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Understanding the Invisalign Process Step by Step – A Quick Patient Guide

Posted on February 6, 2020

invisalign clear aligners

Most likely, you have heard of Invisalign before. Whether someone you know used it, or you just saw the commercial, you know that these clear liners are supposed to realign and straighten teeth.

If you are ready to jump on board and fix your teeth, you may have some questions about Invisalign. Whether you want to know how it works, if you are a candidate, or how your teeth will look in the end, you should schedule a consultation.

Are Invisalign Braces Right for Me?

man putting in invisalign clear aligners

Invisalign treats a variety of misalignments and malformations. They can help with multiple issues like:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Gaps in Teeth
  • Open Bite
  • Crowded Teeth
  • Unaligned Teeth

The only way to see if you are a true candidate is to schedule a consultation. For an initial consultation, you can meet with a local orthodontist, or visit an Invisalign store. During the meeting, x-rays and measurements will be made to determine if the trays will work for your teeth, but also to give you a better estimate of how long the process might take – and expected results.

Bottom line, if you want to avoid the use of traditional braces, you may benefit from Invisalign.

Everything You Need to Know About Invisalign Treatments

woman putting in invisalign clear aligners

Invisalign is the ideal solution for anyone wanting straighter teeth without the cleaning hassles and appearances of traditional, metal braces. While you wait for your consultation, you might have a few pressing questions.

Here are a few facts about Invisalign that might answer those questions for you:

1. The Treatment Time Depends on What You Are Correcting – and How Well You Follow Directions
One of the most common questions is “how long?”

The amount of time it takes for Invisalign treatments varies according to the starting position of your teeth, your desired results, and how well you follow directions. It is essential that you discuss how often you should wear the trays, when you can take them out, and when to change to the next-level tray to maximize results.
Typically, teens do not wear these trays as long as adults. As for the amount of time, you would wear Invisalign for anywhere from 12 months up to 24 months.

2. You Change Out Trays Regularly
Your first tray is indeed not your last. Instead, you change out your trays 1-2 weeks at a time. Each liner shifts teeth into place based on your specific treatment plan. The number of trays you end up using will depend on how long you need to wear them, and the extent of the treatment. Minor straightening will not need as many trays over the course of a year, while you might have more than 20 trays for longer, more serious treatments.

3. You Still Need Intermittent Visits to Your Invisalign Orthodontist
Just because you are using the liners, and following directions, doesn’t mean you don’t see your orthodontist. Instead, you must go back in for routine check-ups. Not only should you follow up with your regular dentist for your bi-annual cleaning, but your orthodontist needs to make sure that your teeth are moving correctly.
Expect to see your orthodontist once every 4-6 weeks at a minimum.

4. You Must Wear Your Invisalign Braces at Least 22 Hours Per Day
There is a common misconception that these liners can be removed at will. While it is true that you remove them to eat and brush your teeth, it is imperative they stay in as much as possible. Ideally, it would help if you had Invisalign trays in your mouth 22 out of 24 hours per day – with a minimum of 20 hours. You do not need to remove them to drink unless you are drinking hot liquids.

Yes, you sleep with them in, too.

5. What Are the Invisalign Steps for Getting Started?
The first step is to meet with an orthodontist or go to an Invisalign store near you for a consultation.
During the consultation, you should bring along insurance and information about your dental history. At the appointment, your orthodontist will discuss your concerns and what you expect from the treatment. They will also recommend a cleaning and quick dental check-up before starting. That way, if you have any unfixed cavities, they are repaired before starting the liners.

A Few Last-Minute Tips Before Your Invisalign Consultation

orthodontist describing invisalign clear aligners

To get the most out of your investment, here are a few last-minute tips to consider for your upcoming Invisalign consultation and once you have Invisalign at home:

  • Figure Out Payment: Not everyone can afford to pay for Invisalign right out of the gate. If you cannot afford the high upfront investment costs, talk to Lewis Orthodontics about our customized payment plans. A treatment coordinator may be able to set you up on a zero-interest plan that has affordable payments to suit your budget.
  • Consider Your Ability to Commit: Invisalign will not work if you don’t wear the liners for the proper amount of time each day, and if you fail to follow-up with your orthodontist. Consider how much you can commit to the Invisalign process, including check-ups, following the printed schedule from your treatment coordinator, and wearing your trays religiously each day.
  • Maintain Oral Health: Wearing a liner each day doesn’t mean you should skip regular oral health. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing should be done twice a day while wearing these liners. Also, try to rinse after each meal if you cannot brush before replacing your liner. Particles of food might become trapped in between teeth and will stay there with the tray blocking it in place.
  • Clean the Liners, Too: You will clean your trays just like you clean your teeth. Trays need cleaning in between eating, when you wake up, and before you go to bed to prevent bacteria from building up overnight.

Schedule a Consultation with an Invisalign Orthodontist in Edmond, OK

Are you ready to change your smile and skip traditional metal braces? If you think Invisalign is the right approach for straighter teeth, the first step is to schedule an appointment for a consultation with a treatment coordinator at Lewis Orthodontics.

Learn more about the Invisalign process or schedule your consultation for Invisalign treatment with Lewis Orthodontics today at 405-330-5095.

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