Before getting Invisalign, it is important to have a nodding acquaintance with the procedure to avoid unnecessary surprises mid-treatment. Remember, this is a treatment that will require months of commitment and doctor visits and something you will need to be mentally prepared for.
While procedures may slightly vary depending on the orthodontist performing the treatment, most of the primary steps are identical across orthodontic practices. Read on for all the stages involved in a typical Invisalign treatment procedure.
Consultation is the initial stage of any orthodontic treatment. In Invisalign treatment, it may consume a whole separate appointment. Your orthodontist will explain the procedure to you and let you in on possible risks and what to expect at the end of the treatment. You will also get to ask questions and be informed of alternative treatments, if any. Both you and your orthodontist must agree that Invisalign is the most suitable treatment for you before proceeding with the procedure.
Unlike alternative treatments such as braces, the Invisalign trays used on you are custom-made to address your specific problem.
Your orthodontist will use images and x-ray scans of your mouth to create impressions of your dentition and create a treatment plan for you. The impressions will then be sent to a lab where your aligners will be fabricated.
The fabrication of your aligners will commence immediately the Invisalign experts receive your impressions and treatment plan. It is thus important to show up for dental appointments as scheduled if you are to receive your aligners in time. Typically, the aligners are received at the orthodontist’s office around two weeks later. Your orthodontist will perform any necessary preparations on your teeth over this window.
Your orthodontist will contact you to inform you that they have received your aligners. Trays for the entire treatment period are shipped at the same time, albeit the orthodontist may decide to give you a few aligners at a time so that they can check your progress as you come for more sets.
Usage instructions are given during this appointment. Generally, the orthodontist will require you to wear each pair of trays for approximately two weeks before moving on to the next pair. Each set is designed to pick from where the previous aligners left, so it is crucial to ensure you don’t mix the order up.
Invisalign trays are removable for up to 2 hours each day. It is highly recommended that you minimize removal to avoid compromising the treatment procedure.
Treatment periods will vary based on the severity of your malocclusion but the end result will always be the same: a smile you will be proud of!
You may need to wear retainers at the end of the treatment to retain teeth in their new alignment, but this will depend on several factors which your orthodontist will talk to you about.