Philadelphia, Main Line, and Ardmore, Pennsylvania Cosmetic Dentistry
General Dentistry Expertise
What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign is a clear orthodontic system that Dr. Lindsey F. Marshall offers. It will transform your smile without any discomfort, embarrassment, and without interfering with your day-to-day life. It is an effortless system to straighten teeth, as the custom-fitted aligners are much more comfortable than traditional braces.
What makes Invisalign® so popular?
This clear braces system is more convenient and much more pleasing to the eye than the often unsightly traditional metal braces of yesteryear. While you may have had to wear the uncomfortable, unattractive silver braces in the ’70s, your children (or even you) can now have a straight, beautiful smile without the rubber bands, cut gums, and painful teeth that often accompanied traditional braces.
Most patients who want straighter teeth dread the possibility of having to wear metal braces. If you want a more becoming smile but don’t want to undergo traditional orthodontic treatment, Invisalign provider Lindsey Marshall, DMD, offers a subtle alternative.
What Conditions Does Invisalign® Treat?
Invisalign® uses a series of clear, plastic aligners that are customized to fit snugly over your teeth. The aligner trays progressively shift your teeth and bite into alignment for a smile that is both aesthetically pleasing and functionally sound.
Candidates for Invisalign® typically experience mild to moderate conditions affecting the teeth or bite such as:
- Crowded teeth
- Teeth separated by unattractive spaces
- Crossbite (occurs when the upper jaw & lower jaw aren’t correctly aligned)
Other Key Qualities for Invisalign®
Patients who present one of the conditions above and want to straighten their smile might be candidates for Invisalign®. In addition, you should also:
- Have a fully developed mouth (some Invisalign® candidates are as young as 13)
- Be in good dental health
- Not require extensive restoration work to repair teeth
- Not suffer from severe bite abnormalities requiring more intensive orthodontic treatment
- Not smoke, or be willing to quite before undergoing Invisalign® treatment
Is Invisalign painful?
There can be some soreness when you switch to the next pair in your series of aligner trays as your teeth adjust to the new pressure that will help them move to the next position. This is a mild soreness that only lasts a day or so.
This degree of discomfort is in marked contrast to the two to three days after having traditional braces tightened, adjusted, or having new rubber bands placed. If you’ve had traditional braces, you know that those periods can be quite painful with the teenager usually needing medication to deal with the pain. Invisalign® has nowhere near that level of discomfort.
Dr. Marshall Patient Reviews
“Dr. Marshall and her team are always friendly and thoughtful, taking the time to check in with me and answer all of my questions. When it comes to the work they do they are extremely thorough and skilled at their craft and are committed to providing the best service specific to my needs. If, like me, you’ve struggled with TMJ pain and are looking for other options for treatment, what Dr. Marshall and her team offer is the bar none the best solution I’ve ever found. Check them out!”
“Gorgeous facility….wonderful staff!! I will refer everyone I know to Dr Marshall. I’ve never felt so comfortable at a dentist appointment!” -Shai H.
Advantages of Invisalign®
Though every patient’s needs are different, Invisalign® candidates usually share a desire to correct the appearance of their smile but don’t want to have a mouthful of highly visible metal brackets and wires. Invisalign® is designed to accomplish teeth and bite correction without drawing attention to the apparatus.
Invisalign® can meet patients’ cosmetic needs in multiple ways:
- Aligner trays are nearly invisible
- Swapping out aligners every two weeks straightens teeth gradually, not drastically
- Removing your aligners before eating means no food gets stuck, unlike traditional braces
How does Invisalign compare to other clear aligners like Smile Direct?
Invisalign® developed the clear aligner tray process that has become such a popular alternative to traditional braces. Today there are other companies trying to get in on Invisalign’s success. But there are many reasons Dr. Marshall offers Invisalign® rather than these newer entries into the market.
Align Technology, the company that produces Invisalign®, was founded in 1997 specifically to produce Invisalign®. That’s approaching 25 years of experience and innovation. Invisalign® was the first product approved by the FDA way back in 1998. We believe Invisalign’s aligner trays are made of higher quality, more comfortable acrylic. In fact, Align Technology holds several hundred patents that cover not only the material used in its aligners, but also the process providers such as Dr. Marshall use to map out the plan for moving patients’ teeth.
Align has filed various patent infringement claims against different companies, some of which have since gone out of business.
Smile Direct is the latest entrant to compete with Invisalign®. Its difference? Customers buy the aligner trays directly from the company, and there is no involvement with a dentist or orthodontist.
