March 15, 2017
With the ever increasing popularity of Invisalign, you’ve probably at least heard of it by now. Over 1 million people around the world have used the clear aligner system to achieve a straighter smile, and Dudley Smiles is proud to offer Invisalign to qualifying patients, but how much do you actually know about the process? Let’s take a look at the basics first.
The Invisalign system offers the same great results of traditional metal braces, but by using a series of clear aligners that have been custom-made for your teeth. Each aligner is worn for 1-2 weeks before being replaced by the next in the series, slowly moving your teeth until the final desired position is achieved.
Because of their design and their near invisibility, Invisalign is a much less obvious way to straighten your teeth. The aligners are removed when eating and drinking, so there are no food restrictions. This also makes your daily dental hygiene routine easier to maintain. Because there are no wires or brackets involved, you avoid much of the irritation that can come with traditional braces.
Once you’ve found an orthodontist like Dr. Dudley who is trained in and has experience with the Invisalign system, you’ll want to set up an appointment for your initial consultation. Here at Dudley Smiles, we are happy to offer a complimentary consultation to anyone interested in orthodontic treatment.
At this consultation, the orthodontist will examine your mouth, take x-rays and photographs of your teeth, and determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. You’ll be able to learn more about the procedure, and ask any questions you have, from how it works to how much it costs.
Customized treatment plan
Once you and your chosen orthodontist decide that Invisalign is an option for you, impressions of your teeth will be taken, and a customized treatment plan will be created for you. You’ll have a 3-D digital image of your teeth made, which will be used to map out the the different stages of teeth positioning that will occur over the course of treatment. Each patient is different, but the total time for treatment to be completed is typically about 9 to 15 months for most adults. Teens should expect to wear Invisalign for about as long as they would traditional braces, which tends to be 24-36 months on average.
The next step is receiving your first aligner. Starting out, this will be a slightly straighter version of your current smile. The aligners should be worn throughout the day, only removing them to eat and drink, and brush and floss. Be prepared to wear your aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours a day for the best results.
After a week or so, you’ll receive a new set of aligners to wear. Each subsequent set is a slightly straighter version of the last set, which allows your teeth to gradually and gently shift into a beautifully aligned smile. Depending on your particular Invisalign treatment plan, you can expect to receive between 10-50 aligners.
Plan to meet with your orthodontist approximately every 6-10 weeks to check on your progress with Invisalign, see how the treatment is going overall, and determine if any alterations need to be made to your treatment plan. Once you’ve completed the initial series of aligners, your orthodontist will determine if an additional series of aligners is necessary to perfect your smile.
Maintain proper hygiene
During treatment and once treatment is complete, maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial for keeping your smile looking great. Keep up with your regular teeth cleaning every 6 months to ensure that no problems crop up during the Invisalign process. Being able to remove the aligners while eating means you don’t need to worry about food getting stuck in them like it can in the wires and brackets of metal braces, but you still need to make an effort to keep your teeth clean and healthy. Brush and floss thoroughly at least twice daily, and clean your aligner out as well.
Celebrate your brand new smile
Once treatment is complete, it’s time to share your smile with the world! You may need to wear retainers for a time to keep your teeth in place, and of course, a regular routine of brushing and flossing is always important. But take some time to celebrate the renewed sense of confidence you have as you face the world with the beautiful, straight smile you’ve always dreamed of!
Invisalign in Issaquah and Kent with Dudley Smiles
Your first visit to one of our two conveniently located offices will be a free exam. We’ll do photos of your face and teeth, as well as a digital panoramic X-ray. Dr. Dudley will thoroughly examine the teeth for a wide range of possible orthodontic issues, and determine if you’re a suitable candidate for Invisalign treatment. If you are, you’ll soon be on your way to straightening your teeth using the unique clear aligner system!
If you’re in the Issaquah or Kent areas, and are interested in what Dudley Smiles and Invisalign have to offer you, get in touch with us today to schedule your free initial consultation! We’re committed to giving every patient the smile of their dreams, and we want to make that happen in a fun, friendly atmosphere where you feel like family from your first appointment. Call our Kent office at 888.720.7951 or our Issaquah office at 888.724.3354 to connect with us. We can’t wait to see your smile!