Not everyone who needs braces gets them, or wants them. Invisalign gives men and women the opportunity to get that radiant, aligned smile without the metal or fuss.
- 1 What is Invisalign?
- 2 How Invisalign Works
- 3 Benefits of Invisalign
- 4 What Can Invisalign Treat?
- 5 Invisalign vs Braces
- 6 Ideal Candidates
- 7 Before & After Photos
- 8 Consultation
- 9 Procedure Process
- 10 Taking Care of Your Invisalign Aligners
- 11 Invisalign Results
- 12 Cost
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a series of invisible custom-made aligner trays that gradually shift your teeth into place.
The aligner trays are made from a flexible and virtually invisible plastic material that is removable in order for you to enjoy the freedom of being able to eat and drink comfortably. There is no metal involved with Invisalign, which is why it is greatly preferred over braces by both adults and teenagers.
Invisalign prides itself on the minuscule impact the trays have on patients everyday lives. Invisalign allows you to eat any food without restrictions; you simply just remove the aligner trays and replace them when done. The aligner trays are easy to clean with either the Invisalign cleaning kit or warm water. Invisalign is comfortable, easily removable, and as the name implies – invisible!
How Invisalign Works
Invisalign works by shifting your teeth with controlled gentle force over an extended period of time until they are beautifully aligned.
Each tray is custom built with a patented thermoplastic material specially designed for Invisalign to address each patient’s specific case. Patients then replace their Invisalign trays every 6 – 8 weeks according to Dr. Kitchen’s or Dr. Ahmed’s sequential treatment plan. Each set of trays are slightly manipulated from the preceding set of trays to gently yet effectively adjust individual tooth position. Patients will receive 3 – 4 sets of trays at a time. This process is continued until your treatment plan is completed and ideal results are achieved.
It is normal for your teeth to feel slightly loose during this process. Invisalign slowly and gently shifts tooth position which are anchored in place by the tooth roots in your jaw bone. Because of this movement, you may be able to wiggle some teeth (however no where near the amount of a child’s loose baby tooth.) This slight movement is okay, but it is important to make sure that your teeth remain stable, so your doctor will create a custom plan to ensure your teeth are moving at an appropriate, safe rate.
Invisalign is continually advancing and adapting to new needs. The most recent improvement was the addition of Precision Cuts; this allows for the accommodation of elastics on the trays. For those who may need assistance with securing the aligner trays in place, Dr. Kitchen or Dr. Ahmed can place “ridges” on specific teeth to help the tray grip your teeth. These “ridges” are tiny pieces of enamel-colored composite that your doctor will place on your teeth so the trays can grip the bumps.
And one of the best things about Invisalign – there are no surprise results. Patients are able to see the full development of their teeth alignment and bite improvement via computerized progression. This allows for patients to know what changes to expect and when to expect those changes.
Benefits of Invisalign
- Customizable treatment
- No food restrictions
- No discomfort
- Easy to maintain
- Does not interfere with daily activities
What Can Invisalign Treat?
Underbite is a condition where the undergrowth of the of upper or lower jaw causes the lower teeth to poke out in front of the top front teeth. Missing upper teeth can also cause the onset of this condition. An upper bite can lead to tooth deterioration and joint issues if not treated.
Overbite is a condition where bad oral hygiene, bone overdevelopment, or genetics causes the upper teeth to bite over and cover the lower teeth. This can cause the lower teeth to wear and potential joint issues.
This genetic condition occurs when an abnormal jaw structure causes some teeth to not make physical contact with their opposer. This improper bite could also be onset by children sucking their thumb. Open bite can cause difficult or impaired chewing, thermo-mandibular joint disorder (TMJ), or speech impairment.
When the upper jaw and lower jaw are not properly aligned, some upper teeth can potentially be forced on the inside of the lower teeth. This condition can cause the teeth to corrode and decay from the friction and increase the likelihood of gum disease.
When the jaw continues to abnormally grow, gaps begin to grow between teeth. If you’re missing teeth, the surround teeth can begin to shift and fill the extra open space, also creating gaps. Teeth gaps can be harmful to your gums since the teeth are not there to protect them as they would normally in their natural position.
When the jaw is too small, teeth do not have enough room to properly fit. This often does not resolve itself if it remains present after teenage years, and can worsen with time. Not only can teeth overlap and become severely crooked, this condition can lead to the accumulation of plaque between teeth since most standard toothbrushes wouldn’t be able to reach under the overlapping areas. This can in turn lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Invisalign vs Braces
Office Visits Needed?
Length of Treatment
Invisalign is perfect for patients who have mild to moderate crowding or malocclusion. It is a popular method amongst many adults because they are able to straighten their teeth without the look of traditional braces, but both adults and teenagers are candidates.
Those who currently wear braces are able to switch to Invisalign if they desire and if the doctor believes the combination treatment will provide good results.
Patients who have already had braces but experienced a shift in their teeth can also benefit from Invisalign aligners. The only contraindications are those who have bridgework since this treatment involves moving teeth separately, and those not willing to commit to wearing Invisalign for at least 20 hours a day.
Please consult with one of our expert doctors in Alexandria, Virginia to see if you could be a good candidate for Invisalign.
Before & After Photos
During your private consultation with Dr. Kitchen or Dr. Ahmed at our Alexandria, Virginia location, you will have the opportunity to share the concerns you have with the appearance of your teeth and smile. Please also make mention of medical history and past surgeries. Your doctor will then perform an examination and take x-rays, and based on your cosmetic concerns and their findings, they will be able to assess your candidacy. Each treatment is completely customizable to treat each patient’s individual needs. Please feel free to ask any and all questions; they are highly encouraged. We want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible with the treatment and your decision to use Invisalign. Pricing will be address during your consultation as well.
To begin your Invisalign process, you will schedule a consultation with either Dr. Kitchen or Dr. Ahmed. Once your doctor determines that you are a candidate, they will then give you recommendations based on your comprehensive exam and x-rays.
We will take impressions and photos of your teeth to create a 3D image from which Invisalign will create a course of treatment, including movements of your teeth and length of treatment. You will receive your first three sets of aligners. As you wear your aligners throughout the day they will gradually begin to shift your teeth into the desired positions. The aligners are changed every two weeks until your treatment is completed. Invisible braces are a great way to straighten your teeth in a relatively short period of time without the irritation and discomfort of traditional braces.
Taking Care of Your Invisalign Aligners
- Please do not chew gum while wearing your Invisalign aligners; it will stick to them.
- There are no food restrictions during your Invisalign treatment, but do not eat while wearing the aligners.
- You can drink alcohol and sugary beverages with Invisalign aligners (although not recommended) but please take extra good care cleaning your teeth and the aligner trays after.
- Smoking while wearing the Invisalign aligners will stain them. Please remove them to smoke and clean your teeth well afterwards.
- Please make sure to clean your aligner trays thoroughly and continuously to ensure good hygiene and maintaining “invisibility.”
Results are not immediate but gradually develop every 6 – 8 weeks. You will need to come back into the office roughly every 4 – 6 weeks to make sure you are progressing as planned and receive your new aligner trays. Treatment length varies for each patient, but majority wear Invisalign aligner trays for about 1 year. Once your treatment is complete, you can expect a beautifully aligned smile that will undoubtedly catch everyone’s attention.
The cost of your treatment will be based on your specific needs and aesthetic desires, but Invisalign can range from $3000-$6000 depending on your individual case. Please feel free to contact us at our Alexandria office for a personalized quote and begin your journey to a radiant smile you are proud to show off.