What is Invisalign?
The continual advancement in Dentistry has been great because it has allowed people to keep their teeth however one of the things we notice in the practice is that crowding (especially in front or visible areas) seems to be on the increase. So what can be done and what exactly is Invisalign?
Simply put Invisalign is a series of sequential retainers (think of thin clear plastic mouthguards) which patients wear over a period of time that allowing for movement and realignment of teeth.
Prior to their introduction patients who wished to have these corrections made required fixed Orthodontic Treatment with plates and then braces fitted to teeth (remember the name “train tracks) and this required constant adjustment and tightening .Invisalign, where appropriate, simplifies things
So what is the process? As with any dental procedure a consultation with our patients is the start of the process. What is it that they want to achieve out of the treatment .What I might see might not be what they’re looking to fix. Basically our patients drive our treatment they are the conductors I’m the Bus Driver if you like.
A series of pictures are taken of the patient’s teeth, their smile and jaw alignment I like to take some study models also because it allows us to see what the bite is like. Once we have all this information we send it to Invisalign with what the patient’s main concerns are and approximately in 3-5 working days an answer comes back as to (a) whether Invisalign will work (b) how many retainers are required
Something which is really great with the system is a 3-D Virtual reality mock-up of what each retainer is going to change in the mouth so myself and the patient can see exactly how it’s going to work! If everything is OK highly accurate Impressions of the Patient’s mouth are sent to Invisalign and in about 3-4 weeks the retainers arrive
What drives the work of the retainers are small tooth coloured attachments which are placed on specific sites on the teeth these provide leverage to allow the retainer to move teeth around. So these are placed first and then we issue the retainers (I like to issue three at a time, which being worn for two weeks each means I’m seeing our patient’s every 6 weeks to see how they’re going.
Patient’s comment that they feel some sensitivity when they place a new retainer in their mouths for a couple of days and then it passes. Treatments last anything from 14-46 weeks) and can be amended or corrected at the end if adjustments deemed necessary
As with any kind of prolonged treatment compliance is necessary to achieve the desired result, so wearing the retainers for at least 22 hours a day will get the best result and something we are happy with.