What is Invisalign and How does it work?
Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible thermoplastic trays that gradually move your teeth. They fit your teeth so well; no one may even notice that you're wearing them. Invisalign aligners are removable. For the best results and a timely outcome, aligners should be worn for 20 hours per day. Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a series of aligners. Each aligner will make slight adjustments to tooth position, a process that is mapped out in advance by Dr. Cobb, specifically for your situation. When the aligners are placed on the teeth, they cause the teeth to gradually shift from their current position. After approximately two weeks, you will begin using the next set of aligners, which will continue the teeth straightening process.
What are attachments?
Depending on your specific treatment, some of the movements may require "attachments" to help the aligner grip the teeth. The attachments are actually small pieces of enamel-colored composite that Dr. Cobb affixes to your teeth that are gripped by corresponding bumps on your aligners. This extra grip allows Dr. Cobb to accomplish the more complex movements your treatment may need. The attachments are removed after treatment is complete.
Is Invisalign treatment painful?
No. While Invisalign moves your teeth without the pain and problems many people associate with braces, some people experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It's also a sign that Invisalign is working, as it moves your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away in a couple of days. The amount of pressure for each aligner is carefully controlled so as to get optimum movement in a comfortable way.
How long will treatment take?
Whether doing Invisalign as an adult or doing Invisalign Teen, the length of treatment depends on the severity of your case and can only be determined by Dr. Cobb. However, the average case takes about 12 to 18 months. In general, adult treatment takes slightly longer because of the differences in bone density and metabolism in adults versus teens.
Will wearing Invisalign aligners affect my speech?
Similar to other orthodontic treatments, Invisalign aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp caused by the aligners should disappear. Any speech issues with aligners are much easier to overcome than issues you might have with braces.
Are there eating restrictions while doing Invisalign treatment?
No. Thanks to the removable nature of the aligners, you can eat and drink whatever you want while in treatment. In fact, you're required to remove your aligners to eat and drink. So, unlike when undergoing traditional treatment using wires and brackets, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks unless you are instructed otherwise by Dr. Cobb. Gum will stick to the aligners, so they should be removed to chew gum. Also, it is important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to reinserting your aligners to maintain fresh breath and proper hygiene.
How do you take the impressions for Invisalign?
Impressions are NOT needed. We utilize the latest and most accurate digital technology to create your Invisalign model and treatment plan. We use the iTero 3D digital scanner to take 3D pictures of your teeth and create a model that is more accurate than impressions, and done without gagging. That digital model is used by Dr. Cobb and Invisalign to make your aligners.