Invisalign® is a patented technology that allows the alignment of teeth without metal braces. It consists of a series of clear and removable aligners that are sequentially worn to straighten teeth.
- The clear Invisalign® aligners are not noticeable at a social distance and offer superior esthetics to the traditional metal braces.
- They are removable. Invisalign® aligners can be removed when eating and brushing. This helps maintain good oral hygiene opposed to metal braces which can trap a lot of food. For this reason, cavity rates are also much lower when using aligners correctly vs braces since brushing and flossing is much simpler.
- Invisalign® can be utilized in most cases.
- The fact that they are removable can also be a problem. The success of the aligners depends largely on the patient’s commitment to wear them.
- They don’t do everything. Invisalign® is a great way to straighten teeth. However, unlike traditional braces, they cannot do all of the movements that braces can do.
We would be more than happy to book a no-charge consultation appointment with Dr. El-Onsi to discuss if Invisalign® can be a treatment option for you.
Click below to see a short movie about Invisalign®.
How does Invisalign® Work?
The first step in Invisalign® treatment is ensuring that all the teeth are in a healthy condition. Any dental work that needs attention must be completed before the Invisalign® process begins. If the anatomy of any tooth has changed (with a new filling or a cap), new aligners need to be fabricated because the existing ones will not fit properly.
The second step is collecting the data. Very precise impressions of upper and lower teeth are taken along with an x-ray and photographs of the entire jaw. This information along with a prescription from Dr. El-Onsi is sent to the Invisalign® headquarters in California.
In the third step, the impressions are scanned, and with CAD/CAM technology, a three-dimensional virtual model of your teeth is created. Dr. El-Onsi and the experts at Invisalign® use the next few weeks to virtually move selected teeth to the desired position. Movies of the desired treatment are sent to the patient and Dr. El-Onsi integrates any input from the patient into the process. When approved, the aligners are fabricated and sent to our office.
The final step in starting treatment is the delivery of the aligners. Small attachments or buttons made of dental composite may be placed on certain teeth to increase aligner retention and assist in more difficult movements. These tooth-colored buttons look like small blobs on the surfaces of the selected teeth and are removed once treatment is finished. The contacts of the teeth may also need to be shaved to allow space for the teeth to move.
The average treatment time is one year after which, like regular braces, some form of retention must be used in order keep the teeth in their new positions. This usually involves a retainer that is worn at night or a wire that is bonded to the back of the teeth.
We would be more than happy to discuss your situation and see if Invisalign® is an option for you.
®Invisalign is a registered trademark of Align Technology Inc, Santa Clara, California, USA.