Dentist Tempe, AZ
In the world of dentistry, there are multiple treatment options that help you achieve a dream smile, regardless of the severity of your malocclusion. Thanks to its remarkable results, however, Invisalign is one of the preferred methods by both doctors and patients. Furthermore, this popularity is fully deserved since Invisalign is a system of transparent trays that do not affect the patient's appearance and are also easy to remove.
Unlike most orthodontic appliances, Invisalign's method of treatment is a bit different from conventional braces, despite working with micro-movements. In addition, for this class of dental alignment, specific computer software is used to make each retainer personalized to the patient's needs. Here at A Great Smile Arizona, we will show you a little about this whole process in case you decide to undergo this treatment option.
The first stage of the process is quite simple. Our orthodontist will meet with the patient to discuss their treatment expectations. Then, to give a more precise diagnosis while effectively explaining the process to the patient, it is necessary to carry out an orthodontic study. With this study, our dental specialist can create a personalized plan and diagnosis to achieve the best possible results. Once this study is done, we will then explain in more depth everything that the treatment will entail for the patient.
Invisalign Lite vs Full
So far, all of the steps have been the same as those of a common orthodontic procedure. However, there are certain things to consider with the Invisalign treatment before proceeding with it, due to the different options this process can offer. By this, we mean that – depending on the person's current oral health – if they have oral problems, severe damage, or any extraordinary situation, we can choose between Invisalign Lite and Full.
The Lite version of the treatment is aimed at mild and even moderate cases. The principal patients subjected to this option are those with minor damage or have already undergone an orthodontic process, but the teeth have moved. On the other hand, the Invisalign Full option is intended to treat significant damage problems, such as crookedness and bite problems. Of course, the Full option also requires the patient to wear a more significant number of trays.
Creation of Your Aligners
In a regular orthodontic treatment, metal brackets have a standard shape. Therefore, not much measurement is required, and they are placed after the orthodontic study. However, Invisalign removable retainers are custom-made to fit each person's mouth. It is necessary to use an intraoral 3D scanner to get personalized and exact molds. 3D computer imaging dental technology offers virtual samples used to create the aligners. The 3D model simulation is necessary to predict bone movements to obtain optimal results.
The specialized software developed by the creators of Invisalign, ClinCheck, is used to achieve all of these simulations. This program allows both our orthodontist and the patient to know the smile's appearance once the entire process is finished. This option is one of the many benefits of Invisalign, as no other orthodontic process has this. In addition, this offers a very considerable speed-up in the procedure since our office can send the results of the impressions electronically. This method saves time since making any physical mold is unnecessary to create the trays.
Start of Treatment
The Invisalign treatment begins once the aligners have been manufactured. Then, following our instructions for the treatment to be successful, the patient must wear the splints for 22 hours a day, removing them only to eat and brush their teeth. All of this aims to make the treatment wholly effective and achieve a correct adaptation to the optimal treatment times. After starting, the patient should go for review every four or six weeks to monitor treatment progress. Our dental specialist will also give you a new set of trays to change two weeks into the process at these checkups.
You should note that attachments are also seen in this process. The attachments are small composite reliefs that are adhered to the dental piece and are intended to make movements that the aligner cannot achieve alone. However, each one is intended to make a specific movement, so they do not need to be present during the entire treatment. In addition, the attachments, as well as the splints, are personalized for each patient.
Once the patient completes treatment with all the splints used initially, the refinement stage begins. Refinements are an extra set of trays that are used to improve the aesthetic result of the treatment and make it more optimal. At this stage, we will assess the condition of the teeth after the initial treatment. Then, the patient gets a scan of the actual state of the mouth to request a set of refinement splints to improve the result. The number of refinements also varies depending on the version of Invisalign being used. If you are under the Lite version, this only includes one refinement. On the other hand, the full version can request up to three refinements and an unlimited number of aligners.
End of Treatment and Care
Once the treatment process is finished, the splints and attachments are removed, and it is imperative to start the retention stage. This part is essential since the teeth have memory and tend to return to their original position and the retention process ensures results for life. There are two options to achieve the desired results: fixed and removable retainers. Fixed retainers are thin sheets of wire placed in the upper and lower arches, from canine to canine. Meanwhile, removable retainers are transparent splints, also known as Essix, which is very similar to the primary Invisalign treatment. In general, the Essix must be used every day for a month, but we can prescribe a more personalized time of use based on the obtained results. Our orthodontist will control the retention process in each revision, recommended at one, three, six, and 12 months.
Once the entire Invisalign process is finished, you can follow different options to achieve an aesthetic result with which you feel more pleased. For example, oral cleaning and teeth whitening are widespread once the process is finished to achieve that perfect and bright smile. There is no complication with doing it, so it is common for patients to feel inclined to undergo these.
Invisalign is undoubtedly a very effective orthodontic process with exceptional results. It is not only its comfort and discretion that make it one of the most chosen methods by patients, but its results are incomparable with other similar methods. To learn more, you can contact us at . Or you can visit Dr. Thomas at our office here at A Great Smile Arizona and get started on your personalized Invisalign treatment plan!