Both conventional metal braces and Invisalign can be used to treat crowded or crooked teeth, gapped teeth, overbites, underbites, and open bites. Broadly speaking, you can get the same results from the two options despite the differences in how these two work.
But given the choice between metal braces and clear aligners, most people would opt for the latter.
And it is fairly easy to see why.
Invisalign overcomes some of the hassles associated with wearing metal braces. These include gum and mouth irritation, difficulty in cleaning the teeth and gums, and eating difficulties.
But how exactly does Invisalign work? Here’s an overview of the treatment process.
Before your dentist recommends the use of clear aligners to correct your dental condition, he or she needs to determine whether you are an ideal candidate for the treatment or not.
Quite simply, Invisalign is not for everyone. The use of clear plastic aligners works best for mild to moderately severe cases. If your condition is classified as severe, your dentist may recommend the use of metal braces. This is particularly true if your jawline needs to be shifted or if your teeth need to be rotated.
If you are deemed to be an ideal candidate for Invisalign, your dentist will prepare a custom treatment plan for you. This begins with the use of a digital scanning system which creates a 3D image of your teeth. In some cases, your dentist may take physical impressions of your teeth.
Using these images, your dentist can now proceed to create a custom treatment plan for you. This treatment plan details the movement of your teeth as well as the timeframe for the treatment.
Both the images and treatment plan will be used for the fabrication of your clear plastic aligners. Upon receipt of your first set of aligners, you will be instructed by your dentist on how to use and care for these. The aligners need to be worn between 20 and 22 hours every day. You may remove the aligners only when you are about to eat or clean your teeth and gums.
The aligners are designed to gently shift your teeth toward the desired position. And as your teeth shift position, you will need to wear a different set of aligners and you need to come to the dental clinic for scheduled check-ups, usually every six weeks, to track your progress and receive your next set of aligners.