Orthodontic treatment has come long since ancient Egyptians used gold bands on their teeth. Invisalign, a popular orthodontic treatment method, offers a more discreet and comfortable alternative to traditional metal braces. If you're considering Invisalign to achieve a straighter smile, you may have questions about the treatment process, including how long it takes to complete. In this article, we will explore the advantages of Invisalign, treatment duration, and other important aspects of the treatment.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign was created in the 1990s as an alternative to metal braces. It involves using a series of transparent trays that fit closely around the teeth to move them into the desired position gradually. These trays are changed every few weeks as the teeth progress toward their final alignment. Invisalign offers several advantages over traditional braces, including its nearly invisible appearance, improved comfort, and the ability to remove the trays for eating and cleaning.
The duration of Invisalign treatment varies depending on individual factors, such as the initial alignment of the teeth and the case's complexity. Most patients wear Invisalign trays for 12 to 18 months, shorter than the average treatment time of 24 months for metal braces. However, it's important to note that the treatment time can differ for each person, and orthodontic professionals may find it challenging to predict the exact duration.
Wearing the Trays:
Wearing the Invisalign trays for 22 to 23 hours per day is recommended to achieve the best results. This allows sufficient time for the teeth to move gradually. However, the trays can be removed when eating, drinking (except for water), brushing, and flossing. While it's essential to wear the trays as much as possible, occasional removal for special events or activities is acceptable. For example, some individuals choose to remove the trays for a wedding or a photo shoot.
Eating and Cleaning:
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners offer the freedom to eat various foods. Since the trays can be removed, there are no dietary restrictions during treatment. This makes it easier to maintain good oral hygiene as well. You can brush the trays using toothpaste and periodically soak them in denture cleanser or an Invisalign cleaning solution for thorough cleaning.
Throughout the treatment process, you will need to visit your orthodontist approximately every two weeks. During these visits, your orthodontist will monitor the progress of your teeth and provide you with new trays as needed. These frequent check-ups ensure that your treatment is progressing correctly and allows for any adjustments to be made along the way.
Suitability for Invisalign:
While Invisalign is a suitable treatment option for many individuals, it may not be appropriate for everyone. Some complex cases or specific dental conditions may require traditional braces or a combination of braces and aligners. To determine if Invisalign is right for you, a thorough evaluation by an local orthodontist is necessary.
Invisalign offers a discreet and comfortable way to straighten your teeth. It is generally faster than traditional metal braces, with an average treatment duration of 12 to 18 months. Removing the trays for eating and cleaning adds convenience to the treatment process. However, each case is unique, and the duration of Invisalign treatment may vary.