How does Invisalign work?

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Invisalign, or “invisible braces,” is a revolutionary new treatment in orthdodontics. Conventional braces require metal or ceramic brackets to be bonded to teeth to hold an “arch wire” in place. As the orthodontist progressively changes the tension in the arch wire, the teeth are slowly moved to their desired locations. While this method is tried and tested and works well, the “metal mouth” look and discomfort associated with braces deters many patients, especially adults, from seeking the orthodontic treatment that can give them better smiles or dental function.

The Invisalign system of invisible braces works without any brackets or wires and is equally and, in some cases, more effective than conventional braces in producing an aesthetic and stable orthodontic result. The Invisalign system uses a series of sheer removable aligners, similar to bleaching trays, which the patient needs to wear most of the day. These aligners, like retainers, while are easy to wear and almost unnoticeable though they cover the front surfaces of teeth.

The clear aligners generate forces on teeth similar to conventional braces. Each tray is designed from special Invisalign software, which uses computerized images of your teeth to design a series of trays, each tray causing a small force to shift the teeth slightly–about 0.25mm–to a more desirable position. Thus, when worn in succession, the teeth are progressively moved into alignment.

The Invisalign system actually virtually simulates the treatment outcome on the computer, which you can also see in the consultation phase, and actually see how the teeth will look after orthodontics. These computerized images are then used to produce the aligner series specifically for you. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks and an average patient would need about 18 to 30 aligners over a year to year and a half.

The Invisalign aligners are matchless in comfort because they can be removed while eating, brushing or flossing, so you enjoy your food more and oral hygiene is not a problem, unlike with regular braces. Plus you can smile without anyone noticing them, which makes them worth the higher expense when compared to regular orthodontics!

The Invisalign system works best for mild to moderate bite corrections and is well researched and clinically proven, but may not be suited to all cases. Visit your Dallas Invisalign dentist for a consultation to determine if Invisalign is the right orthodontic choice for you!