixed retainer behind your teeth, which will permanently hold them in place. At the same time, we’ll take impressions for a removable retainer, which will arrive back from our lab the following week. Your removable retainer will be very similar to your Invisalign aligners, but you will only need to wear it periodically at night.
And that’s it…
It’s a fairly straightforward, no-nonsense dental procedure that can bring amazing results, in a short and simple time frame.
For more information, call Procopio Towle Dental Office (925) 933-5677, today to find out how we can help create the perfect smile for you.