Invisalign: What You Need To Know

What is Invisalign and how does it work?

Invisalign is a type of aligner system which helps to correct your smile without being visible. When you look at these aligners you might wonder how something that looks so similar to your bleaching tray could actually move your teeth but these trays are made up of a special type of thermoplastic resin that exerts transient force on your teeth to align them. It’s a pretty simple procedure wherein your orthodontist will take some special impressions, X rays and photographs and send them across to the Invisalign technicians along with the proposed treatment plan.

Here these impressions are scanned and a 3 dimensional model of your teeth and occlusion are created. Then based on the treatment plan sent across by your dentist, the technician digitally moves around these teeth to bring them to their desired position. This gradual movement from start to finish is made into an animated film called a CLIN CHECK video. This is where you as a patient get involved in your treatment plan as your dentist will call you in to show you this video, and you can either choose to accept the plan or make changes to it.

Invisalign are not fixed to your teeth and this is another bonus as you have no diet restrictions and it is also easy to keep your teeth clean.
Once we approve this treatment plan Invisalign then starts manufacturing the aligners using CAD/ CAM technology. We receive your aligners in a couple of days and that’s when your treatment starts. You will need to wear each aligner for 2 weeks and then shift to the next one till the desired result has been achieved.

What are its advantages over other orthodontic solutions?

One of the main drawbacks of traditional orthodontic treatment is its visibility. Most adults have job constraints and social situations like weddings etc. which makes them reconsider undergoing fixed orthodontic treatment. This is where Invisalign has a huge advantage because it promises to straighten your teeth without affecting your life. The clear plastic trays are hardly visible when compared to the metal train tracks. They do not affect your speech and are very comfortable to wear.

Invisalign are not fixed to your teeth and this is another bonus as you have no diet restrictions and it is also easy to keep your teeth clean.

Who are the best candidates for Invisalign?

Invisalign can be used on most adults and teenagers to align teeth. However there are certain cases which require more precise tooth control, for example closure of extraction space, impacted teeth, teeth with poor bone levels. These situations demand more control over tooth movement which is difficult to achieve with a removable aligner. Such cases are best treated with fixed orthodontic treatment or a partial fixed treatment along with Invisalign.

Also, patient compliance is of upmost importance in achieving successful results with Invisalign, and if you think you are not going to be responsible with wearing removable aligners we recommend you go in for fixed braces instead.

Can any dentist do Invisalign?

Like any conventional orthodontic treatment, the most important part of getting Invisalign is proper diagnosis and treatment planning. Even though the aligners are manufactured in a lab by a technician the instructions and treatment plan are given by the treating dentist.

A specialist orthodontist with experience in using not only Invisalign but other treatment systems may have a broader approach that would serve you well – particularly if your treatment needs are complex. In this case you will have the option to choose between Invisalign, lingual braces or conventional braces depending on what is best suited to treat your case.

I suggest arranging a consultation and selecting the person to do your treatment based on your comfort with not only the doctors, but also their office atmosphere and staff. Choose the one in which you feel you have the most confidence!

What can I expect on my first appointment for Invisalign?

Your first appointment is a standard consultation appointment where in the orthodontist will see your case and speak to you to understand what your concerns are. Also on this appointment we will take your diagnostic records – X rays, Study models and photo graphs. After studying these records a treatment plan is made which is best suited for you. If you are a suitable case for Invisalign the next appointment will be scheduled to take the Final impressions and bite registrations which are then sent to Invisalign.

How long does it take?

Once the final impressions have been sent, it takes approximately 7-10 days to get your Clin Check video and once this has been approved, another 7-15 days to receive the aligners.

How often should the patient see the dentist?

Unlike conventional orthodontic treatment where you will need to see your orthodontist every 4-6 weeks for adjustments, your appointments will be fixed according to your treatment plan. You will need to see your dentist if any IPR (Interproximal reductions) need to be done or if any attachments need to be placed.

This makes it super convenient for patients who travel around for work to get this treatment. We recommend our patients to come in every 6-8 weeks if possible to make sure everything is going according to our plan and also to make sure you are motivated to keep wearing your aligners.

How often should the aligners be worn?

Aligners are worn for a minimum of 22 hours for 2 weeks before shifting to the next aligner. You do not wear the aligners while eating or drinking anything colored, besides that you wear them all the time.
Invisalign has a huge advantage because it promises to straighten your teeth without affecting your life.

How comfortable is the treatment?

Invisalign is the most comfortable way to align your teeth as there are no metal brackets or wires involved. They do not affect your speech and are very easy to put on and remove.

What happens after the treatment is made? Do I wear retainers after treatment?

Teeth have memory and they tend to go back to their original position, hence it is important to retain them in place after any form of orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign provides you with 3 sets of removable Vivera retainers which need to be worn at night. Along with this we also give you a set of fixed retainers for both arches.

I have braces and I want to get Invisalign. Is this possible?

Yes you can. We can always remove your existing braces and start off as a new case.

I have missing tooth/teeth. Can I still get Invisalign?

Yes you can still get Invisalign treatment if you have missing tooth/ teeth. The treatment plan can involve closing this space up or we can maintain this space for future implant or bridge placement.

The good part is we put a tooth colored coating on your aligner to cover up the missing tooth space so there are no visible gaps during your treatment.

What are the payment options?

The charges for Invisalign are determined by complexity of the case, an easy case will require fewer aligners and adjustments and hence cost much lesser than a more complicated case. The charges also vary from region to region; charges in Dubai are fixed by Invisalign Middle east and may vary from charges in other country.

We do however provide flexible payment plans for this treatment. The charges are broken down and paid in installments till you have finished with your aligner treatment.

Dr. Teertha Karnakar
MDS, Specialist Orthodontist, India
Jumeirah Clinic, Dubai

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