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What are the benefits of Invisalign(R) invisible braces and how does the process work?

For those curious about Invisalign invisible braces or exploring Madison youth and adult orthodontic options, here is an overview of the Invisalign process and some of the reasons that Invisalign invisible braces have become so popular as an orthodontics option.

What is Invisalign(R)?

Invisalign(R) is the "clear" way to straighten teeth. Invisalign(R) gradually moves your teeth through a series of custom-made, removable, nearly invisible clear plastic containers called "aligners".
Dr. Sarah Santos of First Choice Dental is a Premier Provider for Invisalign. She has extensive expertise as an orthodontist with both Invisalign(R) and traditional braces. Dr. Santos is among few Premier Providers in the state of Wisconsin. She is in the top 5% of Invisalign Providers in the nation.

Dr. Santos explains Invisalign's rising popularity, "Invisalign is becoming more popular as an orthodontics option among both teens and adults, because of how easy it is to brush, floss and eat with Invisalign compared with traditional braces. In addition, many people prefer the look of nearly invisible clear plastic aligners to the look of traditional braces." Dr. Santos added that patients enjoy being able to remove Invisalign aligners for special occasions or to enjoy their favorite foods that they wouldn't be able to eat with traditional braces.

Can Invisalign Improve My Oral Health?

Invisalign clear braces may also have a potential health benefit. With Invisalign, your gum health may actually improve. Research has shown that periodontal tissue health may improve with use of Invisalign(R) aligners during orthodontic treatment.

Swollen, red gums can often be the result of having teeth that are crowded or too widely spaced. Unfortunately, these are also signs of periodontal disease. When teeth are properly aligned, it helps the gums fit more securely around the teeth, allowing for the strongest and healthiest defense against potential periodontal problems. Because Invisalign aligns teeth, this orthodontic process can help avoid gum disease and other health issues that can be caused by crooked or crowded teeth. The comfortable and clear aligners gently and gradually begin to move your teeth into the proper position - without brackets and wires.

According to Dr. Sarah Santos, orthodontist with First Choice Dental, one of the most rewarding moments as an orthodontist is realizing how orthodontics changes patients' lives. "It's so rewarding to help patients achieve the smile they've always wanted, and improve not only the look of their smile, but also how well a properly aligned smile works for chewing and speaking."

Brandi, an Invisalign patient with First Choice Dental, said "I truly enjoyed my entire experience with First Choice Dental. When my orthodontist and I made the decision to start Invisalign, I was thrilled to hear it would only be a five-month process for me. My ultimate goal was to not have the gap in between my teeth anymore, and now, I can actually feel confident in showing my teeth in pictures. Speaking to others face-to-face is a huge part of my career. When I smile, I now feel more comfortable. I couldn't be more happy with my teeth, it has changed my life, and now I can show it!"

How Does the Invisalign Process Work?

Once you've chosen an orthodontist who is an Invisalign provider, you may schedule your initial consultation. Choosing the right provider, with orthodontic training and Invisalign experience, is an important medical and financial decision. Not all dentists and orthodontists work with Invisalign, so it's important to find a doctor who has received the proper Invisalign training and can truly evaluate your needs and determine how Invisalign can help you. Because Invisalign is in fact an orthodontics process, it's also important to find a licensed, expert and experienced orthodontist to meet your needs, as opposed to a general dentist who is not thoroughly familiar with orthodontics.

During your Invisalign consultation, you and your orthodontist will discuss your case in detail to determine if you're a good candidate for Invisalign. Invisalign now addresses many cases, from simple to more complex. Your doctor will give you the information you need to determine if Invisalign is right for you. During your initial consultation, you'll also have the opportunity to ask questions about treatment, including costs, dental/orthodontic insurance, or any other concerns.

Getting Started with Invisalign

Your doctor will take x-rays, pictures and impressions of your teeth, which will be used to create a digital 3-D image of them. From these images your doctor will map out a precise treatment plan, including the exact movements of your teeth. Using this same technology, your doctor will even be able to show you a virtual representation of how your teeth will move with each stage of treatment.

Invisalign Creates a Series of Personal, Custom Invisible Aligners

Based on your individual treatment plan, Invisalign will create a series of custom-made, clear aligners specifically for you. These aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable BPA-free plastic that won't irritate your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces often do. You'll wear them throughout the day, and remove them when you eat or to brush and floss your teeth. As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth gently and gradually begin to shift into place. And because they're virtually invisible, most people won't even notice you're wearing them.

Invisalign Process Involves Only Occasional Checkups

Roughly every two weeks, you will begin wearing a new set of aligners, advancing you to the next stage of your treatment. To monitor your progress, you will also have occasional checkups with your orthodontist, usually every six weeks or so. At every stage, you will be able to see how much closer you are to having the smile you want.

How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?

Dr. Santos says that treatment varies for individual patients. "Every case is unique to each patient, but in general, treatment typically takes about a year for adults. For teens, the length of treatment is comparable to that of braces, but since your teeth won't be covered by wires and brackets, you'll be able to see improvement much sooner. For best results and a timely outcome, we recommend that patients wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, throughout the entire treatment."

Learn more about Madison youth and adult orthodontics options, or contact our orthodontics team to schedule your complimentary initial consultation to learn if Invisalign is right for you. You can call (608) 848-0820 or email our orthodontics team at ortho@firstchoicedental.com.