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invisalign-logoMany adult and teen patients are turning to Invisalign® to achieve an ideal smile and bite. The Invisalign® system involves a set of clear trays and often small attachments on the teeth to provide the pressure for teeth alignment.

People love Invisalign® for its near invisible appearance and the ability to remove the trays for eating and to easily maintain dental hygiene. I’ve done hundreds if not thousands of Invisalign® cases in my years of practice and various offices.

If you are just starting to research Invisalign®, here are the top 5 things that I tell my patients so they understand what to expect:

  1. Invisalign® is a tool I use to create an ideal smile and healthy bite. The Doctor provides the treatment plan to Invisalign® and is responsible for the patient’s result. It is critical to choose a provider that is qualified to diagnose and treat malocclusions (the clinical term for teeth and bite misalignment). I put a lot time and attention to detail into making tweaks and adjustments to the Clincheck (an industry term for Invisalign’s  plan for the patient’s tray production) to account for the way teeth move in the bone and how a patient’s bite is affected.
  2. Many cases require a procedure called Interproximal Reduction and most require small attachments on the teeth. If a patient is just learning about Invisalign®, they are often surprised to learn that the system often requires more than just clear trays. Interproximal reduction is a clinical term for reshaping the teeth with a stripping tool to open tight contacts between teeth. This is often necessary to create the space required for aligning teeth. Most Invisalign® cases also typically require small attachments to be places in specific locations on the teeth to create the pressure for ideal movement. These procedures are part of the Practioner’s treatment plan and therefore it is critical to choose a Provider with the experience to perform these orthodontic procedures.
  3. There will be some discomfort, drooling and possibly some slurred speech. Just like with traditional braces, the appliance takes some getting used to. There will be some discomfort as your teeth are shifting and moving in the bone. It shouldn’t be severe and it won’t last forever, but it may be uncomfortable in the first few days of each new tray. Don’t worry! That means it is working J. As for drooling and speech issues, it will subside. After getting used to their trays, many patients are surprised to find that it becomes uncomfortable and challenging to speak without their trays in!
  4. Yes, you really must wear the trays for 22 hours per day. Patients are often surprised to learn that the trays truly must be worn at all times other than eating or drinking for them to be effective. If a patient cannot comply, the result will be compromised. While most patients love Invisalign®, some may prefer traditional metal or ceramic braces to get the job done quickly and without having to think about it!
  5. Take care of your trays. You want to treat your trays like gold. Take them out to eat. Clean them with a toothbrush and lukewarm water. Without proper cleaning, your trays can harbor bacteria, start to smell bad, and become discolored. We provide a cleansing solution, but any denture cleaner will work. Do not use toothpaste or brush too hard as it can scratch your trays. If a tray breaks or cracks, contact us immediately so we can stay on track with treatment.

I’ve also created an Invisalign® Provider Questionnaire that will help you determine the qualifications and involvement of a Doctor when deciding what Provider to choose for Invisalign®.

Additionally, here is an Invisalign® Checklist that lists all the services included in the fee for Invisalign®. Use it to compare between Providers so you are sure to get the best patient experience and highest level of service.

If you are interested in perfecting your smile and bite, come see us at All-Star Orthodontics to learn about how Invisalign® can transform your smile. Consultations are always free!