If you’re interested in Invisalign braces you’re probably keen to know more about what your treatment will involve. Invisalign sounds great, but will you need to undergo long and arduous appointments with your orthodontist to achieve a straighter smile? The short answer is ‘no’ (phew!).
From the very beginning treatment is comfortable and convenient. To give you an idea of what to expect, here is a step-by-step guide to the typical Invisalign patient journey:
1. Invisalign consultation
Come and see us for a free consultation to find out if an Invisalign treatment is suitable for you. This appointment is very relaxed and will include a brief examination of your teeth and the opportunity to ask lots of questions. We’ll also go through the cost of your treatment and our payment options.
At your next appointment we’ll take impressions (moulds) of your teeth, which we send off to Invisalign’s team in Costa Rica. They’ll then use these impressions to create a digital model of your teeth and, based on your orthodontist’s recommendations, they’ll plan your treatment using special ClinCheck software.
3. Virtual treatment plan
Your virtual treatment plan is then sent back to your orthodontist so we can make sure we’re happy with your end result and the way your teeth are going to move throughout your treatment (we can anticipate how your teeth will look at every stage!).
4. Your Invisalign braces
Once your ClincCheck has been approved by your orthodontist, Invisalign will make the custom aligners that will be used to straighten your teeth. The number of aligners that you’ll need will depend on how complex your treatment plan is. Usually you’ll have one aligner for every two weeks of treatment. It’s important to wear your retainers for between 20 and 22 hours every day.
Your orthodontist will give you a few aligners at a time and see you every six to eight weeks to check your progress and hand over the next set of aligners. Usually this is a quick routine appointment to make sure everything is moving as planned. Occasionally we may need to make small adjustments to your teeth or Invisalign braces. For example, it might be necessary to fit small tooth-coloured buttons to your teeth to help your aligners move them in a particular direction. These are called Invisalign attachments – you can see an example of an attachment in the below photo.
As you reach the end of your treatment we may need to make some extra refinements to give you the very best results. These would be included in the cost of your treatment and might involve taking another set of impressions, from which Invisalign can make you some extra aligners to refine your results.
Once your treatment is complete you’ll be given fixed and removable retainers. Before you stop wearing your Invisalign braces we’ll fit a discreet fixed retainer behind your teeth, which will permanently hold them in place. At the same time we’ll take impressions for a removable retainer, which will arrive back from our lab the following week. Your removable retainer will be very similar to your Invisalign aligners, but you will only need to wear it periodically at night.
8. Follow-up care
Included in cost of your treatment are two years of follow-up care, so for the next 24 months we’ll see you for regular check-ups and you can also get in touch if you have any problems.