Invisalign is a modern approach to straightening teeth, as it uses a custom-made series of aligners specially created for each patient. So, no metal brackets and wires! The aligner trays are smooth and practically invisible, making them more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing compared to braces. As the trays are removable, activities such as eating, or a business meeting, are much more convenient. Invisalign will gently and gradually shift the teeth into place.
Invisalign is used to correct a variety of mild dental problems:
- Crowded teeth. When the teeth cannot fit comfortably or normally because there is not enough room in the jaw.
- Widely spaced teeth. Perhaps due to missing teeth or abnormal growth of the jaw, there is too much space between the teeth.
- Overbite. The upper teeth bite over the lower teeth.
- Mild relapse. This occurs after braces have been worn, and the teeth have shifted.
During an initial consultation, an impression of the teeth is made. The impression is then used to create a three-dimensional computer projection of how the teeth would be incrementally moved. This forms the basis of the series of custom-made aligners. Once the dentist has the set of aligners, they are generally dispensed in sets of one or two. Regular check-up appointments, about every four to six weeks, the dentist is able to properly manage the progression of the Invisalign. With each new aligner tray, the teeth move in small increments of approximately .25 to .33 millimeters. Though the aligner trays are conveniently removable, they must be worn for at least 20 hours a day. This is to assure the successful and proper repositioning of the teeth. Typically, should treatment be followed properly, Invisalign requires about 20 to 30 aligner trays, both for the upper and lower teeth. This generally equates to about one year, although is understandably adjusted based on the specific alignment problem.
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