Wichita Invisalign 101

Dillehay Orthodontics Is Your Wichita Invisalign Provider

Orthodontics have taken some pretty big strides in recent years, offering more treatment options, as well as advances in comfort and appearance. Yet traditional metal braces have a reputation that’s hard to shake, and many patients still react to the news that they need orthodontic treatment with dismay. A persistent image of them as awkward and obvious can leave many teens and adults on the fence about them, in spite of the fact that they’re sleeker and lighter than ever before. If you’re the kind of patient who just can’t get past the “brace-face” stereotype, we’ve got good news! Dillehay Orthodontics offers another option for straightening teeth and giving you the smile you desire, and deserve.

Invisalign is a clear aligner system offering you an easy alternative to traditional braces. It’s able to give you the same results without the restrictions that can come with the metal, wires, and brackets of braces. For teens and adults who would rather avoid the appearance of traditional braces, and keep their lives as simplified and uninhibited as possible during treatment, Invisalign is an especially attractive option. We could talk all day about what a great choice Invisalign can be for patients looking for subtle and versatile orthodontic treatment, but first of all, we want you to know what exactly it is, and how exactly it works. Keep reading for a lesson in Invisalign 101!

What is the Invisalign system?

Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to give you a healthier, straighter smile. The design is deceptively simple, and you may wonder how plain plastic trays can ever achieve the same results as metal braces. But the trays are actually made of a special type of thermoplastic resin that’s strong enough to move your teeth into alignment by switching out the custom-made aligners at weekly intervals throughout treatment.

How does Invisalign work?

The first step in any orthodontic treatment is an initial consultation, which Dillehay Orthodontics is happy to provide for free. During this appointment, Dr. Dillehay or Dr. J.K. will perform a complete exam, discuss your orthodontic needs, and decide whether Invisalign is the right treatment choice for you. If you are a good fit for the system, we can begin the process of custom designing aligners that are specific to your smile, starting with a highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums. This scan is then used to map out a precise treatment plan for you, taking into account your needs and goals. The plan includes the exact movements we want your teeth to make, as well as an estimate of how long we expect your treatment to take. You might even get the chance to preview your new smile before we begin!

Using the 3D scan, your custom aligners will then be created from Invisalign’s special SmartTrack® material. This keeps the plastic trays comfortable and virtually invisible. The total number of aligners worn during treatment varies, but is usually somewhere between 10 and 48, with the total treatment time averaging between 5 and 15 months. In order to maximize their effectiveness, you’ll need to wear the aligners for 20-22 hours daily, throughout the course of treatment. Invisalign will not work if you aren’t wearing the aligners as directed.

During treatment, we’ll switch you to a new set of aligners every one to two weeks based on your treatment plan.  You’ll be scheduled for regular check-ups with one of our conveniently located offices about every four to eight weeks.

What are the advantages of Invisalign over traditional orthodontic treatment?

Man with Invisalign smilingWhile Invisalign is more comfortable and less visible than traditional metal braces, the benefits extend well beyond that!

With removable aligners, there aren’t any restrictions to what you can eat or what activities you can participate in. Having to forego some of your favorite foods while undergoing traditional braces treatment can be one of its biggest challenges. Because of the wires and brackets, patients must steer clear of any treats that are chewy, sticky, crunchy, or hard. No raw apples or carrots, popcorn or chips, and lots of candy is off the table, too. This can often make social situations frustrating, since so many of them are centered around food. But Invisalign aligners are removable, not fixed, so you take them out anytime you want to eat. Without food restrictions, working towards a straight smile is a lot more fun.

Removable aligners can also be a huge bonus when you’re playing a contact sport, since you can remove your Invisalign aligner and just wear a regular mouthguard, and helpful for musicians, as there aren’t any wires or brackets to get in between you and your instrument. Invisalign is also perfect for those special occasions like weddings, prom, homecoming, and senior pictures, where you want your natural smile to be the only thing people see.

Invisalign has the potential to make a big difference to your oral hygiene routine. While it’s important to pay special attention to your dental hygiene all the time, it’s especially imperative to do so when undergoing orthodontic treatment. The wires, brackets, and bands that accompany traditional braces can unfortunately make brushing and flossing effectively a difficult and often time-consuming task. With Invisalign, aligners are simply taken out before brushing and flossing! Cleaning your aligner is a cinch, as well. There are special kits available that have been designed specifically to clean Invisalign aligners, or you can gently clean them using denture crystals and a soft toothbrush.

Am I a good candidate for Invisalign?

Invisalign is designed to be used on adult and teen patients with the most common orthodontic issues. There are more complicated or severe cases which may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner can achieve. During your initial complimentary consultation with us here at Dillehay Orthodontics, we’ll be able to determine if Invisalign would be a good fit for your orthodontic issues, or if you’d be better served by more traditional orthodontic treatment.

What happens once my Invisalign treatment is complete?

Our teeth will always retain the memory of their previous place in our mouths, and as such, have a tendency to drift back to their original positions over time. For this reason, it’s important to retain their new positions after any form of orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign. Once your treatment process is complete, we’ll provide you with a retainer that you will need to wear as directed in order to maintain your new, straighter smile.

Invisalign in Wichita with Dillehay Orthodontics

Group of teen friends smilingInvisalign continues to grow in popularity, and is changing the way people view orthodontic treatment. We’re proud to offer this this technology to our patients in Wichita and the surrounding areas. We have five conveniently located offices, a customized approach to patient care, and cutting-edge techniques that help you put your best face forward. If you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign and what it can do for you, get in touch with us today and schedule your complimentary consultation. Dillehay Orthodontics and Invisalign are here to help you achieve the smile of your dreams!