In 2017, Invisalign reached a significant milestone when the number of Invisalign patients had surpassed six million, many of them adults.
What Is The Reason For Invisalign’s Rise In Popularity?
Invisalign moves beyond the need for traditional metal brackets and wires. It enables patients to achieve the smiles they’ve always wanted without having to deal with the problems that braces can cause; the first being the issue of comfort. Many patients enjoy the comfort of Invisalign aligners, which are known to rest on sensitive oral tissues without causing abrasions.
The Invisalign system consists of a series of clear aligners, each one custom made with durable plastic and generated by special computers.
It is advised that the trays be worn twenty to twenty-two hours a day. That is quite the commitment, however, unlike braces Invisalign trays are removable. This removability of Invisalign Trays also allows patients to continue eating and drinking certain foods without the risk of staining or harming the aligner trays.
More Than Just One Tray
What a lot of people may not initially realize is that you do not use just one tray. To slowly readjust tooth position a new tray has to be used every few weeks. Each tray is specially designed to incrementally readjust each tooth just a little bit more with each tray. That’s because not all the teeth will have been suffering from the same problem. Each tooth needs to be specifically adjusted, with some even needing to be rotated slightly.
On average, a patient’s treatment with Invisalign lasts about a year. As such, most patients go through about 20 to 30 Invisalign trays. Some patients with more extreme problems may need greater dental adjustment and as such will instead need more trays, sometimes as much as 50 trays over the course of treatment.
The ‘Invis’ in Invisalign
A second reason for Invisalign’s popularity is because of the near-invisible nature of the trays – thus the ‘Invis’ part of Invisalign. The clear aligners are made of flexible plastic — specifically, a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack created exclusively for Invisalign treatment. The flexible plastic is highly transparent and allows patients the opportunity to have orthodontic readjustment without having to worry so much about the detriment to their aesthetics.
The effectiveness of the trays and their inconspicuous design are important factors, but perhaps the most important is the speed with which they work. While you typically wear braces for 2 years, Invisalign treatment usually only lasts between 9-15 months.
After the patient has gone through the course of treatment the patient will usually need to be fitted with retainers. This is because the teeth will want to slowly move back into their original position, which would undo all the success the Invisalign trays will have achieved.
There are two types of retainers: fixed and removable.
A fixed retainer consists of a thin, metal wire that’s glued to the back of the teeth, on the tongue side. These retainers stay put permanently and offer extra assurance that your teeth won’t move after the course of treatment.
Removable retainers come in two forms.
The first is the traditional wire retainer. This retainer consists of both a custom plastic piece that sits against the roof of your mouth and a thin, metal wire that wraps around the front of the teeth.
The second option is the clear, removable retainers slip over the teeth just like your Invisalign. many Invisalign patients choose this type because it’s what they’re used to and you can barely tell you’re wearing it. They’re equally as comfortable as aligners and made from a durable material.
With both post-treatment retainers, it is essential that you keep them clean. For a fixed retainer the patient must brush around the wire really well at least twice a day and continue to floss once daily. For a removable retainer every so often, give it a deeper clean by soaking it in a retainer-cleaning solution. Additionally, the patient must always take removable retainers out whenever eating and drinking anything aside from plain water. Hot foods or beverages can warp the retainer and snacks and drinks will stain it or, worse, cause damage.
If you’d like to know more about whether Invisalign is the right option for you. Please feel free to contact Heritage Orthodontics. With offices in Mississauga and Georgetown, we’re here to help answer your questions and help you get the teeth you’ve always wanted.