Invisalign in Elma

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign is one of the most popular treatment options for adults with crooked teeth. It utilizes a series of removable clear plastic aligners that subtly straighten teeth without the use of uncomfortable wires or brackets. The aligners are made with 3D imaging technology and incrementally adjust the position of your teeth to gradually move your smile into alignment. 

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Invisalign’s parent company, Align Technology, was founded in San Jose, California in 1997 by Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth.

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How does the Invisalign process work?

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Consultation

The first step towards your new smile is a one on one consultation with your doctor. They’ll examine your teeth and gums, discuss your orthodontic goals, and help decide if Invisalign is right for you. We’ll use dental putty or digital scans to create impressions of your mouth, and show you a digital mockup to give you a sneak peek of what your new smile will look like.

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Aligner Pick-Up

You’ll return to the Elma dental office once we receive your first few sets of aligners. You’ll try them on and we’ll make any necessary adjustments. Your doctor will provide instructions on how to wear them for the best results. Most patients are instructed to wear them for 20-22 hours a day. Every two weeks or so, you’ll also switch out the aligners for the next set.

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Check-Ins

Every 6 weeks, you’ll come back to the office to check-in and pick up your next several sets of aligners. Your doctor will monitor your progress to ensure your smile is on the right track. As long as you’re diligent about wearing your aligners for the correct amount of time every day, your teeth will continue shifting into the desired position.

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Maintaining Your Smile

Once your treatment has been completed, you’ll receive a set of Invisalign retainers to ensure your beautiful new smile stays straight. These retainers look similar to Invisalign aligners, but their durability makes them better suited for long-term use, as they can handle excessive pressure without breaking down. Wearing your retainers nightly will keep your teeth straight for years to come.

What can Invisalign treat?

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Overbite

An overbite is present when the upper teeth excessively overlap the lower front teeth. Overbites are a common occurrence, and often don’t present an issue, but when the gap is too large, they can become a problem. The misalignment not only leads to premature wear and tear, but can also cause jaw pain. Invisalign can shift your teeth into a healthier position without the need for braces.

Underbite

Underbites occur when your lower front teeth sit in front of your upper arch of teeth. Often, underbites happen when the lower jaw is simply too far forward. An underbite can make it difficult to chew or speak properly, and can cause premature wear to your teeth. In some cases, underbites can be alleviated with Invisalign alone, but more severe cases may require oral surgery before beginning orthodontic treatment.

Crossbite

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.

Gapped Teeth

While common, gaps between your teeth can create significant risks for the health of your smile. Gaps are difficult to clean, making them easy places for food to get stuck in and can harbor bacteria that lead to gum disease. Close those gaps with Invisalign for a seamless, healthy smile.

Open Bite

In an ideal bite, the upper and lower front teeth touch when the mouth is closed. For patients with an open bite, the teeth do not touch. Open bites can make eating and chewing difficult, and can cause problems with speech and premature wear. Invisalign can gradually reposition your open bite until all of your teeth are in alignment.

Crowded Teeth

When your teeth overlap each other due to a lack of room in your mouth, it is called crowding. Crowding can make brushing and flossing difficult, allowing plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria to build up. Over time, this buildup may lead to tooth decay, cavities, and even gum disease. Fortunately, Invisalign is able to remedy most cases of crowded teeth.

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Over 8 million patients have trusted Invisalign to transform their smiles.

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Have questions about Invisalign? Find answers here.

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How are Invisalign clear aligners made?

Invisalign aligners are crafted with layers of photo-sensitive liquid resin, designed from impressions of your teeth. Once exposed to a special light, the resin cures into a hard and flexible thermoplastic called SmartTrack®, which was created exclusively for Invisalign treatment. It's got the approval of the FDA too!

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How do I take care of my aligners?

One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is the ease of use and maintenance. Keep your aligners clean by brushing them with a toothbrush whenever you brush your teeth. If you’re out and about, you can simply rinse the aligners in lukewarm water. The most important thing to remember is to never use hot water or abrasive cleaners, as they can warp the plastic, rendering them ineffective, or even detrimental to your treatment. If you’re interested in a more thorough cleaning regiment, you can also purchase an Invisalign Cleaning System.

Can you see the Invisalign aligners when you’re wearing them?

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Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible while they are being worn. In fact, most people won’t notice them at all! Not only is the plastic clear, but there are no bulky metal brackets or wires to draw attention to your teeth. Plus, your aligners are custom-made to fit snuggly and are trimmed down so they don’t show over your gum line.

How much does Invisalign cost?

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In most cases, the cost of Invisalign treatment is comparable to the cost of traditional braces, but pricing will vary depending on your unique oral health needs. For a more accurate estimate, schedule a consultation with your doctor today! Many insurance plans also cover some orthodontic treatments, so be sure to call your provider to get the details of your benefits.

Can I eat and drink while using Invisalign?

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Eating and drinking along with brushing your teeth are the only times that Invisalign trays should be removed while in treatment. While drinking water with your Invisalign trays in is ok, drinking any colored liquids will stain the trays. Eating is also discouraged while your trays are being worn as the food will stick to the trays and dislodge them, potentially leading to breakage. We do recommend keeping your trays in your Invisalign case when you have them out to eat to make sure they are now misplaced!

Can I straighten my teeth on my own with a company like Smile Direct Club?

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More and more companies are coming out with products to straighten your teeth at home. While they may be cheaper than Invisalign and other in-office clear aligners, these products can lead to major dental problems down the road! Companies like Smile Direct Club don’t know and don’t care if you have existing cavities or bone loss that could lead to tooth loss when combined with orthodontics. When receiving Invisalign treatment we will closely monitor your progress to ensure that the teeth are moving properly and we catch any small problems before they become big problems! We STRONGLY advise staying away from any at-home straightening products and talk to us about your options to see if you are a good candidate for Invisalign treatment.

