Invisalign is a form of clear, removable aligners or braces. These are usually recommended for realigning teeth that do not present complex cases. Costs are usually comparable to those associated with traditional metal wire braces. Sometimes adults or professionals choose to use Invisalign so the realignment process will not detract from their appearance. Invisalign is a series of clear aligners that are custom-made for your teeth. They press directly on your teeth to exert pressure. As one set of aligners moves your teeth into a desired position, you stop wearing that set and move on to the next. You usually wear each set for two to three weeks, depending on the amount of movement required. The aligners can be removed when you eat, floss and brush your teeth but should usually be worn for 20-22 hours per day for maximum effect.
Choose an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist who will evaluate your teeth and advise you about whether Invisalign is an appropriate solution for your specific dental care needs. If you decide to use this system, your dentist will take x-rays and impressions of your teeth and may use a CT scan to determine the current positioning of teeth in your mouth. A digital three-dimensional image is created which is used to map out a course of desired movements needed to bring your teeth back into alignment.
During the alignment process you will have dental appointments scheduled every six weeks or so. Molds of your teeth may be taken to create the various stages of aligners. Your dentist will evaluate the progress that has been made with your current set of aligners and determine whether you are ready to proceed with the next set. Over the course of time the aligners will gently move your teeth into the desired position. Depending on the amount of movement needed, the entire process may take anywhere from one to two years. At the end of that time, you should have straighter healthy teeth if you've kept up with your oral hygiene.
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