These days with advancements in orthodontics, there are a variety of different types that patients can choose from. It may be overwhelming to choose which type to get in order to straighten one’s teeth. At the Oaks Dental Clinic, we offer consultations with specialists in orthodontics so that patients can choose which type would be the best fit for them. One of the top choices is the Invisalign as they are clear and hardly noticeable and are able to treat a number of different types of cases (ex. Overbite, underbite, crossbite, alignment issues, etc.).
What is the Invisalign?
The Invisalign treatment is a type of braces that are different from traditional braces. While traditional braces consists of brackets, wires and elastics to hold them together, the Invisalign consists of using clear plastic aligners, also called trays, to straighten the teeth. The number of trays that are used for each patient differs according to the patient’s specific case and they are changed according to the doctor’s recommendation based on the patient’s treatment plan. As the aligners are made of flexible clear plastic, they are making it difficult to see when a patient is wearing them, becoming virtually “invisible”.
How does it work?
The start of the process will consist of a consultation with a trained Invisalign specialist. At the Oaks Dental Clinic, we have a Invisalign specialist that specifically takes care of our Invisalign patients. During the consultation, it is very important for the patient to communicate what they want to achieve with their treatment.
After the consultation, a patient can decide to get the iTero scan which may help them in the decision making process if they are still unsure whether to get the Invisalign or not. This brings up a 3D scan of your teeth which will help the specialist design the patient’s teeth’s smile using the CliniCheck software.
After checking the results of the CliniCheck with the Invisalign Specialist, the patient can make the final decision of whether they want to proceed with the Invisalign as after this step, the actual Invisalign trays are made.
After confirmation, the process of making the aligners is started. Before the patient receives their trays, each set of trays are individually packaged to ensure that they are sterile and clean when delivered to the patient. They are also labelled so that there is no confusion in regards to what order they should be worn.
In between trays, the patient will be required to have checkups with the Invisalign specialist to make sure everything is going as planned and to check the patient’s progress. After the treatment process is completed, the patient will need to have retainers to make sure that the teeth stay in their place.
What is the iTero scanner?
With the iTero scanner, there is no need for messy molds and there is no wait time for a model to be made of the patient’s teeth. Instead, in a matter of minutes, the Invisalign specialist can scan a patient’s teeth in 3D using the iTero Scanner. There is no waiting with the iTero scanner – the Invisalign specialist and the patient can see the 3D scan of the teeth as the teeth are being scanned in real time. The outcome simulator part of the scan can help continue with the consultation process.
What is the CliniCheck?
The Invisalign specialist uses the CliniCheck software to map out in 3D how the patient’s teeth are going to move throughout the patient’s Invisalign treatment process. The algorithm of the software helps the Invisalign Specialist calculate how much force is needed to move each tooth to eventually the correct place to perfect the patient’s smile.
Using exact calculations down to the millimeter, the Invisalign specialist will determine the order in which the teeth will move to perfect the smile, and if needed, make recommendations to the patient in regards to shaving a millimeter or two to close potential gaps between teeth pictured through the Clinicheck. The patient can see in 3D video how the process will be, how each tooth will move and the projected result.
Please do note that the CliniCheck process is not instant. It takes time about a week as the Invisalign Specialist has to take the time, using the software to design each step to perfect the patient’s potential smile.
What is the material the Invisalign is made of?
The Invisalign is made of clear patented material called, “SmartTrack” which was designed to be comfortable for the patient. The research behind the SmartTrack allows for easy removal after putting the aligners on while fitting snugly on the teeth when they are on. The material is engineered so that the force applied when on the teeth is consistent while being gentle on the teeth; with each tray that is used, there is control on each movement of the patient’s teeth, allowing for predictability for how the teeth are moved.
How are the aligners made?
All the aligners are custom made according to the patient’s treatment plan. As mentioned above, there is no need for messy molds as it is replaced with the iTero scan. Using the SmartTrack material, the aligners are made and trimmed according to the patient’s gumline to ensure a comfortable fit. This is done so that patients are not uncomfortable wearing the aligners.
Like all medical procedures, prospective patients for the Invisalign should visit a specialist and have a consultation to see if the treatment is right for their specific case – whether their bite, alignment, state of teeth and gums fit the criteria to get the Invisalign. Many have benefited from getting the Invisalign because of the lack of metal wires and brackets and the hassle of visiting the orthodontist every month. The Invisalign provide the convenience of less trips to the dental office, and is nearly invisible so most people do not notice – allowing patients to be comfortable and confident all the while straightening out their smile.