How Does Invisalign® Work?

How Does Invisalign® Work?

Choosing to get orthodontic treatment can be thrilling once you commit to transforming your smile, but it can also be a bit daunting. You might have quite a few questions, like how much discomfort is involved, how long you’ll need to wear your braces, what foods you must say goodbye to (at least for a while), and more. 

But did you know that your only option for orthodontic treatment is no longer traditional metal braces? There are many more options these days, and one of the most popular is Invisalign, a barely visible orthodontic treatment that works a bit differently from traditional braces, but has exploded in popularity. 

Dr. Wayne Hickory is highly experienced in treating his patients with Invisalign, and does so with patience, expertise, and warmth. Not only has he treated more than 6,000 patients with Invisalign, he’s a top 1% provider of Invisalign treatment.

If you decide Invisalign is for you, Dr. Hickory is eager to answer all of your questions. This is where his experience as a professor of dentistry strengthens his relationships with patients. 

Invisalign offers a wide spectrum of the most innovative orthodontic treatments

How does Invisalign correct my smile? 

Invisalign is truly innovative. Rather than the brackets, archwires, and other components that standard braces use, the Invisalign system corrects your smile with a series of removable clear trays that are custom-made to fit your upper and lower teeth. 

This treatment modality does an excellent job of closing gaps between your teeth, correcting open bite problems — when the upper and lower front areas of your teeth don’t make contact when your mouth is closed — and righting crowded teeth. 

You switch out your trays every couple of weeks, and they gradually shift your teeth — without so many visits to our office or the discomfort of getting your braces tightened periodically.

Another unique feature of Invisalign is that in order for them to do their work properly, you must wear them 20-22 hours per day, whereas traditional braces are on your teeth 24-7.

Why patients love Invisalign

The new treatment model that Invisalign offers means a smooth treatment experience for you, for several reasons.

You’re able to eat the “forbidden foods” that those in traditional braces can’t, because you’re able to remove your Invisalign trays when you eat. 

You can also remove them while you brush and floss your teeth, allowing the physical barrier that braces create to be removed. It’s harder to keep your teeth clean and remove food debris that gets caught in your braces.

And though we love it when you visit, our patients enjoy that Invisalign treatment requires fewer visits to our office because periodic adjustments aren’t necessary. You only need to come for an appointment every three months.

Another plus is that Invisalign treatment is appropriate for patients of all ages. Invisalign not only meets your orthodontic needs now, it allows you to get ahead of problems that may pop up in the future.  

Aside from the ease that Invisalign brings to your daily living, Invisalign trays are super comfortable to wear, and nearly imperceptible! Since they’re transparent, no one knows you’re wearing them except you. No more dreading selfies or inhibitions about smiling big!

How Invisalign treatment is done

When you come for your first Invisalign appointment with Dr. Hickory, he creates a digital scan of your teeth that serves as the model for an actual 3D rendering of your teeth. This enables him to show you what your smile will look like after treatment with Invisalign, which is a thrill for our patients. 

Just as your treatment is tailored to you, so is its timeframe, but on average, Invisalign treatment takes about a year. Dr. Hickory discusses how long your treatment is expected to take, as well as accelerated treatment plans, which we also offer. 

Dr. Hickory equips patients who need them with certain attachments that are specific to Invisalign that help the trays adhere to your teeth securely. 

He may also suggest a procedure known as interproximal reduction (IPR), where Dr. Hickory makes slight adjustments to your teeth with special tools, while you’re getting your Invisalign treatment. These tweaks can correct bite and tooth issues to maximize your treatment results, and it can also prevent the need for a tooth extraction. 

Learn more about Invisalign by making an appointment to come see us at our historic office here in Dupont Circle. Call us at 202-827-1671 or reach out to us through our website

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