Invisalign is the clear alternative to traditional braces. Invisalign treatment uses clear, plastic, removable aligners that gradually straighten your teeth. No wires, no brackets. They’re more comfortable than traditional braces, can be removed as needed, and can offer you faster results. They’re less noticeable and are a great orthodontic option for many teens and adults.
So how do you get started with Invisalign?
- It’s easy! It may come up during a normal check-up, either because you want to learn more about cosmetic options for your smile or because the dentist may notice your teeth are moving. Patients and prospective patients can also schedule a cosmetic consultation with us.
At Good Life Dentistry, we use the iTero Intraoral Scanner to quickly scan your mouth and show you a digital model of your teeth on a computer screen. We’ll get an accurate 3D replica of your teeth position and bite. You’ll share with us your goals for your smile, and we’ll develop a treatment plan that will help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. You’ll be able to see on screen a preview of your new smile. Our front office team will be able to discuss fees and insurance coverage with you.
- Once you’re ready to start your case, we’ll send your scan along with some other information to Invisalign. They will prepare your case, and then ship us the complete set of clear aligners (trays). Treatment times and recommendations will vary.
- When your trays arrive, you’ll come in for another short appointment. The Good Life team places precision attachments, sometimes called buttons, on your teeth using a tooth-colored composite. These buttons will help the trays move your teeth. We’ll then fit you with your first set of trays.
We’ll also explain how to wear and care for your aligners. You’ll need to wear them for 22 hours a day, only taking them out to eat or brush your teeth. We’ll then send you home with your first 3-6 aligners, each clearly marked.
- Depending on your case, you will wear each aligner for one to two weeks, and then switch to the next set. You will continue with your aligners, calling us if you have any questions or concerns. We’ll schedule you to come in for brief checks every 6 to 8 weeks.
In the spring of 2019, Dr. Shafer’s wife, Jackie, started her Invisalign journey. She’d had braces as a teenager and was happy with her results. However, she stopped using her retainer and then in her late 30s, she started to notice her bottom teeth were moving more and more. Crowding is a common problem as people age because our jaws change shape. This crowding can make teeth loose and at risk of falling out. The crowding of Jackie’s teeth was causing her bite to change, and it was becoming uncomfortable.
Dr. Shafer thought she’d be a good candidate for Invisalign, and recommended she get started before her teeth shifted even more. See more about her journey, including videos, on our Invisalign page.
On our next blog post, we’ll answer Invisalign Frequently Asked Questions. Or see our post about what it's like to complete your Invisalign treatment.