Choosing to straighten your teeth can be a big decision that can affect your appearance and your lifestyle. You may have business or social reasons for improving your smile. Or you may be looking for an effective yet less noticeable solution. Invisalign® and Invisalign® Teen® can help you accomplish your goals.

What is Invisalign®?

Invisalign® is an advanced system that straightens teeth without braces or fixed appliances. A custom-made series of aligners are created for you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. Your teeth will gently shift into place, based on the exact movements we plan for you. There are no metal brackets or wires involved. You just change to a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks until your treatment is complete. Most people won’t even realize you’re straightening your teeth. Dr. Callahan can help you determine if Invisalign® is the best treatment for you.

What are the benefits of Invisalign®?

  • Invisible: Most people won’t even know you’re wearing your aligners.
  • Removable: The Invisalign® aligners are removable, allowing you to eat and drink what you want
  • Cleaner teeth: One of the biggest challenges of wearing braces is removing food that gets trapped in the brackets and wires. It is easier to keep your mouth clean with Invisalign®, since you can remove the aligners.
  • Comfort: The aligners are comfortable and won’t irritate your mouth, lips, gums or cheeks.

When should Invisalign® be used?

Invisalign® can effectively correct a wide variety of dental problems, whether it’s widely gapped teeth, overly crowded teeth, or somewhere in between. Dr. Callahan can help create a treatment plan that will be effective for you.

Gaps between teeth can occur when there is abnormal growth of the jawbone. In addition, missing teeth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift into the extra space, creating gaps. Spacing issues or gaps between teeth can lead to problems, such as gum disease.

An overbite occurs when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth, and is usually caused by genetics, bad oral habits, or overdevelopment of the bone that supports the teeth. An overbite can lead to gum problems or irritation, as well as wear on the lower teeth, and can cause painful jaw and joint problems.

An underbite occurs when the lower teeth protrude past the upper front teeth. It’s usually caused by overgrowth of the lower jaw or undergrowth of the upper jaw. It can also be caused by missing upper teeth. An underbite can prevent normal function of the front teeth or molars, leading to tooth wear. It can also cause painful jaw and joint problems.

An open bite often occurs when the upper teeth don’t make contact with the lower teeth for a proper bite. This is usually caused by excessive thumb-sucking or a genetic abnormal jaw structure. An open bite can cause poor and/or painful chewing, or even speech impairment.

Teeth crowding occurs when there is not enough room within your jaw for all of your teeth to fit normally. It can get worse over time, and eventually lead to plaque accumulation, tooth decay and an increased chance of gum disease.

A crossbite can occur when both upper and lower jaws are not properly aligned. A crossbite can cause wearing of the teeth, gum disease and bone loss.

How does Invisalign® work?

Invisalign® straightens teeth by using a custom-made series of aligners created for you. Most patients have between 18 to 30 aligner trays, which are made of smooth, comfortable and nearly invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. You should wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, throughout your entire treatment. You can take them out to eat, drink and care for your teeth. Approximately every two weeks you will switch to a new set of aligners. There are no metal brackets or wires involved.

As you advance through the aligner sets, your teeth will gently shift into place, based on the exact movements we plan for you. The average Invisalign® treatment duration is between nine and 15 months, although each patient’s smile is different.

How does Invisalign® actually straighten teeth?

Invisalign® providers create your entire treatment plan with the help of a cutting-edge 3D digital imaging system. The system plans each step of your progressing smile, from the first aligner set to the final one where your teeth are correctly aligned. Once your doctor has determined a treatment plan, your custom aligners are created just for you. You’ll receive them all at the start of your treatment, and you’ll wear each set for approximately two weeks. Switching to a new set every few weeks lets your teeth move comfortably and gradually to their final placements. Each patient has different alignment needs, and we’ll devise a treatment plan specifically for you.

How will Invisalign® affect my life?

Invisalign® straightens your teeth with minimal interruption to your life. The aligners are so clear, you don’t need to hide your smile or feel embarrassed. Most people won’t be able to tell you’re wearing them. There aren’t any dietary restrictions; you simply take the aligners out when you eat. You can enjoy your favorite foods without worrying you will break a wire or bracket. If you need to remove the aligners for a night for a sporting activity or other occasion you can, but the more diligent you are about wearing them, the more effective they will be.

The removable aligners also allow you to maintain your oral health. Simply remove them for your normal routine – flossing, brushing and using mouthwash, and put them back in when you’re done.

What are the main advantages of using Invisalign® to straighten my teeth?

Many patients refer to Invisalign® as “invisible braces.” Most people won’t realize you are wearing them to straighten your teeth. You may even be able to see how straight your teeth will be in their final positions before your treatment starts. Since the aligners are removable, you can take them out and eat whatever foods you enjoy, and put them back in when you’re finished. You will also find it’s easier to keep your mouth healthy, since you can remove the aligners to brush and floss. The aligners are made of comfortable plastic without any metal or wire parts to rub the inside of your mouth and irritate your cheeks and gums. You may also need to visit us less frequently than those patients with braces, so you can spend more time doing the things you enjoy.

Some of the key benefits of Invisalign®*:

  • Effectively treats a wide variety of cases, including crowding, spacing, crossbite, overbite and underbite.
  • Straightens your teeth.
  • Allows you to eat whatever foods you enjoy.
  • Lets you remove the device when you want.
  • Lets you enjoy virtually invisible teeth-straightening.
  • Allows you to brush and floss your teeth normally for better periodontal health.
  • Consists of smooth, comfortable plastic instead of sharp metal that is more likely to irritate your cheeks and gums.