CBCT (cone beam computed tomography) can often be used to help diagnose and manage orthodontic conditions. In this post, our BC and Alberta orthodontists discuss how we leverage this imaging technology, and its value in orthodontics.
Invisalign Frequently Asked Questions
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While children should see us for an initial orthodontic assessment by age 7, did you know the habits that lead to good orthodontic health start in infancy? Our orthodontists in BC and Alberta explain how toothbrushing, thumbsucking and jaw development can influence how much orthodontic intervention will be needed later as a child grows.
What is considered early orthodontic treatment? Why is it ideal to detect developmental and orthodontic issues in children when they are young as opposed to entering their teen years? Our BC and Alberta orthodontists explain why early treatment is optimal for most kids.
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- What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a series of clear, custom-fitted aligners that straighten your teeth without metal wires or brackets.
Using advanced 3D computer imaging technology during the consultation process, we will create a treatment plan based on your unique smile.
A series of custom clear aligners will then be manufactured to fit your teeth precisely during each stage of the Invisalign treatment process.
- How does the Invisalign process work?
Invisalign clear plastic aligners are designed to move your teeth in tiny increments as your treatment progresses. You will wear each aligner for about 2 weeks before it is replaced by the next one in the series.
This process will continue until your teeth are in their prescribed, corrected positions. The duration of your Invisalign treatment will be determined by your orthodontist based on your specific needs.
- How long does Invisalign treatment take?
Your orthodontist will determine the duration of your Invisalign treatment based on your specific needs.
Factors that may determine the duration of your treatment include the misalignment of your teeth or jaw, the shape of your bite and the amount of movement required to correct the problem.
- What are Invisalign aligners made of?
The Invisalign aligners are made with USP Class VI medical-grade, high-molecular-weight polyurethane resins. They are BPA-free.
- How often do I have to visit the orthodontist?
Since Invisalign aligners require no adjustments or tightening — you just switch to a new set of aligners every seven days — your orthodontist will schedule brief appointments with you every 4 to 6 weeks.
During these appointments, your orthodontist will take the opportunity to review your progress and general oral health, answer your questions and adjust your treatment as required.
- What are the primary features of Invisalign?
The features of Invisalign include:
- A discreet, low-profile appearance
- Smooth construction for enhanced comfort
- No adjustment appointments
- Removable for eating, brushing and flossing
- How much does Invisalign cost?
Cost will depend on the severity of your case and duration of your treatment. For instance, the more severe the malocclusion, the more aligners you'll need and the more your treatment will cost.
In many cases, the cost of Invisalign is comparable to that of traditional orthodontic treatment (braces).
- How will Invisalign fit my lifestyle?
You may find that Invisalign fits very comfortably into your day-to-day life.
You can take your aligners out whenever you need to eat, drink, brush and floss. That means absolutely no dietary restrictions, and brushing and flossing are just as easy as ever.
- Are there any food or drink restrictions?
Invisalign aligners are removable, meaning you can take them out to eat. As a result, there are no dietary restrictions when it comes to Invisalign, so you can continue to eat all the foods you love!
To avoid staining your clear aligners, we recommend removing them when you consume beverages such as wine, coffee or dark sodas.
- How many sets of aligners will I need?
The answer to this question will depend on the severity of your misalignment.
Only your orthodontist can give you an accurate estimate of how many aligners you will need, based on a careful evaluation of your bite during an initial consultation.
- Can adults use Invisalign?
Yes! Anyone who has healthy teeth and gums is a potential candidate for Invisalign.
Some adults even decide to undergo orthodontic treatment these days because options like Invisalign have become available.
- Can teenagers use Invisalign?
Yes! Teens certainly can be candidates for Invisalign. In fact, Invisalign has created a line of aligners to meet the unique needs of teenagers.
Invisalign Teen aligners have compliance indicators on them (small blue dots that fade away after the aligners have been worn for two full weeks) to help teens stay on track with their treatment.
They also come with eruption tabs that provide space for second molars and prevent them from growing crooked.
- How often do I have to change my Invisalign aligners?
Most patients change to their next set of aligners every 2 weeks or so. Your orthodontist will tell you exactly how often you should switch out your aligners.
- How do I clean my aligners?
Rinse your aligners each time you remove them to wash away dry saliva and plaque that can result in dental decay and bad breath.
Soak your aligners using a denture cleaner, Retainer Brite, and / or the official Invisalign cleaning crystals.
Brush and floss your teeth before you put your aligners back in. Good oral hygiene is key to maintaining healthy teeth and avoiding cavities and decay. Failing to brush and floss properly can trap food debris and bacteria between your teeth and aligner, increasing your risk of dental problems and bad breath.
Clean your aligners with a clear, anti-bacterial soft soap. Clear anti-bacterial soap is an excellent and inexpensive way to keep your aligners clear, fresh and free from harmful bacteria.
Brush your aligners gently so as not to scratch them and then rinse off the soap. Then you're done!
- Can I play sports with Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are removable so you can play sports without worrying about causing damage to your aligners.
However, keep in mind that Invisalign aligners must be kept in for a minimum of 22 hours a day, so plan your time carefully.
You'll also want to invest in a sports mouthguard to protect your teeth, as orthodontic treatment can cause your teeth to loosen slightly as they shift into their new positions, and this can make them more susceptible to damage.
- Can I play my instrument with Invisalign?
Yes! Simply remove your aligners to practice playing your instrument, and pop them back in when you're done.
- How do I store my aligners?
Your Invisalign aligners will come with a case, and this is where you should put your aligners whenever you take them out to keep them safe.