Invisible braces are a system of clear aligner trays that are custom-made to fit over your teeth and straighten them over time. You can remove them to eat or brush, and all you see while you’re wearing them are the smooth plastic trays that fit against your teeth. The aligners are custom-designed to fit your mouth. The aligners fit tightly over your teeth and are made through a combination of BPA-free plastic and polyurethane. The aligners apply targeted pressure to the teeth, moving them into place. If you are planning to get Invisalign treatment, here are some of the questions you should ask your orthodontist.

  • How does Invisalign® work?

The short answer is that they work the same way traditional metal braces do – by applying pressure to the teeth in order to move them into the correct alignment. However, unlike traditional metal braces, which use wires and brackets to apply that pressure, invisible braces are instead made of hard plastic that is custom-molded for each patient. Every two weeks or so, you’ll switch out your aligners with the next pair in the series. Each aligner is individually manufactured to fit your mouth at each stage of the alignment process. And they can be considered “invisible” since they’re designed to be unobtrusive while being worn over your teeth. Depending on the amount of correction needed and the specifics of your case, you may have to wear your clear braces anywhere from a few months up to a couple of years.

  • How long will I have to use my Invisalign® aligners?

Treatment with Invisalign® typically takes a year or less for most patients. The exact length of time varies from patient to patient depending on a number of factors, including age, the severity of the case, and the patient’s compliance.

At your initial consultation, your dentist will go over the length of treatment with you in detail based on your unique needs and goals. Consider asking the following questions during your consultation to help you understand what may lengthen or shorten your time in treatment.

What factors affect the length of treatment?

Every patient’s case is different; therefore, patients can anticipate that treatment length also will vary from patient to patient. Some common factors that can affect treatment time include the number of correction trays needed to achieve the ideal result, how often you wear your plastic aligners, and how compliant you are with using your aligners as directed. The more you wear your aligners as instructed, the sooner you can complete the prescribed course of treatment.

How frequently do I have to wear my aligners?

Patients should wear their aligners nearly all of the time during all waking hours except when eating, drinking hot liquids, brushing their teeth, or flossing. The aligners are removable and should be worn for at least 20-22 hours a day to ensure the teeth move properly into the correct position. Compliance is vital to the success of Invisalign® treatment, and failure to wear aligners as directed can increase the length of a patient’s time in treatment.

What are realistic expectations as far as how long I can expect to be in treatment?

While every patient’s treatment time will be unique to them, the average time for most adult patients is around one year. For younger patients, the length of treatment may be shorter. However, every dentist will be able to tell you what to expect based on

  • What can disqualify me from getting Invisalign®?

Not everyone is a good candidate for Invisalign®. If you have any of the following issues, traditional metal braces may be the better option for you:

  • You have severely misaligned teeth or jaw problems.
  • You have a TMJ disorder.
  • You grind your teeth frequently.
  • You have severe tooth decay that your dentist needs to address first. You are a smoker.
  • You have a severe gag reflex that would be aggravated by wearing removable aligner trays.

However, if none of these apply to you, you may be a candidate for the Invisialign process!

  • Is Invisalign® better than conventional braces?

There are many benefits of Invisalign® compared to traditional metal braces. For one, the aligners are removable and won’t disrupt your eating habits during treatment. Conventional braces also pose the same problems as metal wires can break, and brackets can irritate or cut the inside of your mouth. The smooth plastic of Invisalign® won’t cause abrasions or cuts to the inside of your cheeks and lips. Finally, you’ll only have to visit the dentist every four to six weeks for an adjustment instead of weekly visits with metal braces.

To learn more about orthodontic treatment options, visit our Daniel Tebbi, D.M.D. office at 16661 Ventura Blvd Ste 620, Encino, CA 91436, which is quite close to Sherman Oaks 91403, 91495, 91423, Studio City 91604, Van Nuys 91436, 91411, and Reseda 91335. You can also reach us at (818) 789-2034. 

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