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Invisalign Treatment Dentist in Brick, NJ

November 22, 2022

What is Invisalign treatment?

Invisalign treatment is a form of orthodontic therapy that accomplishes teeth straightening by using transparent plastic aligners. This is as opposed to using metal braces which require wires, rubber bands, and the metal braces themselves. The metal braces must remain in place throughout the orthodontic treatment. Invisalign treatment is comfortable and safe for the patient, and is just as effective as metal braces. It has become a very popular way of having teeth straightened because Invisalign is not nearly so noticeable in the patient's mouth.

Invisalign Treatment as A Dental Emergency

If Invisalign were to be used as a dental emergency, it would still require that the patient's mouth be x-rayed. The x-rays would then be used by the dentist to create a 3D map of the mouth so the plastic aligners could be created. The aligners would fit the patient's mouth perfectly, and would accomplish gradual re-positioning of certain teeth. In an emergency situation, Invisalign aligners could be used to protect a patient's teeth. However, they probably could not be used for actual straightening unless the patient were properly fitted for them.

How does Invisalign treatment work?

Invisalign aligners fit snugly over your teeth and are used for the purpose of re-positioning them. Approximately every two weeks you'll have a new set of aligners which will replace the previous set. Each set of aligners incrementally moves your teeth closer to the desired end position. Once the teeth have been properly moved into the final position, the patient will be provided with retainers. The retainers will help to maintain the results achieved by the aligners, and they only have to be worn for a few months after Invisalign treatment.

Invisalign treatment procedure

The procedure for having Invisalign aligners installed starts with taking x-rays of your mouth to be sure of its configuration. A 3D map will be created and this will be used to formulate an Invisalign treatment plan customized for your mouth. The patient will generally receive six weeks of Invisalign aligners at once, which will accomplish the gradual repositioning of the teeth. Approximately every two weeks, the next set of aligners will be used and the previous set can then be discarded. In order for the aligners to be effective at repositioning, the patient must wear them for 22 hours each day. They can be removed at mealtimes and for brushing and flossing. However, they should be worn while sleeping and at all other times throughout the day.

Time Taken by Invisalign to Work

For most patients, the average length of time necessary for Invisalign to accomplish repositioning is between six and 12 months. There can be considerable variability built into this average time frame however. The actual length of time in any case will depend on how much repositioning is required in the patient's mouth, and how severe the problem was originally. In most cases, a patient will begin seeing noticeable results as soon as four to six weeks after beginning the treatment.

Pros and cons of Invisalign

One of the biggest Invisalign treatment benefits is that the plastic aligners are nearly invisible when in the mouth. For people trying to avoid the metal mouth look of traditional braces, this can be a godsend. Another benefit of Invisalign is that they can be removed for mealtimes and for flossing and brushing. Most patients would tell you that Invisalign aligners are much more comfortable than metal braces are, so this constitutes another strong benefit. One of the drawbacks of Invisalign treatment is that they can be removed, and the temptation to remove them is strong. If you don't keep the aligners in your mouth for 22 hours a day, the repositioning simply will not occur. Your  treatment will then either be prolonged or it won't happen at all. Some patients have noticed a bit of difficulty speaking with the aligners in place, but this would also be true of wearing traditional metal braces.

How much do Invisalign treatments cost?

Typically the total Invisalign treatment cost will end up being somewhere between $4,000 and $7,500. Compared to the cost of using traditional braces, it's somewhat higher. Traditional braces would normally range between $3,000 and $6,000 dollars. Your dental insurance carrier may be willing to cover part of the cost of Invisalign treatments, so you should definitely check that out beforehand. Even if only half the fee is covered, it will be a significant reduction of the total cost of the procedure.

Post-regular check-up procedures for Invisalign Treatment

If there is any residue left on your teeth from securing the retainers to them, this will be removed at your last dental appointment. At that time, you will be given a set of retainers to wear. The retainers are intended to ensure that your teeth don't start slipping back into their former positions. In effect, they keep your teeth in place while your jaw has a chance to harden up again. The retainers will also have to be worn for 22 hours per day, and they should generally be washed with soap and water so as to prolong their life.

Invisalign treatment working before and after

The entire time that Invisalign aligners are straightening your teeth, they will be working them toward a desirable end position. Little by little, your teeth move toward a straighter position in your mouth. After the work has been accomplished, it will be necessary to hold the teeth in position while your jaw re-hardens. That's why retainers are used, so as to secure the gains that have been made through repositioning. It will generally be necessary to wear the retainers for several months following Invisalign treatment. That's because your jaw is firming up again after treatment, and the teeth need to be kept in position while this happens. If you fail to wear the retainers after treatment, it's very possible that at least some teeth will try to revert to their former position in the mouth. In that case, months of progress may be overturned, and you might find yourself back where you started. This should emphasize the importance of post-treatment wearing of retainers, and why it is so important as a follow-up.

Invisalign Treatment FAQs

How many times a day can I remove Invisalign?

The number of times you remove your aligners is not as important as the total length of time they are out of your mouth. It is recommended that you leave your aligners in place for at least 22 hours each day. Of course, it doesn't make sense to keep taking the aligners out and putting them back in constantly. This will not allow the aligners to do their job, which is of course to move teeth toward a desired position.

Is Invisalign Treatment painful?

No, it is not. Some patients report some initial discomfort, but once you get used to the aligners, wearing them is generally very comfortable. It may be awkward trying to speak clearly at first, but with some practice this can be overcome. Invisalign aligners are also comfortable enough to be worn at night while sleeping, and the patient should definitely leave them in during sleep. That's eight more hours that the aligners have to continue doing their job of moving teeth toward a new position.

Does Invisalign really work?

Yes, it does. Provided that the patient cooperates and leaves the aligners in place for 22 hours each day, results can be very effective. For patients who leave their aligners out of the mouth for much of the day, results are not nearly as effective. Using Invisalign aligners requires a high level of patient cooperation. If the patient does not cooperate and leave the aligners in for the required amount of time, the process begins to break down. It will either take much longer to accomplish the desired teeth straightening, or it may not be achievable at all.

Can Invisalign be used to fix gaps?

Yes, it can. This is exactly the kind of teeth repositioning that Invisalign excels at, and it is generally very effective at closing tooth gaps. The most common and the most visible area for tooth gaps are in the front teeth. Invisalign aligners will gradually reposition the two teeth in question, so they move closer to each other, and the gap will then disappear.

Is Invisalign really better than braces?

When really severe teeth straightening is needed, traditional braces might be more effective. However, for most cases Invisalign is just as good, and because the aligners are nearly invisible in the mouth, they are considered by many patients to be superior to metal braces. The advantages of using Invisalign aligners over traditional braces are many, and that has contributed to their immense popularity. For anyone who has used both traditional braces and Invisalign aligners, most would prefer the Invisalign approach.

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