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How to Know if You Need Invisalign

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Young women holding Invisalign in hand while showing off teeth with a big smile

Misaligned teeth can be frustrating to deal with. Not only do they affect your appearance, but they can also cause significant damage to your overall oral health if they are not dealt with properly. Invisalign clear aligners are an effective solution to the problem of misaligned teeth — these aligners are virtually invisible and can help straighten your teeth out while remaining unobtrusive to your lifestyle and appearance.

If you are curious about Invisalign treatment, book an appointment at Maplebrook Dental to receive a consultation where more information on the treatment plan will be available.

What is Invisalign?

The Invisalign treatment process involves wearing a series of clear, removable aligners that gradually work to straighten out misaligned teeth. Invisalign aligners do not have brackets, wires, or any of the restrictive design elements of metal braces. The aligners are made from a flexible thermoplastic material called SmartTrack that was created exclusively for Invisalign treatment.

Invisalign clear aligners are virtually invisible and are completely removable at your convenience. You can remove your aligners to eat, drink, brush, and floss without any extra hassle. Since there are no intricate wiring or metal brackets involved like with braces, you will also not have to visit your dentist for any sort of emergency repairs.

Who is Invisalign for?

Invisalign can be for anybody — both adults and teens looking for an unobtrusive and effective method to straighten their teeth can benefit from Invisalign clear aligners. The technology and unique design process involved in creating Invisalign aligners allow any patient to receive a completely custom set of aligners that will work for their needs — whether it is simple or complex, Invisalign can correct nearly all common teeth-straightening and bite issues.

As we age our teeth become more set in their current positions making them harder (but not impossible) to straighten out. Invisalign is especially effective when the treatment starts at a younger age as it will be easier for teeth to be realigned.

If you notice these attributes, Invisalign might be right for you

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crowding 
  • Gaps

The Invisalign Treatment Process

Your Invisalign treatment process will begin with a consultation with your dentist at Maplebrook Dental. Your dentist will create your digital treatment plan through the use of unique technology that will allow them to map out every step that will need to be taken to straighten your teeth. Once the plan has been approved, the series of aligners that you will need during your treatment process will be created.

During this initial consultation, you should expect to discuss your teeth-straightening goals with your dentist while they examine your teeth in order to determine your specific needs. Your dentist may also want to talk to you about how long the treatment process will take for your needs and how much the treatment will cost. Your dentist might also recommend that you receive a dental exam and cleaning before you begin wearing Invisalign clear aligners.

Once the aligners have been created, each will need to be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours a day while changing to a new set of aligners every 1 to 2 weeks (or as directed by your dentist). Each aligner will be different, and when worn in their proper order, they will gently and gradually shift your misaligned teeth into their proper place according to your treatment plan.

How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?

The length of your specific treatment period will depend on multiple factors — these factors can range from how complex your misalignment issues are to how often you wear your aligners. You will need to have a conversation with your dentist t determine exactly how long your unique treatment plan will take; on average, Invisalign treatment periods usually take 12 to 18 months, but you may be able to start seeing positive results in a matter of a few weeks.

To achieve the most effective results, your dentist will schedule regular appointments with you to check on your progress once every 4 to 6 weeks. The goal of these checkups is to ensure your Invisalign treatment plan is progressing positively and to fix any sort of concerns or discomfort you may be experiencing due to treatment.

Close up of women wearing Invisalign to straighten teeth

How Do You Take Care of Invisalign Clear Aligners?

The best way to clean Invisalign clear aligners is with the Invisalign Cleaning System, but you can also take care of your aligners by brushing them with a toothbrush and toothpaste then rinsing them in lukewarm water. 

If you lose or break one of your aligners you should immediately contact Maplebrook Dental. Your dentist will help you stay on track with your digital treatment plan and may get you to wear a previous set of your aligners, wear your next set of aligners, or order new replacements aligners. All of your aligners should be ordered through Maplebrook Dental, as they are considered to be prescription items.

Written by Fotini Molnar

Dr. Fotini Molnar started her dental experience working as a dental assistant in a co-op program during high school. She went on to complete her Bachelor of Science, majoring in biotechnology at York University and then obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of Toronto. Prior to her career in dentistry, Dr. Molnar researched neuroblastoma at Sick Kids Hospital.
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