You may have heard about Invisalign, the revolutionary system that allows you to achieve straighter, healthier teeth through a series of customized, clear aligners. Many people choose this option over traditional braces and other approaches because it corrects misalignment without having a big impact on your appearance. However, there are a lot of other advantages to consider, including the treatment length. At Dr. Cynthia Mikula, DDS in Bay Village, OH, we can answer all of your questions, including how long the process will take.
What Is Invisalign?
This treatment is an alternative to traditional braces that has become extremely advanced and popular in the last few years. Instead of wires and brackets, it uses clear, plastic aligners that fit over your teeth. These aligners are created in a series based on your treatment plan. As soon as you fit one, you change it out for the next.
The aligners gently nudge your teeth out of their problem places and into nice, straight rows. This adjustment happens gradually, allowing you to adjust comfortably. Since there are no wires to be tightened, most of the treatment takes place at home.
How Long Does the Process Take?
The treatment length varies from patient to patient, and ranges from 6 to 24 months. Most patients are on the shorter end of that spectrum. When you set up a consultation with us, we can take a look at your current misalignment issues and give you a more precise estimate of how long it will take for you, individually. The important thing to remember is that after the treatment, you can enjoy your straight teeth for a lifetime.
There is a misconception that this treatment will take considerably longer than others. In fact, several developments in the technology have made faster treatment times the norm. They include special attachments and superior aligner materials.
What Makes This Treatment Unique?
This system was created to make getting straighter teeth more appealing to those of us who don’t fancy the look or feel of metal brackets. It works well for adults who are reluctant to get braces and teens who are highly aware of how they look. We even offer this treatment for children.
At the end of the day, we all want our smiles to look great, both during and after our orthodontic treatment. This system has made that possible! Here are some of the benefits of Invisalign that make it unique:
There Is No Metal Involved
Traditional braces have come a long way recently, and there are lots of options that make them more comfortable. That said, there is nothing quite like eliminating the brackets altogether. Instead of binding one tooth to another, clear aligners fit over your teeth smoothly. The material used to make them is SmartTrack, which was specially designed for this treatment to perform with optimal comfort and effectiveness.
Your Smile Will Be Visually the Same Throughout the Treatment
One of the things some people worry about when they get their teeth straightened is how they will look throughout the process. With this treatment, you will look virtually the same! The clear aligners fit over your teeth snuggly and colorlessly. In fact, they are almost invisible.
It’s About Your Dental Health
The best part about getting your teeth straightened is that it benefits your health and your appearance at the same time. Misaligned teeth are behind many hygienic problems, including plaque, cavities, and gum disease. That’s because when they overlap, they are more difficult to brush, which allows food particles to stay trapped between them. In some cases, misaligned teeth can also cause headaches, bad breath, and other chronic issues.
Resolving your alignment issues will create an environment that is conducive to brushing and flossing correctly. It will support your daily care routine and help sustain good dental health for decades.
It Can Improve Most Alignment Issues
With more and more people looking to get this treatment, the technology behind it has grown to accommodate a wide range of orthodontic needs. Most people have a combination of issues that all need to be addressed. This treatment can resolve:
- Gaps in the teeth
- Overcrowded teeth
- Twisted teeth
- Other issues
One aspect of the technology that has contributed to its versatility is the addition of SmartForce Attachments. They look like small, tooth-colored chips that adhere to your teeth and increase pressure on the aligners in strategic areas. They enable more complex adjustments than ever before and have brought the Invisalign treatment on par with traditional braces for most patients.
Eating and Brushing Are Not Complicated Affairs
The clear aligners used in this treatment slip in and out of your mouth, giving you considerable freedom when it comes to eating and cleaning. For those activities, they can be completely removed. That means that you won’t have any food restrictions, and that you won’t have to worry about food getting trapped within wires. Also, it means you will be able to clean the aligners and your teeth separately.
They Are Very Safe to Wear
The SmartTrack material that is used for the clear aligners is highly durable and safe to wear. That means that the clear aligners are unlikely to pop or break. Plus, they can be removed for sports and other strenuous activities. That means you can continue all of your usual activities without even thinking about your orthodontic treatment.
The Treatment Time Is Comparable to Other Options
Years ago, when this treatment was first available, it was only used for mild cases and it took a little longer. Now, you don’t need to compromise speed, efficacy, and comfort. Since the release of the SmartTrack material in 2016, treatment times have been cut down by 50%. Plus, some patients now have the option to change their aligners every week instead of every two weeks.
Everything You Need To Know About the Process
From a technological standpoint, this treatment is one of the most modern systems available. Every aspect of it was designed to be state-of-the-art. Some elements that were developed specifically to take the technology to the next level include:
- The SmartTrack material
- The SmartForce Attachments
- The iTero Element scanner that is used to take impressions of your teeth
- The 3D printing of the aligners
Here are some details about how these elements optimize new technology for the benefit of your dental health:
It Starts With a Consultation
Your first step is to come in for a consultation, during which the current state of your teeth is evaluated. We will check to make sure your roots are healthy, and talk with you about your goals for the treatment. The next step is to take a series of images using the iTero Element Scanner. This piece of equipment allows accurate impressions without the use of goop or physical molds.
From the images, we will make a treatment plan that will gradually align your teeth. Getting there is a step-by-step progression from one set of aligners to the next.
You Will Get Groups of Aligners To Change at Home
The aligners are created using a 3D printing process and given to you one box at a time. Each box contains several aligners, to be switched out periodically depending on your treatment plan. The change can be done at home, meaning you save a trip to the orthodontists’ office.
A Few Check-Ups
In theory, the whole treatment can be completed without you ever coming in for any adjustments. However, we would still like to see you a few quick times to make sure everything is going according to plan. Once you finish one box of aligners, you can come in to pick up the next. At those times, we will do a brief check-in.
Schedule a Consultation
It is never too late to start the journey towards straighter teeth. Now, with Invisalign treatments available for children, it can also be started earlier than before. Whether you are interested in the treatment for yourself, your teen, or your child, it all starts with a free consultation. Give us a call today, and we will schedule a time at your convenience.
Straight Healthy Teeth Are a Few Aligners Away!
Straightening your teeth is one of the most impressive and impactful things you can do for yourself. It can give you greater confidence combined with better health, for life. Best of all, the process is not as complicated as you might think, and the treatment time is only 6-24 months. Contact Dr. Cynthia Mikula, DDS in Bay Village, OH today!