Getting Started with Invisalign: What to Expect

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Getting Started with Invisalign: What to Expect

Invisalign® clear aligners have revolutionized orthodontic treatment for both teens and adults. Learn more about getting started with Invisalign treatment and who is a good candidate for these convenient aligners.

Over 12 million people have enjoyed the satisfaction of straightening their teeth with Invisalign® — that is a powerful recommendation for giving it a try! 

Invisalign clear aligners are discreet, versatile, easy to use, easy to care for, and they allow greater freedom. What’s not to like? 

Nicole Thompson, DMD, provides Invisalign treatment for kids, teens, and adults to correct numerous problems with gaps, crooked teeth, crowding, bite issues, and more. She and her team at Lovely Smiles Orthodontics are pleased to offer this convenient and discreet form of orthodontic treatment for patients throughout Richmond, Texas, and the surrounding communities. 

Here’s what you can expect when getting started with this simple, effective, and convenient orthodontic treatment.

The oral exam

Before prescribing any orthodontic treatment, Dr. Thompson performs a comprehensive oral exam to ensure Invisalign is right for you. Some orthodontic issues are better corrected with traditional braces, which we also offer at Lovely Smiles Orthodontics. However, because of her experience, Dr. Thompson is able to use Invisalign to correct the vast majority of orthodontic problems. 

The exam includes a review of your dental and health history and a close examination of your bite and the position of your teeth. 

Dr. Thompson also discusses your goals for your smile and what you wish to achieve. Parents are included in the discussion for our younger kids and teen patients wishing to explore Invisalign treatment. After agreeing on your goals and needs, we show you how the Invisalign system can work for you. 

The role of 3D imaging 

Invisalign is so effective due to its reliance on advanced technology. One of the key aspects of Invisalign treatment is 3D imaging. Dr. Thompson obtains highly accurate 3D scans of your teeth and bite and the Invisalign software uses them to create precise digital impressions.

These digital images are used to map out your treatment and create multiple sets of clear plastic aligners. The incredible precision of these 3D images is a vital factor in making Invisalign aligners so comfortable, predictable, and efficient. Dr. Thompson is able to virtually map out your treatment plan from the first set of aligners to the last. 

Creating your aligners

The high-precision digital scans and treatment plan are sent to an Invisalign lab where specialists create your custom aligners. Invisalign clear aligners are made from smooth and comfortable SmartTrak® material, and fit comfortably around your gums to prevent irritation. 

Using and caring for your Invisalign aligners

When your aligners are ready, Dr. Thompson shows you, your younger child, or your teen how to wear your aligners, and provides detailed instructions for wearing them, caring for them, and more. She is also happy to answer all your questions. The basics of wearing Invisalign aligners include: 

  • Wearing your aligners 20-22 hours each day 
  • Removing your aligners to eat
  • Brushing your teeth before replacing your aligners after each meal
  • Not eating or drinking while wearing your aligners 
  • Wearing each set of aligners for the prescribed period of time, typically about a week to two weeks

The length of treatment depends on the complexity of the case. For minor teeth alignment, the treatment time can be from 6-9 months. For more complicated cases, the treatment time can last 12-18 months. 

You will begin to notice results in just a few weeks as each new tray gently moves your teeth closer to their ideal alignment and positioning. Invisalign aligners are smooth, gentle on your teeth and gums, and completely comfortable to wear. No wires, brackets, bands, or problems with braces. 

Teens especially love that they can enjoy all their favorite sticky or chewy foods during their treatment. Simply pop out your aligners, eat what you like, brush your teeth, and replace your aligners when you’re finished. 

Dr. Thompson recommends carrying a miniature “Invisalign kit” with you to make this process more convenient. It should include a travel toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste, floss, and your Invisalign case. 

Are you or your teen ready to try Invisalign? Call us or request a consultation online at our Richmond, Texas, orthodontic clinic today.