Looking at a single Invisalign aligner, you may be confused as to how something so simple could straighten your teeth. But the system actually relies on a sequence of several custom-made aligners switched out weekly to accomplish moving teeth into the desired positions.
With Invisalign, the force needed to move the teeth is generated by the flex of the resilient plastic over the teeth. Since each tray can only move the teeth a set amount and at a set speed, the further your teeth need to move to reach their optimal position, the greater the number of aligners you’ll need. Essentially, your teeth begin a position 0. Your first aligner will get you to position 1. You second aligner will take you to position 2, third to position 3, and so on. This process will be repeated until your teeth have completed all the movements predetermined by your orthodontist.
The Invisalign process
At your initial consultation (we offer this to new patients at no cost!) your doctor will discuss your needs and evaluate whether Invisalign treatment is right for you. After we have determined that Invisalign is the right treatment choice for you, we can begin the exciting process of designing aligners specific to your smile!
First, we’ll take detailed impressions of your mouth using our awesome iTero Element scanner. This works by scanning each of your teeth and the layout of your gums and mouth. In about fifteen minutes or less, it provides us with an extremely accurate 3-D view of your mouth.
Once the scan is complete, Dr. Henneberry will map out a precise treatment plan, one that includes the exact movements of your teeth and how long he expects your treatment to be. He’ll view the images with you, and you’ll be able to see how your teeth will move. You’ll even get the chance to preview your new smile!
Next, your custom aligners are created. These will be made of Invisalign’s special SmartTrack® material. They’re virtually invisible, which is a huge plus to image-conscious patients who want a less noticeable treatment option! Most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them. The plastic trays provide a comfortable fit, and that’s a good thing, since the most efficient treatment and outstanding results rely on you wearing them for 20-22 hours every day. The total number of aligners worn during Invisalign treatment is usually somewhere between 10 and 48, with the total treatment time averaging between 5 and 15 months.
As you go through each set of aligners, your teeth will gently and gradually shift into their new, desired positions. We normally recommend that you begin wearing a new set of aligners every week, and schedule check-ups with our Stillwater Oklahoma office every six weeks or so.
At each and every stage, you’ll be able to see how your smile is progressing!
Dr. Henneberry will explain in great detail how he expects Invisalign to work in your individual case during your initial consultation with us. Invisalign has also provided us with this informational video to show potential patients how their treatment works.