Your Charlottesville Invisalign Specialist
Did you know that straightening your smile doesn’t have to mean months of metal braces, rubber bands, and wire tightening? It’s true! As your Charlottesville orthodontics expert, Dr. Hamer and Dr. Glassick can correct misalignment and other oral issues in a virtually undetectable way using the innovative Invisalign system. Not only is Invisalign practically invisible, it also offers the comfort, convenience, and freedom you need to maintain your busy lifestyle. If you’re a teen or adult who wants the same beautiful results as braces but without the brackets, bands, and wires, Invisalign could be exactly what you’re looking for.
What does Charlottesville Invisalign treatment include?
Invisalign uses a series of clear, custom-made aligners to gradually straighten your teeth and improve your overall oral health. Your Charlottesville Invisalign treatment will begin with x-rays, pictures, and digital impressions. These will be used to produce a comprehensive 3D image of your smile and bite, from which Dr. Hamer will develop a custom treatment plan for you. This plan will include all the movements we want your teeth to make and an estimate of how long we expect your treatment to take. Using this 3D image, you’ll even be able to see a virtual representation of the movements your teeth will make throughout the Invisalign process!
Once we’ve developed an individualized treatment plan for you, a series of custom-made aligners will be created specifically for your smile. Invisalign aligners have a deceptively simple design, but these smooth plastic trays are actually constructed of a special thermoplastic resin that is strong enough to move the teeth into alignment over time. When the aligners are worn as directed, they are just as effective as traditional braces at treating many of the most common orthodontic issues.
How does Charlottesville Invisalign treatment work?
Your very first aligner will be a slightly straighter version of your smile. Invisalign aligners will completely cover your teeth, but they’re so comfortable that you’ll barely notice them, and thanks to their clear design, we bet nobody else will notice them, either!
Aligners must be worn 20-22 hours every day throughout the course of treatment, and in general, they should only be removed to eat, drink anything other than water, and to brush and floss. Invisalign depends on your commitment to the process to get results! In order for the aligners to work, you must wear them as directed by our doctors. If the aligners aren’t worn as recommended, they won’t have a chance to work and won’t be able to deliver the results you want.
Following your first aligner, you’ll change out each new set every 1-2 weeks. Every subsequent aligner will be a slightly straighter version of the last set, allowing your teeth to gently shift into a perfectly aligned, beautifully functional smile!
How long will Charlottesville Invisalign treatment last?
Like braces, Invisalign gradually straightens the teeth gradually over a period of time. To check your progress and ensure your treatment is on track, we’ll schedule follow-up appointments for you in our office every 6-10 weeks or so. Unfortunately, there is no concrete answer for how long a patient will need to use aligners. Not all smiles are created equally, and every patient responds to treatment in their own way, so there’s no “one-size-fits-all” treatment time for any orthodontic appliance, including Invisalign aligners. However, the average total treatment time with Invisalign tends to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 9-15 months. The average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 10 and 50, but both of these figures will vary from case to case.
Does Charlottesville Invisalign treatment have advantages over traditional braces?
Although patients love the invisibility factor that Invisalign aligners offer, the system also has a number of other advantages over traditional braces, including:
No food restrictions
Braces patients must avoid anything that is too crunchy or too chewy in order to protect the brackets, wires, and bands. This takes snacks like popcorn, many raw fruits and veggies, and most chips, candies, and sweets off the table for the duration of their treatment, which can be frustrating even if the end results are worth it. Invisalign aligners are removable and designed to be taken out every time you eat, so you’re free to enjoy all the same foods you normally would!
Easier to maintain
Good oral hygiene is more important than ever when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, but with braces, this can sometimes be tricky. Food particles and other debris can get trapped in all the nooks and crannies, increasing the chances of tooth decay, but Invisalign makes it incredibly easy to keep your teeth free of plaque and bacteria! Aligners are removed before you begin your dental hygiene routine, leaving you free to brush and floss the same way you always have. Cleaning the actual aligner is a simple process as well. You can invest in a special kit designed specifically to clean Invisalign aligners, or you can gently clean them with nothing more than denture crystals and a soft toothbrush.
Flexibility and freedom
For patients looking for a little more freedom from their orthodontics, Invisalign is an attractive option. If you are on the athletic side and regularly participate in sports, Invisalign aligners can be especially beneficial. They can be removed prior to practice or a game, and replaced with a mouthguard to keep your mouth and teeth protected. Aligners can also be helpful if you’re a musician, since there’s nothing to get in between you and your instrument! And when it comes to special events like weddings and proms, or even something as simple as work ID photos, Invisalign aligners can be removed temporarily, allowing nothing but your natural smile to show through.
Who is a good candidate for Charlottesville Invisalign treatment?
Invisalign is at its most effective when treating mild to moderate cases of the most common orthodontic issues. Many smiles can be successfully corrected with Invisalign, but some cases may be severe or complex enough that they will require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner can achieve. Our doctors will be able to will determine if Invisalign would be a good fit for your specific issues, or if a more traditional orthodontic approach would be better.