There is a new option for patients who wish for straighter teeth and a more functional bite without the unsightly “train tracks.” For the “ideal” patient – that is, the orthodontist believes good results can be achieved using this method for a particular patient – Invisalign provides a tooth straightening alternative. If surgery is required to help optimize orthodontic results, Invisalign will likely not be recommended for the aligning the teeth.
Invisalign treatment begins with a visit to a dentist who will make the referral to an orthodontist. There, the orthodontist will discuss whether or not Invisalign is an appropriate treatment plan and schedule an appointment to take molds of a patient’s teeth. These molds/impressions are sent to a lab where a system of mouth guard-style aligning devices will be fabricated, each one a couple millimeters different than the last until the ideal tooth position is realized with the final appliance. These appliances will be kept in your dentist’s or orthodontist’s office. (Some general or cosmetic dentists may also be able to initiate Invisalign treatment.)
Approximately every two weeks, the patient will visit their dentist or orthodontist, who will monitor the movement of the teeth and provide the next aligning mouth guard. The entire treatment from beginning to end takes about two years.
One of the downsides to this treatment, however, is that the person must commit to wearing each device 20 hours per day. They will not be allowed to eat and will only be allowed to drink water with this device in place. Once a person has eaten - after having removed the Invisalign device - they will be required to rinse if not properly brush their teeth to get rid of any food particles which may affect the precise, custom-made fit of the mouthguard and thus affect the alignment results. Not following these instructions can result in inadequate results.
The cost of Invisalign treatment varies from patient-to-patient, depending on the extent of alignment involved and how many alignment devices are required to achieve optimum results.
Invisalign can only be supplied and supervised by a qualified orthodontist or dentist.