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Dental Associates of Northern Virginia - Pinecrest
4604-D Pinecrest Office Park Dr, Alexandria, VA 22312

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Invisalign: Frequently Asked Questions

If you have misaligned, crooked or gapped teeth, then you understand the negative impact that these common issues can have on your self-confidence. In addition to negatively affecting the aesthetics of your smile, these orthodontic issues can lead to various dental problems if left unaddressed. If you’re wanting to take care of your orthodontic problems without broadcasting it to the rest of the world, then you may want to look into Invisalign.

What Do I Need to Know About Invisalign?

Invisalign is a viable alternative to traditional orthodontic treatments. This method of treatment consists of the utilization of clear, plastic aligners that can be taken out when necessary. These aligners fit over your teeth and gradually push the teeth into straighter alignment. The aligners are made out of a flexible type of plastic called SmartTrack. Patients undergoing Invisalign treatments find that the aligners are comfortable to wear. Unlike wire-and-bracket braces, Invisalign is a nearly invisible option for treatment.

Who Should Consider Invisalign as a Viable Treatment?

Adults and teenagers who want to be able to deal with their orthodontic problems in an aesthetically pleasing way are the best candidates for receiving Invisalign. This aligner system tends to work best for mild to moderate orthodontic issues like gapped teeth, crowded teeth, overbites, and underbites. Patients experiencing more severe issues aren’t usually able to pursue Invisalign.

If you’re wondering whether Invisalign is a good treatment option for you or your child, consider the below questions:

  • Are the patient’s teeth and jaw fully grown? Typically, Invisalign isn’t prescribed for small children or young teens. This is due to the fact that their jaws and teeth haven’t finished growing, making it exceptionally difficult to create effective aligners for the length of time that treatment takes.
  • Are you able to stick to the treatment schedule given to you by your dentist or orthodontist? One of the benefits of Invisalign is that you’re able to remove the aligners whenever you need to. This means that you need to be able to remember to put them back in after you’ve taken them out. Your aligners should be worn between 20 and 22 hours a day. If you or your child are unable to remember to wear them, a semi-permanent option like braces may be a better option.
  • Are you concerned about the visual appearance of orthodontic treatment? While some patients don’t care about the visibility of their orthodontic treatment, others would prefer a more discrete method of treatment. If this describes you, Invisalign could be an excellent course of treatment.

Your dentist will make the final decision as to whether or not Invisalign aligners can address your orthodontic problems. If you want to know if this method can help you, call our office and schedule a consultation with one of our highly experienced dental professionals.

What Is the Invisalign Process Like?

Invisalign therapy is a fully customized process. Your treatment will begin with a consultation with a local dentist who has been trained in how to deliver Invisalign treatments. If the dentist decides that this method will work for you, you will be given a personalized treatment plan. This will let you know what you can expect every step of the way.

After your treatment plan has been created, your dentist will make a mold of your teeth that will be utilized in fabricating your set of aligners. You will be given multiple sets and will need to swap sets out every couple of weeks as your teeth gradually move into place and you graduate to the subsequent step in your treatment.

The length of time that patients undergo treatment with Invisalign varies depending upon the complexity of the issues, the treatment goals and how well they are able to comply with the dentist’s recommendations. Most patients tend to complete their treatments within 12 to 18 months. Throughout your course of treatment, you will be expected to see your dentist or orthodontist every four to six weeks so that he or she can check your progress. Many patients are pleased to start seeing results within a few weeks of starting their Invisalign treatments.

Can You Tell Me About How Invisalign Will Affect My Life?

Invisalign will impact only a few of your daily activities. You will need to take out your aligners every time you eat, drink or brush your teeth. It’s important that you continue your at-home oral hygiene routine so that your aligners are able to straighten your teeth without any pauses in treatment to deal with dental health issues. Your dentist will recommend that you not chew gum while wearing your aligners. You should also avoid smoking.

Just like with braces, you will probably experience a slight feeling of pressure whenever you begin a new stage in treatment. This is due to the fact that the teeth are shifting. However, this feeling tends to be less than what patients with traditional braces feel. This discomfort tends to only last for two to three days.

Many patients wonder if their aligners will negatively impact their speech. While you may need a few days to adjust to having the aligners in your mouth, once the adjustment period has passed you will find that you can speak normally.

Another concern that patients have is whether anyone will be able to tell that they are wearing Invisalign aligners. It’s important to note that the aligners aren’t 100% invisible. However, they are less noticeable than other orthodontic treatment options. People who talk to you from a distance probably won’t realize that you’re wearing anything, while people who speak to you from up close may be able to tell that you are wearing something on your teeth. If you’re going to be in a situation where do not want people to notice them, you can always take your aligners out.

What Happens When I’m Done?

After reaching your ultimate goal, your dentist will give you the okay to take out your aligners for the last time. You may need to wear a retainer after completing treatment. This allows for the results of your treatment to stick.

Can My Local Dentist Treat Me with Invisalign?

While there are dentists who claim that they can assist you with your orthodontic needs, you can only receive Invisalign from a dentist who has been specially trained in delivering this form of treatment. If you want to know more about Invisalign and how it can help you, contact our team today.

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Dental Associates of Northern Virginia - Pinecrest

4604-D Pinecrest Office Park Dr, Alexandria, VA 22312

(703) 940-1886