Does Invisalign hurt?

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It is normal to feel minor discomfort each time you change your Invisalign tray due to increased pressure on the teeth. This discomfort rarely lasts more than 24 hours. Over the counter pain medication such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol are typically enough to alleviate any discomfort that you might feel during the first day.

How long does Invisalign treatment take?

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The length of a patient's Invisalign treatment varies greatly with the complexity of their case. Patients needing only minor movement may complete their treatment in 6 months or less, while patients who need a lot of tooth movement may require up to 18 months of treatment. Each Invisalign treatment is individualized to your needs. During your treatment period you will need to visit our office about once a month to make sure your Invisalign aligners are fitting properly.

Importance of wearing your aligners

Additionally, Invisalign can only move your teeth properly when you wear your aligners as instructed. It is important that you wear your retainers at all times except for eating, drinking beverages other than water, and brushing your teeth. This should total about 22 hours a day. This means if your aligners are not worn at all other times, it may prolong your treatment. While there may be slight discomfort when moving from one aligner to another, just as there are with regular braces, the majority of the time Invisalign aligners are extremely comfortable, which will make it easy to ensure you wear them as much as possible.

Your Invisalign Retainer

At the end of treatment, it is important to always wear your retainer at night when sleeping. Your retainer will ensure your teeth stay in the proper place and do not shift following your treatment.

Invisalign Consultation

If you are interested in Invisalign, call our Elma, NY dental office today for a personalized consultation. At your consultation, we will do a thorough evaluation and take any necessary x-rays to determine if you are a good candidate for Invisalign. If together we determine that Invisalign is a good fit for you, we will be able to give you a better estimate of your timeframe for wearing Invisalign and we can get you on the path to a beautiful smile!

How many hours a day do I need to wear my Invisalign?

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In order to ensure that your Invisalign moves your teeth properly, your trays need to be worn a minimum of 20-22 hours a day. Invisalign trays should only be removed for eating, brushing and flossing. If you do have a day where you do not wear your trays as long as you should be, it is important to add additional time to the length you wear your current tray.

How often do I need to wear my Invisalign trays?

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In order to ensure that your Invisalign moves your teeth properly, your trays need to be worn a minimum of 22 hours a day. Invisalign trays should only be removed for eating, brushing and flossing. If you do have a day where you do not wear your trays as long as you should be, it is important to add additional time to the length you are wearing your current tray. For example, if normally you wear each tray for a week but have a day your trays are out more than two hours, make sure to wear that tray for a minimum of 8 days before moving to the next one.

I don't like the appearance of my teeth. What are my options?

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Depending upon your smile and the reasons for your dissatisfaction with your teeth, there are a number of options available to improve your smile. Sometimes just one of these treatment options alone is enough to get you a beautiful looking smile. In other situations the treatment options may need to be combined for an optimal result.

Whitening

Whitening can be a great option if your main concern with your teeth is the color. Whitening is a fairly simple treatment that can be done primarily from the comfort of your own home. At Springbrook Family Dentistry we will take a mold of your teeth, which will be used to make whitening trays fit precisely to your mouth. You will also be given prescription strength bleach which you will use in your trays over a couple week span for about 1 hour a day. Whitening alone often produces some excellent results!

Orthodontics/Invisalign

If you are unhappy with your smile because of crowded and misaligned teeth or large gaps between your teeth, braces or invisalign may be just what you need. Invisalign is a newer technology that uses clear, plastic aligners to move the teeth into a better position. By doing so we can straigten your teeth into the smile you always wanted without the unsightly appearance of metal braces.

Porcelain veneers

For patients that do not like the shape of their teeth or for patients that have discoloration in their teeth that cannot be corrected with whitening, veneers are an excellent way to obtain a beautiful smile. Porcelain veneers are fairly conservative in nature and only require the removal of a small amount of tooth structure. Your veneers will be made precisely to our specifications by a highly skilled lab technician and permanently cemented on to your teeth. With good homecare, porcelain veneers can last many years with a beautiful result. If your teeth need repositioning, sometimes it will be recommended to complete orthodontic work prior to receiving veneers in order to get the best result possible.

If you have any concerns about the appearance of your teeth we would be happy to provide you with a consult and discuss with you the best options for improving your smile!

Is there any benefit to Invisalign if I don’t mind my crooked teeth?

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Yes! Beautiful esthetics is just one benefit to having straight teeth. Crooked teeth and misaligned bites cause more than just an unsightly smile. People with crowded teeth usually have a much harder time keeping their teeth clean, making them more prone to dental cavities and periodontal disease. Additionally, malpositioned teeth can cause chipping and excess wear to otherwise healthy teeth. Straightening your teeth can help reduce all of the above problems to keep your smile healthy.

What is IPR?

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IPR stands for interproximal reduction. In order to move the teeth with Invisalign, it is important that the teeth are not so tight together that they cannot move. IPR is a gentle polishing between the teeth to give them enough space to pass each other. IPR is very safe and commonly used in orthodontics to help achieve the best results.

Why doesn’t everyone use Invisalign?

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While Invisalign is an excellent tool for moving teeth, it is not the best choice for everyone. Certain movements are easier to obtain with traditional orthodontic brackets, so for very complex cases, this may be the better treatment.

Additionally, Invisalign outcomes very much depend on patients being compliant with treatment and wearing their trays at least 22 hours per day. Many teenage patients (and sometimes adults) aren’t willing to commit to wearing the trays all the time but still want straight teeth. They may be better off with attached brackets so there is no option of removing trays from their mouths.

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Most Invisalign patients achieve their desired results in just 1 year.

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