One of the most popular treatment options for adults, teens, and little ones with crooked teeth, Invisalign is a brand of removable aligners that comfortably straighten teeth without wires or brackets. Invisalign from our Irvine practice works by using a series of clear plastic aligners which are made with 3D imaging technology and are incrementally adjusted to gradually move your teeth into alignment.
Align Technology, the parent company of Invisalign, was founded in 1997 by Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth in San Jose, California.
The first step is meeting with your Irvine orthodontist during a one on one consultation. They will examine your smile, discuss your orthodontic goals, and determine if Invisalign is the right treatment for you. Using the 3D scan of your mouth, they can also give you a sneak peek of your new smile with a digital mockup.
When your first set of aligners arrives at our office, you’ll come in to pick them up and try them on. Your doctor will instruct you on how to wear your aligners to get the best results. Most patients are instructed to wear them for at least 20 hours a day. You’ll also switch out the aligners for the next set every two weeks. Depending on your bone quality, and response to the planned tooth movements, you may be able to switch them out more frequently.
We will be checking in every 8-10 weeks to make sure your progress is on track. During these periodic check-ins, you’ll also receive your next few sets of aligners. So long as you are diligent about wearing your aligners for the recommended amount of time per day, your smile will keep shifting into the right position. We also have the option of virtual check in visits, available for some of the smaller appointments.
After completing treatment, you’ll get a set of retainers to maintain your beautiful new smile. These durable retainers will look similar to your original Invisalign aligners, but are better suited for long-term use as they can handle more pressure without breaking down. You’ll likely need to wear these every night to help keep your teeth straight for years to come.
When the upper teeth overlap in front of the lower front teeth, this is called an overbite. Overbites are actually extremely common, but they become an issue when the gap is too large. This can cause premature wear and tear, or you may suffer from jaw pain from misalignment. Invisalign can fix this deep bite and shift your teeth into a healthy position.
An underbite is when your lower front teeth are in front of your upper arch of teeth. Usually, this occurs due to the lower jaw being too far forward. Underbites can make it difficult to properly chew and speak, and may cause the teeth to wear down. In some cases, Invisalign can fix underbites, but severe underbites might require additional oral surgery to prepare for orthodontic treatment at our Irvine office.
In an ideal bite position, the upper front teeth would sit slightly in front of the lower front teeth. Crossbites occur when some of the upper teeth sit behind your lower teeth. This can cause wear and tear, chips, and can even cause gum recession in some cases. This can lead to painful sensitivity or even bone loss. Invisalign can fix some crossbites, but we recommend coming in for a consultation to see which option is right for you.
While they are very common, gaps between your teeth can make it much harder to keep food from getting stuck in the crevices. These spaces are also more likely to harbor bacteria that cause tender, sore gums and even lead to gum disease if not treated quickly enough. Invisalign can close these gaps and ensure a straighter, more seamless, and healthier smile!
Normally the upper and lower front teeth touch when the mouth is closed. If this is not the case, it’s called an open bite. Open bites can make chewing or biting certain foods extremely difficult. Invisalign can reposition the bite gradually until all teeth are aligned and sitting straight.
If there isn't enough room in your mouth for your teeth to sit straight, they can bunch up and overlap in uncomfortable ways that make brushing or flossing difficult. This is called crowding. Crowded teeth can make it difficult to brush and floss properly. If you aren’t able to maintain a good oral health care routine at home, plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria begin to build up. Over time, this leads to tooth decay, cavities, and sometimes even gum disease. Usually, Invisalign can fix most cases of crowded teeth. Simply come in to speak with your dentist to see if it’s the right choice for your smile.
Invisalign has transformed over 8 million smiles!
Invisalign is designed from molds of your teeth and are built in layers with photo-sensitive liquid resin. When exposed to a laser, the resin cures into a hard yet flexible thermoplastic called SmartTrack®, which was created exclusively for Invisalign treatment, it's FDA approved too!
The simplest way to keep your aligners clean is to brush them with a toothbrush each time you brush your teeth. If you need to clean them when you’re out and about and don’t have access to your toothbrush, you can also simply rinse the aligners in lukewarm water. Never use hot water or abrasive cleaners; these may warp the plastic of the aligner! You can also purchase an Invisalign Cleaning System for a more thorough cleaning.
Most people will not be able to see your aligners when you are wearing them. This is because the clear plastic makes them practically invisible and there are no bulky metal brackets or wires that will draw attention to your teeth. Plus, Invisalign aligners are custom-made to fit snuggly to your teeth and will be trimmed down so that they won’t show over your gum line. The result is a seamless smile without the hassle of unsightly brackets or wires!
Usually, Invisalign treatment is fairly similar to the cost of braces, but pricing will fluctuate depending on your unique needs. To get an accurate cost estimate, schedule a consultation with your Irvine orthodontist today! Keep in mind that your insurance may also cover some orthodontic treatment, so be sure to call your insurance provider to understand your benefits.
Most Invisalign treatments are completed in just 1 year.