What You Need to Know About Invisalign® Treatment

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What You Need to Know About Invisalign® Treatment - patient smiling and holding her Invisalign®

If you regret refusing to go through braces treatment as a teenager, as an adult you might be looking into Invisalign® as an alternative.  After all, the reason you refused was probably an aversion to the appearance of the metal brackets and wires. Now that Invisalign® therapy offers invisible aligners, straightening your teeth is back on the table for consideration.

At Fort McMurray Dental, we offer Invisalign® therapy as an alternative to traditional braces. Our dental clinic in Fort McMurray sees patients every day who have questions about the product and how it works.

What is an aligner?

An aligner is the mechanism that makes Invisalign® therapy effective. They are clear plastic trays that are made to the exact fit of your tooth placement. When the aligners are click into place over the teeth, they place selective pressure on strategic parts of the tooth. This continuous pressure over time encourages the teeth to drift into a new placement.

Is the aligner like a retainer?

Although Invisalign® aligners also clip into the mouth, the way you wear them is different. Your Invisalign® kit will come with all the aligners required for your treatment, which can be up to 30 pair. The aligners will be clearly labelled in numerical order and should be worn in this same order. Your dentist may instruct you to change your aligners every 2-4 months, depending upon their assessment of your progress.

Do the aligners hurt?

Invisalign® is among the gentlest ways to straighten your teeth, and as a result it is only suitable for treating patients with mild-to-moderate alignment issues. If teeth need to be turned, tilted or otherwise mobilized beyond the capacity of a thin aligner, metal braces will still be recommended.

Since aligners are changed more often than braces adjustments are typically performed, they can apply a more gradual pressure to the teeth. This typically leads to less inflammation and discomfort in the few days following a set change. Every dentist in Fort McMurray will tell you that discomfort associated with a new aligner lasts only 2-3 days before your teeth adjust a.k.a.move.

Do I need to see an orthodontist in Fort McMurray or, can I see a dentist near me?

If you have a regular family dentist near you, feel free to ask them about Invisalign® therapy. As technologies have improved, general and cosmetic dentists in Fort McMurray are providing more services such as orthodontic care. We recommend starting by booking a consultation. Your dentist will begin the consultation by reading and updating your dental chart and medical profile, in case anything has changed. They will likely perform a visual assessment of your teeth and take note of any restorations that could contraindicate an aligner program (like a bridge).If you have a history of grinding your teeth while you sleep, there’s a good chance that you’ll bite through, or crack, an aligner – this will be discussed.

The final step will be to take a 3-dimensional photograph of your teeth with a digital scanner. This scan only takes a matter of a minute or two. The digital scan will generate an image of your teeth from all angles and will give your dentist information about what is possible for your teeth with Invisalign®.

A Note on Price

Before you commit to Invisalign® in Fort McMurray, your dental clinic will want to confirm whether you are using insurance. If you do have coverage, your office can have a predetermination requested of your benefits company. This help ensure that there are no cost ‘surprises’ to the patient at checkout. Each patient’s program plan will vary according to any additional procedures required to facilitate treatment, like tooth filing.

How long is Invisalign® treatment?

Invisalign® treatments can vary from 6 to 24 months, but the average duration is between 12 and 18 months of continuous wear. Patients who are not compliant with the wear-time required are likely to extend their treatment period.

How to be Successful with Invisalign®

Invisalign® aligners, both upper and lower, must be worn a minimum of 22 hours per day. That’s because the only time that the aligners should be removed is when they are taken out to eat or brush your teeth.

Is Invisalign® for Children?

Due to the diligence required to maintain healthy teeth with Invisalign®, children are not candidates for this treatment. Aligners are so transparent that they are easily misplaced when they are removed. That’s why they should be placed in their carrying case while eating and they should not be replaced until teeth have been brushed and flossed following the meal. This is because Invisalign® aligners act like bacteria-cultivating greenhouses when placed over teeth along with bacteria and food debris. In order to keep your teeth healthy during Invisalign® treatment, extra-careful hygiene is required.

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