Clear aligners are a popular method for correcting problems with malocclusion, which is the term for a range of different types of tooth misalignment (overbite, underbite, open bite, crowded bite, crossbite, and gapped teeth).
Invisalign® is the most commonly used treatment option for these issues and is made from a thermoplastic material called SmartTrack® that allows your teeth to be shifted into their optimum positions without the embarrassment of traditional braces.
Residents of the Chicago, Illinois, area looking for help with tooth alignment or other dental issues can find the assistance they’re looking for with Melissa Daza, DDS, and Michelle Schwartz, DDS, and their dedicated team at Bucktown Wicker Park Dental.
Invisalign straightens your teeth, but you may wonder if, once the process is complete, it’s possible for your teeth to shift back to their previous positions. And if so, are there ways to prevent this from happening? Let’s explore these questions by looking at how Invisalign works and what you can expect after the process is finished.
How Invisalign works
These invisible aligners are designed to straighten your teeth gradually using pressure, a method very similar to traditional braces. The process starts with a dental scan of your mouth or a mold of your teeth, which is used to create your aligner trays.
Several aligner trays are made to gradually move your teeth into place, with each set being worn for a specific period of time (a new set is provided for each step of the process, according to your individual treatment schedule) and switched out for the next tray to continue your treatment.
You’ll wear your aligners for about 22 hours a day, taking them out to clean them and to eat and drink. The overall treatment period varies but can be up to a year and a half. Longer treatment time may be required depending on the severity of your malocclusion.
What happens when your Invisalign treatment is finished
Once your teeth are in their proper positions, you’ll get a set of retainers to wear to keep your teeth in place. Generally, you’ll wear your retainers for as long as you want straight teeth.
Ideal recommendations call for wearing your retainers up to three months full-time and then every night afterward. As long as you’re wearing your retainers on schedule after your treatment is complete, you shouldn’t have any issues with your teeth shifting back into their original positions.
If injury or other factors cause damage to your teeth, additional measures can be taken as needed. But if you’re taking care of your teeth, you should be fine with your retainers to keep things straight. If you have any concerns about Invisalign or other dental appliances, make an appointment today with Bucktown Wicker Park Dental to explore your treatment options.