Clear aligner therapy, colloquially known as Invisalign treatment, is an excellent orthodontic treatment option for our adult patients.
They offer the highest degree of aesthetics, allowing our patients to straighten their smiles discreetly and comfortably. Best of all, our orthodontists are in complete control of your treatment as they design your aligners in-house. That means you can rest easy knowing the expert who knows your smile best has crafted custom aligners to meet your smile goals.
What is aligner therapy?
Aligner therapy is known as the clear alternative to braces. Using a series of clear, plastic aligners, teeth are gradually moved to their ideal locations to create your perfect bite and smile. The aligners are virtually invisible, allowing you to straighten your smile without drawing any more attention to your orthodontic issue while doing it. They are also removable, so you don’t have to worry about altering your diet or dental hygiene routine.
How do aligners work?
Through a series of clear aligners, your teeth will gradually be guided to their ideal locations. Our aligners are crafted in-house by our orthodontists, giving them the highest degree of customization. Each tray fits snugly over the teeth and is calibrated to achieve a certain tooth movement. After approximately two weeks, patients will switch to the next set of aligners in their series. At the end of your treatment, your aligners will have guided your teeth to their ideal locations and corrected your bite relationship.
How long will aligner treatment take?
When it comes to the amount of time orthodontic treatment will take, the answer, just like the treatment, is individual. The amount of time you will spend in aligner treatment is dependent on the amount of tooth movement required as well as your specific bite relationship. Some patients only have minor issues to correct, and can see their treatment go by in only a few months. Others, however, have more significant issues that can take one to two years. After your consultation, we will discuss your estimated treatment time.
Braces vs. Aligners
At Westwalk Orthodontic Group, we use both braces and aligners are treatment options for our patients. They both have advantages and disadvantages, so we always encourage our patients to do their research and ask questions before making their treatment decision.
- More aesthetically pleasing and less noticeable to others
- Removable, so brushing and flossing is easy, and no dietary adjustments are required
- Made of smooth plastic so there are no brackets or wires to irritate the mouth
- Must always be removed when eating or drinking anything other than water.
- Require a higher degree of patient compliance and must be worn a minimum of 22 hours a day.
- Fixed to the teeth so patients don’t have to worry about remembering to wear them.
- Can accomplish orthodontic correction more efficiently in most situations.
- Can provide more control to alter the treatment if teeth are not moving as efficiently as planned.
- More noticeable, even with clear ceramic braces
- Must pay close attention to proper brushing and flossing to clean around brackets and wires
- Require adjustment to diet to avoid foods that could damage the brackets and wires.
How do I care for my teeth during aligner treatment?
An important component of any orthodontic treatment is taking excellent care of your teeth. Brushing and flossing is always important, but can be even more so during orthodontic treatment. Dental work needed from improper oral care can delay or alter your treatment.
Aligners are removable, making it easy to brush and floss your teeth properly. However, there are some other rules to follow during aligner treatment.
Never eat or drink anything other than plain water with your aligners in. If you drink with your aligners in, the liquid gets trapped between your aligners trays and your teeth. And if you’ve just had a sugary drink such as soda, that can wreak havoc on your smile.
In order to guide your teeth properly, the aligner trays must fit snugly over your teeth. Any damage to your teeth from cavities or demineralization can alter that fit.
Always remove your trays when eating or drinking. Then, brush your teeth before placing them back in. If you absolutely cannot brush your teeth, please rinse your mouth with water before putting the trays back in to wash away any remaining food or drink particles.
When brushing, we recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes and your tongue for 30 seconds two to three times daily. Floss thoroughly at least once a day. Always brush your teeth before bed, and don’t forget to maintain your regular dental check-ups.