Do you rarely smile in photos because you’re embarrassed by your teeth? Or do you ever feel self-conscious when you’re laughing with friends? Maybe you never wore braces because they seemed uncomfortable or overbearing. Or perhaps you did wear braces, but the results weren’t to your liking. If you want to adjust mild to moderate dental problems discreetly, now you can with Invisalign aligners.
How are Invisalign aligners different from braces?
Braces can work wonders on more complex or severe dental malocclusions. Using metal or ceramic brackets, rubber bands, ligatures, and archwires, traditional orthodontic braces move teeth into position over many months and sometimes years. They apply steady yet forceful pressure on the teeth and mouth, thereby causing incremental changes every month. They can alter even severely crooked, gapped, or misaligned teeth. Braces can even correct serious overbites and underbites. However, braces are not the best option for everyone who has dental issues.
Invisalign aligners, on the other hand, are perfect for patients who wish to make mild to moderate changes to their teeth. They are also ideal for adults who wish to be discreet about their dental work. Invisalign aligners are made from thin, clear BPA-free plastic, so they don’t stand out the way metal braces might. Similar to braces, Invisalign aligners place pressure on the teeth to incrementally move them. However, the amount of force placed on teeth is gentler than that of braces. Invisible aligners tend to be used more frequently by adults, while people of any age can wear braces.
How do aligners work?
When a patient decides they would like to use Invisalign aligners rather than braces, they will go through several steps to help them receive the best care possible.
Before you make a decision, you will meet with your dentist for a consultation. You will have the opportunity to discuss your wishes and hesitations if you have any. Your dentist will guide you regarding what type of treatment is best for you and the health of your mouth.
After you agree that Invisalign aligners are the right choice, you will go through a series of steps during treatment:
- Your dentist will take a digital scan of all your teeth using an intraoral scanner and use 3D technology to show you the transformation in your smile
- Based on the images and your goals, Invisalign and your dentist will work together to make custom-fit aligners. These aligners will be tailored to your mouth and dental needs. No two sets of aligners are the same!
- Once your aligners are prepared, you will return to your dentist’s practice for fitting and discuss how to use them properly. Your dentist will ensure that each plastic aligner in the first set fits precisely on your teeth. You want them to be snug so that they successfully apply enough pressure. Your dentist will also walk you through the process of using your Invisalign aligners and help you know what to expect in the coming months.
- You will begin wearing your first set of aligners right away.
- The plastic aligners begin creating tension on your teeth and gums, stretching ligaments, and gradually moving the teeth into place.
- You will switch your aligners every 1-2 weeks.
- Your dentist will let you know when to return for periodic appointments.
- After completing treatment with Invisalign aligners, you may need to wear a retainer to prevent your teeth from reverting to their former position.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
Because you are ready to improve your smile and feel self-assured everywhere you go, you’re probably asking yourself, “So, how long does Invisalign take?” The good news is, it may take less time than traditional braces, but there is no set time frame for how long Invisalign takes. Let’s explore why.
Invisible aligners are customised for every person who uses them. Moreover, your teeth might require many modifications or just a couple. What’s more, the way you approach your treatment will also impact how long treatment will take. If you only wear your invisible aligners for 20 hours a day, it will take much longer to see results. On the other hand, if you keep your aligners in at all times except when eating or brushing your teeth, they will work more efficiently. On average, patients who require mild modifications and wear their aligners 22-24 hours a day can complete treatment in 10-20 months.
In essence, there is no direct answer to the question “how long does Invisalign take?”. However, your dentist can give you a more specific timeframe based on your unique situation.
There is no reason to hide from the camera or shy away from smiling openly. If you have mild to moderate changes you’d like to make to your teeth, Invisalign aligners can help.
If you would like to learn more about Invisalign or any of our other treatments, talk to our friendly LV Dental staff at LV Dental by calling us on (02) 9158 6373 because we love making you proud to smile!