The first step to receive Invisalign begins with an evaluation/consultation with Dr. Hilton-Foley. We will talk to you about the concerns that you have with your smile, take photographs, records, impressions of your upper and lower teeth, along with a bite registration, and xrays. Once these records are complete, we will determine if you meet the criteria for treatment with clear aligner therapy, Invisalign.
Once the records are submitted, we will design a treatment and submit it to Invisalign. Invisalign will then send us a computerized plan with the final position of your teeth. The dentist will review the treatment, make adjustments as needed and will call you into the office to discuss the plan and show you the computerized model of your mouth and corrected bite. The visual replica of all the steps, including the final position of your teeth after Invisalign is called a Clincheck. It will show each step required, the amount of time it will take to achieve your ideal smile, and the process that will be needed to get to the final stage. Once the dentist and the patient approve the Clincheck, the aligners will be made. Once shipped, the office will set up an appointment to begin the process of straightening your teeth.
At the first appointment, clear attachments may be applied. These will be custom made of composite bonding material. Attachments can come in all different shapes and sizes, depending upon what is needed for each type of movement. Generally they are small and clear or tooth colored. The aligners will engage these attachments to move your teeth. There is also a tool that is used for Invisalign, called Interproximal Reduction. IPR may need to be accomplished if space is needed. IPR is also called slenderizing. Typically IPR is usually 0.1 - 0.5mm. It can be accomplished with finishing strips, or with special disks. Once adequate space is accomplished, your aligners will be tried in, and then the straightening process begins.
Each aligner is typically worn for two weeks at a time. Most patients are seen every 6 weeks, and are given 3 sets of aligners at a time. The time may be adjusted by the dentist depending on the complexity of your case, as well as your compliance. It is very important that the aligners are worn 23 hours a day, taken out only to eat, drink, and brush. Orthodontics can only be accomplished with there is pressure and tension on the bone around the teeth. The bone will remodel and get used to the new position of your teeth, but only if you wear it for the proper amount of time. There are pressures from chewing, the muscles of the face, pressure from the tongue and from the bite that will delay this remodeling, if the aligners are not worn as prescribed. Most people are highly motivated.
If the aligners are worn as directed, you can look at the Clincheck and follow the movement of your teeth exactly. Once the treatment is complete. The dentist will remove the attachments and fabricate retainers. Invisaign has Vivera retainers in their product line, which are somewhat thicker and stronger that the treatment aligners, but just a smooth and well fitting.
Let us know if you need more information. We are excited to talk to you about the process of straightening your teeth with Invisalign.
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Cosmetic & Family Dentistry