All About Invisalign

While there have been some amazing advances in orthodontics in recent years, many patients are still uncomfortable with the idea of wearing traditional braces. Although modern braces are more comfortable and customizable than ever before, many teens and adults are still on the fence about them. Fortunately, Zeifman Orthodontics offers another option for straightening teeth and achieving the smile you desire!

The Invisalign clear aligner system is our most popular alternative to braces, and gives patients the same results without any metal, wires, and brackets. As you can imagine, this makes them especially appealing to image-conscious teens and adults! Invisalign can be a great choice for patients who want to avoid the appearance of traditional braces, and keep their normal lifestyle intact while undergoing orthodontic treatment. But what exactly is Invisalign, and how does it work? Let’s take a closer look to find out more! 

What is Invisalign?

The Invisalign system uses a series of clear removable plastic trays to give you a straighter, healthier smile. Because the design is so simple, you may wonder how the aligners can achieve the same results as metal braces, but the trays are made of a special thermoplastic resin that’s strong enough to move teeth into alignment. To do so,  the custom-made aligners are switched out at regular intervals throughout the treatment process.

How does Invisalign work?

The first step in any orthodontic journey is an initial consultation. Zeifman Orthodontics is proud to offer this visit free of charge! During this appointment, Dr. Zeifman will thoroughly examine your mouth, discuss any orthodontic needs, and decide if your smile is a good fit for Invisalign. If you decide to move forward with this treatment option, we’ll begin the process of mapping out a precise treatment plan for you using a highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums. This plan will include the exact movements we want your teeth to make, and will give us an indication of how long your treatment is likely to take. 

We will also use this scan to begin custom designing your aligners! These will be created from Invisalign’s special SmartTrack® material, which is both durable and comfortable. The aligners are also virtually invisible. Although the total number of aligners needed will vary from case to case, the average is usually somewhere between 10 and 48, with treatment time averaging between 6 and 18 months. 

Unlike traditional braces, which are a fixed appliance, Invisalign aligners are removable. This means patient compliance is necessary for the treatment to work properly. In order to maximize the effectiveness of your Invisalign aligners, you’ll need to wear them for 20-22 hours daily, throughout the course of treatment. You will also switch to a new set of aligners every 1-2 weeks, based on your particular treatment plan. Regular check-ups to check the movement of your teeth will be scheduled for every 10-12 weeks or so.

Dr. Zeifman adding attachments to a patient's teeth

What are the benefits of Invisalign treatment?

You already know that Invisalign can be a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing solution than traditional metal braces, but it has multiple other benefits that extend beyond that!

Because the aligners are removable, there are no food restrictions, something those in braces often struggle with. To protect the wires and brackets, patients must steer clear of any treats that are too chewy or crunchy until the braces are removed. That means avoiding things like whole apples and carrots, popcorn and most chips, and a lot of candy, too. The effort is worthwhile, of course, but it can be frustrating! Invisalign aligners, on the other hand, are designed to be removed when you eat or drink anything other than water. 

Similarly, removable aligners can make a big difference to your oral hygiene routine! It’s important to care for your teeth and gums all the time, but even more essential when undergoing orthodontic treatment. Unfortunately, the wires, brackets, and bands that come with traditional braces can make proper brushing and flossing a difficult task. With Invisalign, aligners are simply taken out before brushing and flossing. Cleaning them couldn’t be easier, either – there are special kits designed to clean Invisalign aligners, or you can gently clean them using denture crystals and a soft toothbrush.

Need more reasons to invest in Invisalign? Removable aligners can be a huge bonus when you play a contact sport (you can remove your Invisalign aligner and wear a regular mouthguard or wear them with a mouthguard that fits over them) or an instrument (no wires or brackets to get in the way!) They’re also perfect for those special occasions where you just want your natural smile to shine through, like weddings, prom, senior pictures, etc.  

Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?

In general, Invisalign is most effective for adult and teen patients who have mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are more complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner can achieve. However, Invisalign First aligners are now available, and designed to treat a broad range of orthodontic issues in growing children, including crowding, spacing, and narrow dental arches. These aligners are a great way to get Phase 1 results without having to use traditional braces!

Invisalign’s SmartForce attachments allow us to make complex tooth movements without braces, as well. These small but powerful attachments are barely noticeable, but will help the aligner apply the right amount of force in the right direction, resulting in a straighter smile. SmartForce attachments are essentially tooth-colored shapes that are attached to your teeth before or during your Invisalign treatment, giving aligners something to gently push on. Not everyone who uses Invisalign clear aligners will need SmartForce attachments.

During your complimentary consultation with us, Dr. Zeifman will be able to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you or your child. If a more traditional treatment method would be better for your smile, she will recommend that instead. 

Dr. Zeifman working on a patient's Invisalign

What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?

Even with orthodontic treatment, teeth retain memories of their previous place in the mouth, and have a tendency to drift back to their original positions over time. Retainers can help prevent this kind of drifting and keep your new smile in place! Once the Invisalign process is complete, we’ll provide you with a retainer. To maintain the best results, wear it exactly as directed by Dr. Zeifman

Invisalign is the clear choice at Zeifman Orthodontics

Invisalign is gaining popularity and changing the way people view orthodontic treatment every day. As a certified Invisalign provider, we proudly offer this innovative technology to our compatible patients in Florham Park and the surrounding communities!  If you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign and what it can do for you, we invite you to contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation. Our customized approach to care, cutting-edge techniques, and innovative technology like Invisalign will help you put your best face forward!