Taking such risks with your smile and your overall bite doesn’t seem like an area of your life to save a few dollars. It’s akin to getting eyeglasses without an optometrist. Dr. Marshall meticulously plots the path of the patient’s tooth movement, from start to finish. From there, she stands by the results her patients achieve with Invisalign®, and if anything goes wrong or isn’t exactly as the patient desires, she makes it right.
The Invisalign Procedure With Dr. Lindsey Marshall
Once you and Dr. Marshall decide to go ahead with Invisalign, she will take X-rays, digital photos, and impressions and send them to the Invisalign manufacturer, Align Technology, based in Santa Clara, California. The Align technicians will put the impressions through a CT scan and create a digital 3D model of your teeth. The Invisalign software is then used to simulate the movement of your teeth to their correct positions. The total correctional movement is divided into stages. After Dr. Lindsey Marshall has reviewed this using Align’s program ClinCheck, she will either modify or approve it and Align will create an aligner (or pair of aligners) for each movement stage.
Once your entire series of aligners has arrived at our office, you will have an appointment for Dr. Marshall to explain how to use them and give you the first few aligners in the series. Every two weeks you discard the current aligners and begin wearing the next pair. Every six weeks will bring another visit for Dr. Marshall to monitor your progress and give you the next few aligners.
How long is the Invisalign treatment process?
An interesting side benefit of Invisalign® is the relative speed of the tooth movement. Not only is the process far more comfortable than traditional metal bands and wires, but it also moves your teeth more quickly. On average, it takes about two years for traditional braces to straighten your teeth. Invisalign® averages 12-14 months to achieve the same movement. Minor movement to close gaps may take even less time.
Wearing Your Aligners
You can remove your aligners any time if you need to, but for maximum effect they should remain in position for at least 20 hours each day. They are designed so that each aligner exerts a certain amount of pressure on certain teeth in a certain direction. When those teeth have made their movement in response, the next aligner will exert different pressure, perhaps on different teeth and in a different direction.
Taken all together, aligners accomplish the entire straightening process. It is important for each aligner to be able to do its work fully so the next one can pick up the thread and carry things forward.
Your aligners need to be removed for eating and for dental hygiene. If you have a special occasion where you want to look your best, you could remove them for a few hours, but that should not occur very often.
How Long Does It Take To See Results With Invisalign?
The average treatment time is about one year, although if your misalignment problem is less severe it could be treated in about five months – a procedure known as Invisalign Express. If, at the end of your treatment, you decide that your teeth are not quite fully aligned, more aligners can be ordered, which Dr. Marshall will include in the cost as Refinement aligners.
How long do the results of Invisalign last?
Dr. Marshall’s Invisalign® treatments are intended to move the patient’s teeth into their correct positions permanently. These are in no way considered temporary results. Of course, this will depend on the patient. We’ll discuss that in another question, but you will receive retainer aligner trays whose sole purpose is to keep your teeth in their new positions and to keep them from trying to move back. If you wear these until your teeth are fully anchored in their new positions, they will remain that way for the rest of your life, barring any other issues such as tooth loss.
How do I maintain my results when I have completed my Invisalign progression of aligners?
Those who’ve had regular braces know that a retainer is needed after your bands are removed to keep your teeth from drifting back. The same is true with Invisalign®. But instead of retainers that uncomfortably click onto the roof of your mouth, Invisalign® uses Vivera® retainers made of the same material as Invisalign® aligners. The retainers are similar to the aligners but are thicker and more durable because they need to be worn for longer periods than the two-week aligners. Patients receive four Vivera® retainers, as well, so they replace them over the course of their retention to keep them from becoming less-than-hygienically appealing.
How do I clean my Invisalign aligner trays?
Dr. Marshall will explain how to keep your trays clean. You have options. Because you can simply take out your aligners and brush them with your toothbrush, keeping both your teeth and your aligners clean is much easier than with traditional braces. You remove them and gently brush them every night with a toothbrush. You can also soak your aligners in denture cleaner, Retainer Brite®, or the official Invisalign® crystals to keep them clean and sanitized. Or, another option is to use clear anti-bacterial soft hand soap to clean your aligners. You simply put some of this liquid soap on your fingertips and work it through your aligner trays. Then you rinse them clean.
Can I chew gum when wearing my aligner trays?
No, patients should only drink water when wearing their trays. Chewing anything with them can affect the fit of the trays. Plus, if you eat anything with them in, it is easy for food particles to get inside the trays, which also isn’t good.