Poorly spaced teeth, overcrowding, and a misaligned bite are common problems among teenagers and adults, including those who may have undergone traditional orthodontic treatment in the past. Braces are a standard solution for malocclusion problems, but one that, frankly, most patients wish to avoid. The thought of clunky and uncomfortable metal brackets and wires, along with months of treatment, is something that most patients find unappealing. Fortunately, Invisalign® aligners offer a more comfortable and convenient alternative to braces, and one that is completely free of brackets and wires. What many patients find even more surprising is that, through Invisalign® treatment, patients can achieve teeth straightening results in about the same time as they would with traditional orthodontic treatment. At Bell Dental, we discuss the Invisalign® treatment timeline with our Lake Jackson, TX patients, and help them determine if this is an appropriate treatment option for them.
Step 1: One-on-One Consultation
The first step in the Invisalign® treatment process is a one-on-one consultation with one of our cosmetic dentists. Our dentists have experience and training in the Invisalign® process, and are able to determine which patients are ideal candidates for this treatment technique. We will examine the teeth and gums, discuss the patient’s goals of treatment, and assess the degree and type of malocclusion problems that are present in order to ascertain if the patient should proceed with Invisalign® treatment.
Step 2: Personalizing a Treatment Plan
If a patient is a suitable candidate for Invisalign®, the next step of the treatment timeline will be to personalize a specific treatment plan. This is one of the most important steps of the Invisalign® process, as it allows for the creation of a series of Invisalign® aligners that will address the exact needs of each patient. To ensure that the unique needs of each patient are met, we will use computer-generated images and a digital impression of the bite to fabricate each personalized Invisalign® aligner.
Step 3: Receiving Your Aligners
Within a few weeks of creating a personalized treatment plan, patients will receive their Invisalign® aligners. When the aligners arrive, patients will come to our office to ensure that the aligners fit properly, and to go over the specifics of how to wear and care for the aligner trays. Invisalign® treatment uses clear, plastic aligners that are worn over the teeth for the majority of the day. While they may be removed for brushing, flossing, and eating, it is imperative to the success of treatment that they are worn for at least 20 to 22 hours each day.
Step 4: Progressing Through Your Aligners
Although Invisalign® aligners do not use metal brackets or wires, they are able to provide the pressure that is necessary to shift the teeth and correct the bite. In order to ensure that adequate pressure is placed on the teeth throughout treatment, patients must progress through a series of aligners. On average, patients switch to a new set of aligners every two weeks. The number of aligners that are needed will vary from patient to patient, but most are able to achieve straighter teeth and a more attractive smile after about 12 to 18 months of treatment, roughly the same timeframe as braces treatment.
At Bell Dental, our experienced team of dentists offers a range of cosmetic dentistry treatments to help our patients achieve the straight, beautiful teeth they desire. If you wish to enhance your smile and would like to learn more about how these services can help, please contact us at your earliest convenience.