Are Invisalign Clear Aligners Custom Fitted for Your Mouth?
Invisalign are a brand of clear aligners that are designed to fit snugly onto a person’s teeth. Like braces, Invisalign corrects the alignment of the teeth by applying varying amounts of pressure to individual teeth. Also, like braces, clear aligners are custom made to fit precisely over a person’s teeth.
Because no two sets of teeth are exactly the same, it stands to reason that you will have to get a tailor-made series of Invisalign clear aligners. Here are some facts about these orthodontic devices that will let you know what to expect from the treatment.
How clear aligners work
Clear aligners come in the form of dental trays that are worn over teeth. The shape of the trays is almost identical to the arrangement and shape of the patient's teeth, meaning that they will fit an individual’s teeth like a glove. Almost.
The trays will be different enough from a person’s teeth to exert pressure on a badly positioned tooth. This pushes misaligned teeth into a better position. Just like braces, clear aligners like Invisalign take some getting used to. A person should expect to feel a little pressure as the aligners begin to do their work. With a little time, the patient gets used to their aligners and the discomfort goes away.
Getting fitted for aligners: the first visit
An orthodontist will examine a patient’s teeth in order to figure out the best treatment for them. If the patient chooses Invisalign over other orthodontic treatments, the orthodontist will:
1. Take an impression of the patient’s teeth
A few dentists will ask their patients to bite down on a putty-like substance. They will use the resulting mold to make a cast of the patient’s teeth. Nowadays, most dentists will use a small optical camera to take a digital 3D scan of the patient’s mouth.
2. Design the series of Invisalign trays
The camera will feed the 3D scan into software that will make a model of the patient’s mouth. The dentist will use the model to design how each tooth will be moved to its desired position by each set of trays. The trays will be designed to fit over a patient’s unique dental arrangement.
3. Fabricate the Invisalign trays
At a dental lab, the dentist’s designs will be used to fabricate and sculpt the Invisalign trays. The machine that makes the aligners works like a 3D printer. It uses the dentist’s designs to ‘print’ or ‘mill’ a series of Invisalign trays. An Invisalign series could have five or six sets of trays.
4. Call the patient for a fitting
When the aligners are ready, the orthodontist will call the patient for a fitting. The patient will give their feedback on how comfortable the aligners are. At this stage, the orthodontist will make any adjustments that could make the device more comfortable for the patient. The orthodontist will also direct the patient on how to wear the aligners and how to take care of them. Usually, the aligners are worn for 22 hours a day. After a period of time, usually two weeks, the patient will need to switch to a new set of aligner trays.
Start your journey to a brilliant smile with a visit
Our experienced orthodontist will be happy to help you get the smile that you have always wanted. Call or drop by any time. Together, we will come up with the best treatment plan for your teeth.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Does Invisalign Really Work.
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