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The world of orthodontics has changed dramatically over the last decade and this article deals with another major innovation. David Cashel, an invisalign practitioner in Glasgow tells us more in the following informative piece :

Everyone wants to be able to show the world a confident, bright smile.  Many people, however, feel insecure about their smile and wish their teeth were a bit straighter or healthier looking.  If this is the case for you, orthodontic treatment may be the solution to your problems.  When most of us here the word “orthodontist”, we think of the bulky metal braces children often wear, but there’s another treatment that can help address misaligned teeth without the discomfort or embarrassment of braces at approximately the same cost called Invisalign.

What is Invisalign

Invisalign treatment corrects teeth in a similar way to braces through clear Invisalign aligners that apply slight adjustments in increments.  Unlike braces which are cemented or bonded to teeth as metal or clear braces, aligners are made of nearly invisible polyurethane plastic that can be removed.  This removable function makes it possible to take them out for important social occasions, while eating, and for brushing and flossing teeth.

Benefits of Invisalign Treatment

Wearing braces can be embarrassing as a child, but even more so as an adult.  With the discreet look of Invisalign, your orthodontic treatment remains private and won’t effect your current image.  The aligners used are less sensitive than traditional metal wire and braces, meaning you won’t have to restrict your diet to protect metalwork.  Removable aligners also offer improved oral hygiene since it’s easy to clean your teeth.  They also provide a double function as a nightguard, protecting teeth from grinding or clenching habits.  Finally, Invisalign aligners are also made out of a soft, flexible material so they are comfortable to wear and won’t irritate soft tissues in the mouth.

The Invisalign Process

Invisalign clear aligners do the same job as braces, but instead of making adjustments to metalwork, you are given a new set of aligners in set intervals.  Aligners are created through specialized computer software that measures the exact amount of controlled force that will be needed to move your teeth into a better position to give you the best possible alignment.  Here’s how the Invisalign process works.

Consultation with Invisalign Provider

The first step in beginning any treatment is to schedule a consultation with and certified provider of Invisalign treatment.  During this initial consultation, the dentist or orthodontist will determine whether you’re a good candidate for the treatment.  Invisalign works very well for most teens and adults, but is not suitable for children whose teeth are still growing significantly.  This consultation is also your chance to ask any questions about the treatment.

Creation of a Customized Invisalign Treatment

Once you’ve been determined as a good candidate for Invisalign, the treatment process begins with the doctor creating a customized treatment plan for you.  This will involve taking x-rays, pictures, bite registrations, and impressions of your teeth, which are then used to build a digital 3-D image through a specialized computer software.  Using these images, the doctor can then create an exact treatment plan with incremental movements as well as estimate an approximate timeframe.  The doctor will also be able to show you a virtual representation of all stages of the process and the final result.  Though cases vary with every individual, typically most adults will follow a treatment plan that lasts roughly a year while adjustments for teens are comparable to traditional braces.

Receive Custom Aligners and Wear in Two Week Intervals

After the treatment plan has been set, you’ll be given a series of custom-made, clear aligners.  The time it takes to get aligners made varies, but it will usually be anywhere from 3-6 weeks after your virtual treatment plan has been created.

The aligners are made out of smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic so they won’t irritate your cheeks or gums and are virtually invisible when being worn.  While you can take the aligners out for cleaning teeth and eating, to get the best results, you should keep the aligners on your teeth for 20 to 22 hours every day throughout your treatment period.  Approximately every two weeks, you’ll switch to a new set of aligners that bring you into the next stage of treatment.  Over the course of your Invisalign treatment you’ll also come in for an occasional checkup so the doctor can monitor progress, roughly every six weeks or so.

Reveal the New Smile

Once you’ve worked your way through all of your Invisalign aligners, the treatment is finished.  Over the course of a year or so, your teeth will have realigned themselves to a better position so that you can reveal a newer, straighter, and healthier smile.  To keep your new smile intact, the doctor can create a retainer that uses the same Invisalign technology to lock in the changes.  Teeth can sometimes shift back after treatment so you’ll want to take the steps to protect your new smile.