Invisalign is an invisible and removable alternative to traditional metal braces that uses clear plastic aligners to correct your teeth into place. These aligners usually need to be worn for 12-24months, so it’s important to know exactly what you can expect from the process before you begin the Invisalign treatment.
Here’s what you need to know about Invisalign treatment before starting this dental procedure:
How does it work?
The Invisalign process begins with a set of impressions (3D moulds) of your teeth. These are created by the orthodontist and used to design your custom-made aligners. When you begin treatment, you wear a series of these aligners for periods of around two weeks.
The aligners work to gradually shift your teeth into place, correcting any issues that cause malocclusion (poor alignment). It’s important to have regular check-ups during treatment so that your progress can be monitored. Not only will the orthodontist provide updates on how you’re doing, but also detect any issues early in the process.
Who is Invisalign for?
While anyone can get Invisalign, some people are more likely to need it than others. Patients who have teeth that overlap or rub against each other might find that they need Invisalign or braces to correct their alignment.
Teens and adults with misaligned teeth often find they need Invisalign to keep their smile looking great as teens and adults are more social and Invisalign help with the appearance better than the traditional braces.
How much does it cost?
The cost of Invisalign varies based on the specific situation and length of the treatment. You’ll want to get a quote for an all-inclusive price, which includes everything: exams, x-rays, consultations, retainers, etc.
The average cost of Invisalign is between $6,500 and $11,000. Please be aware that each private health fund covers a different amount for Invisalign treatment, it’s always a good idea to check with your health fund directly.
How long does treatment take?
On average, most the patients undergo the Invisalign treatment for 12 to 24months. Some treatments are faster, and some take longer. The Invisalign system is designed to give you a perfect smile with minimal time in treatment.
If you work closely with the orthodontist, you may be able to speed up your results by following the orthodontist’s instructions carefully and wearing your aligners as instructed. If complications arise due to user error, treatment can become more complicated; with practice and attention to detail, though, most patients find that it isn’t difficult to complete their Invisalign treatment on time.
How to get the best results
There are a few things you can do to make sure your treatment goes as smoothly as possible. First, and most importantly, it’s important to wear your aligners for 20 hours a day (or longer). This means wearing them not only while you sleep but also when you go out in public. You should take them out when you brush your teeth and eat meals.
What can I expect in my first week of Invisalign?
During your first week of treatment, there may be some discomfort at first as your teeth settle into new positions; however, most people report that it subsides quickly and feels less noticeable.
How do I keep the aligners clean?
As the aligners are worn throughout the day, it is also important to keep them clean. Cleaning the aligners aren’t too hard by using a special toothbrush and cleaning agent. Once the aligners are thoroughly cleaned, give them a good rinse with lukewarm water.
When you take off the aligners while eating, good to put them away in the protective case to keep them clean. The protective case should be washed regularly as well.
What other cleaning solutions do I have?
Baking Soda is also a good alternative to use for cleaning the Invisalign tray. It can help remove the plaque that is built up inside the aligners. You could dissolve some baking soda into warm water and soak the aligners in for 30 minutes or so. But be careful not to soak the aligners for too long as the baking soda could be abrasive.
What happens after Invisalign treatment is completed?
After treatment is completed, your aligners will be removed, and you will wear a series of retainers to maintain your new smile. You’ll likely see some teeth movement right away, but slight shifting can continue for up to a year after treatment ends. It’s important to keep using your retainers as instructed by your dentist, especially during those first few months. Each time you replace them, they become more comfortable and natural.