Step-by-Step: How Invisalign Works and What to Expect

Invisalign Dentist Chicago IL
By Lakeshore Dental Studio

In recent years, advancements in dental technology have transformed the way we approach teeth straightening. Invisalign, a popular orthodontic treatment, has gained immense popularity due to its discreet and comfortable nature. If you’re considering Invisalign to achieve your dream smile, it’s important to understand how the process works and what you can expect during the treatment journey.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a modern alternative to traditional braces for straightening teeth. It employs a series of clear, custom-made aligners that are virtually invisible when worn. These aligners are designed to gradually shift your teeth into their desired positions over a period of time.

Step-by-Step Guide to Invisalign Treatment:

1. Initial Consultation: Finding an Invisalign Dentist

The journey begins with finding a qualified Invisalign dentist or orthodontist. Look for professionals who are experienced in providing Invisalign treatment. During the initial consultation, your dentist will evaluate your teeth and discuss your goals to determine if Invisalign is the right option for you.

2. Treatment Plan and Digital Imaging

Once your dentist confirms that Invisalign is suitable for your needs, they will use advanced digital imaging techniques to create a 3D representation of your teeth. This helps in planning the entire treatment process and predicting the movement of your teeth throughout the treatment.

3. Custom Aligners

Based on the digital imaging, a series of custom aligners will be created specifically for your teeth. These aligners are made from a comfortable and clear plastic material. Each set of aligners will be worn for about two weeks before switching to the next set in the series.

4. Wearing the Aligners

One of the key advantages of Invisalign is its discreet nature. You can wear the aligners throughout the day, and they are virtually invisible, allowing you to maintain your confidence while undergoing treatment. They should be removed only when eating, drinking (except for water), brushing, and flossing.

5. Gradual Tooth Movement

As you progress through the series of aligners, you’ll notice that your teeth are gradually moving towards their desired positions. Each new set of aligners applies controlled force to specific teeth, gently guiding them into place.

6. Regular Check-ups

During your treatment, you will have regular check-up appointments with your Invisalign dentist. These appointments allow the dentist to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that your teeth are moving as planned.

7. Maintenance and Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial during Invisalign treatment. Since the aligners are removable, you can easily brush and floss your teeth as you normally would. This prevents any plaque buildup and keeps your teeth and gums healthy throughout the treatment.

8. Completion of Treatment

Upon completing the series of aligners, you will likely require a retainer to ensure that your teeth remain in their new positions. Your dentist will discuss the retainer options with you to maintain the results of your Invisalign treatment.

What to Expect During Invisalign Treatment:

  1. Discomfort: Some discomfort or pressure is normal when you switch to a new set of aligners. This is a sign that the aligners are working to move your teeth.
  2. Speech Adjustments: You might experience a slight change in your speech initially, but you’ll quickly adapt and speak comfortably with the aligners.
  3. Compliance: Success with Invisalign depends on wearing the aligners for at least 20-22 hours a day. Consistency is key for achieving desired results.
  4. Lifestyle Impact: Invisalign aligners are removable, allowing you to enjoy your favorite foods without restrictions. However, maintaining proper oral hygiene and wearing them consistently is essential.
  5. Treatment Duration: The length of treatment varies depending on the complexity of your case. On average, Invisalign treatment can take anywhere from 6 to 18 months.
  6. Follow-up Care: After your treatment is complete, follow-up appointments will be scheduled to ensure that your teeth remain in their new positions.

Invisalign treatment offers a convenient and effective way to achieve a straighter smile without the visual impact of traditional braces. Remember, a successful outcome depends on following your dentist’s instructions and wearing the aligners as directed.

If you’re considering Invisalign, consult with a qualified Invisalign dentist to determine if it’s the right choice for you. With commitment and proper care, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the smile you’ve always wanted.