What You Need to Know about Invisalign®

Invisalign Orthodontics®, patient holding braces and Invisalign

How happy are you with your smile? There has never been an easier time to straighten your teeth and get the impeccable smile you’ve always wanted with Invisalign®. At Sherwood Park Dental, our team has seen many clients transform their smiles with Invisalign® and we love to see them showing a full, confident smile to the world. Sherwood Park Dental wants to be your choice dentist in Sherwood Park for Invisalign® therapy and oral care.

There was a time no so long ago when orthodontic aligners were only available to orthodontists or those who performed services as cosmetic dentists, but these services have become more and more widely available to general and family dentists in Sherwood Park and across Alberta. To access this life-changing therapy, all you need to do is type “Dentist Near Me” in a Google search or refer to your regular dental clinic in Sherwood Park to book a consultation. If you do not already have a dentist in mind, take your time to read patient reviews. You don’t need to book the best dental clinic in Sherwood Park based exclusively on the opinions of others – but you should find the best dental clinic for your personal needs in terms of Invisalign® and beyond, and this is one way to gather information about a practice. Straightening your teeth may be a short-term goal but do consider your long-term dental goals, too.

This consultation is your opportunity to discuss with your dentist whether Invisalign® is an appropriate treatment for your alignment issues. First, your dentist will establish whether you have any contraindications such as bruxism or severely crooked teeth. Invisalign® therapy cannot deal with complex conditions, though it works very well for mild and moderate concerns. Complex alignment problems often require traditional dental braces to achieve alignment success. Bruxism is a condition that causes grinding and clenching of the upper and lower teeth together during sleep. The bite forces that can be produced with nighttime clenching has been known to break teeth, so thin plastic aligners are likely to be warped or broken within a few nights of wear. In order for Invisalign® to be successful, bruxism should first be addressed.

During your consultation, your dentist will take a 3-dimensional photograph of your teeth using an oral scanner. This scan is painless and emits extremely low levels of radiation compared to traditional X-rays. The images will be brought up on a screen where your dentist can review and plot the likely trajectory of the alignment process with Invisalign®, offering you a sneak peek into your smile’s potential.

If you decide to move forward with Invisalign®, you can expect your treatment period to last between 12 and 18 months. Following that period, it will likely be recommended that you continue to wear a retainer at night in order to prevent any teeth shifting.

The Process

Invisalign® technology uses a tightly fitting set of clear aligners which sit over the upper and lower arches. The aligners are made to put gentle but continuous pressure on each tooth to begin the process of shifting the tooth. Unlike traditional braces, adjustments to Invisalign® aligners happen more frequently (approximately every two weeks) and they are gentler. Aligners do not cause the level of discomfort that is associated with metal braces adjustments.

As you wear your aligners, your teeth will be guided into place incrementally. Each time you change aligners, they will move a little further into place.

The Aligners

The day your aligners arrive is an exciting day! You can expect to receive up to 30 pairs of aligners, all neatly arranged. You will wear these aligners in sequence, keeping your most recent pair in the event that you lose your aligners. Yes, these aligners are so thin and so clear that they are as camouflaged on a napkin as they are on your teeth! Because of this, we recommend that only those of responsible age take on the responsibility of an Invisalign® treatment routine.

The Routine

Your aligners will be with you at all times during your treatment, either in your mouth or your carrying case. Invisalign® requires 22 hours of wear for each 24-hr period – and those two hours between account for time out of the mouth for eating and cleaning. Every time you eat or drink anything other than water, your aligners must be removed and replaced over clean teeth. Failing to remove aligners for eating traps bacteria against the teeth and results in gingivitis (gum disease) and cavities. The good news is that while your aligners are out, you can eat whatever you want… as long as your teeth are clean when you replace them. It is important to note that dental checkups are very important during treatment to ensure that your teeth continue to be healthy while wearing aligners. Follow all the rules with Invisalign® and you can expect a healthier mouth and a straighter smile.

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