About Invisalign

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is the most popular brand of clear aligners used for orthodontic treatment. It utilizes a series of clear removable aligners, also called trays, made of smooth clear plastic that straighten your teeth over time, and offers adults and teenagers an alternative solution to traditional braces. Your treatment plan is completely customized and designed step-by-step by your Portland orthodontist, who will monitor your progress from A to Z until a beautiful smile and a healthy bite are achieved.

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

Invisalign treatment moves teeth in a reliable, comfortable, and discreet way. Patients also love Invisalign because of their esthetic advantage. But, that’s not all:

While the cosmetic benefits of Invisalign are often the most touted, the other benefits are hard to deny. Patients in traditional braces have to forgo many foods to avoid damaging the brackets and wires. But that isn’t the case with Invisalign because the aligners are removed before eating and drinking. That also means brushing and flossing is easy because you don’t have brackets and wires to try to work around. Of course, your ability to remove the aligners comes as a double-edge sword! They only work when they are worn, and therefore require a higher degree of patient compliance to ensure treatment stays on track.

Brackets and wires of traditional braces can irritate the inside of the mouth, but Invisalign aligners are made of smooth plastic that is comfortable. And the best part is that there are no adjustment appointments needed – simply visit the orthodontist every few months to check that your treatment is on track and your aligners are working as effectively as they should. Your orthodontic treatment can be accomplished with minimal disruptions to your busy life.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign utilizes a series of clear removable aligners that look and feel like clear retainers, or rigid whitening trays. Each patient’s treatment usually consists of 10-30 aligners that each move the teeth in small increments by applying gentle pressure, and patients progress through the series until the teeth straighten completely. The aligners are made of smooth clear plastic, with no need for metal wires or brackets. Your orthodontist combines his or her expertise in orthodontics with powerful digital technology to prescribe your unique treatment plan.

At the first appointment, a 3D digital impression of the teeth is taken to allow for a highly personalized treatment plan. From these impressions, your orthodontist will create the final design of how your teeth will look at the end, as well as plan all the steps to get there. The process is quite similar to how architects sketch their dream plans into blueprints, make several revisions, and plan all the processes and materials to bring their imagination to life! Your treatment is therefore 100% personalized and never a one-size-fits-all prescription.

Once the aligners are custom-ordered, the series of aligners will gradually guide the teeth to their proper alignment. The trays utilize gentle, consistent pressure to move teeth. Each set of aligners is worn for 22 hours a day for 7-14 days before moving to the next set. Each set of aligners is perfectly calibrated to achieve a certain tooth movement, with the end result being a straighter smile with a healthier bite. Treatment time usually varies from 6-24 months, depending on the complexity of your case.

Will Invisalign work for me and my child?

Very often the answer is “Yes!”. Invisalign is a great treatment option for many patients, but the only way to determine if it is right for you is through a consultation. With your best interest always at heart, Dr. Leemin will examine your overall smile and bite, and recommend Invisalign only if she believes that the results will be as high quality or better than with braces.

With her years of experience as a certified Invisalign provider, Dr. Leemin is able to treat a wide spectrum of orthodontic cases spanning from simple crowding cases to complex surgical cases. Fortunately for all of us, Invisalign treatment is now no longer limited only to those with the most minor malocclusions.