How Invisalign Works

So invisible, you’ll be the only one who knows.

There are actually several companies now that offer almost identical clear aligner therapy. Invisalign was first to market and have branded themselves very well. Another great company is Clear Correct. We use both.

In both cases we find the best results occur with wearing each sequential aligner for two weeks before moving on to the next one. There is virtually no discomfort or soreness with the system. The aligners feel quite snug for the first few days after they are delivered, but within a few short days, the teeth are already moving and any discomfort is gone. Each aligner moves the teeth about two tenths of a millimeter but over the ensuing months all these little movements add up to dramatic results.

Invisalign Attachments and Engagers

With both Invisalign and ClearCorrect at times they program for us to place tiny little “buttons” called attachments (Invisalign) or engagers (ClearCorrect) on certain select teeth. They simply are small buttons that help the anchorage and leverage on those teeth to enhance and control the movement of those teeth with more precision and control.

We use a tooth colored composite material to bond onto the tooth when we are asked to use attachments. We go to great effort to select a shade of composite that matches your existing tooth color to help make the buttons virtually invisible. At the completion of the orthodontic treatment the buttons are removed and again we take extreme care and extra time to ensure when they are removed that the tooth enamel looks absolutely as smooth and pristine as it did prior to placement.

Some orthodontists have their staff members remove brackets after conventional orthodontics is completed and we have seen many cases where the enamel looks rough and wavy after removal. Dr. Abeles will be meticulous and take extra time and care to ensure your teeth look beautiful when the attachments are removed.

Not all cases require attachments. Some do. Some don’t. It all depends on the degree of difficulty in moving some teeth and how much they are rotated, tipped or crowded to begin with.

Our patients don’t even notice the attachments after a few weeks.
Invisalign in Marietta

Optimal time period between Invisalign appointments

We like to see our patients every two weeks to deliver each new set of aligners. Invisalign says the dentist can see patients every four to six weeks and give the patient two sets at each appointment. So at the end of two or three weeks they can swap out the sets by themselves. This minimizes doctor time spent.

We disagree. We like to see our patients every time we give them a new set of aligners to make sure everything is going ok for them, to make sure everything looks fine with their teeth and gums. Unless someone is going out of town or has special circumstances we like to stay in touch as frequently as possible to ensure everything is staying on track.

The visits are usually pretty quick. Again, since we’re not a high-volume practice we give a specific appointment time for these aligner deliveries and the time is reserved just for you.

Interproximal reduction (IPR)

At times both Invisalign and ClearCorrect ask us to reduce ever-so-slightly between certain teeth to create a little more room for the teeth to move readily. This is called interproximal reduction or simply IPR. It is completely painless. We usually use sequentially graded sandpaper-like thin strips to sand between the teeth. Depending on the case we may reduce one tenth to two tenths of a millimeter between the teeth.

It is so small that you cannot even notice we have actually slenderized the teeth by a few tenths of a millimeter. Again, some cases require it and most do not. It is simple, painless and easy to accomplish when necessary.

Home care for Invisalign

Atlanta Invisalign DentistThe wonderful advantage of clear aligner therapy over conventional braces is that they are removed when you want to brush and floss your teeth. So your cleaning routine can be the same with braces as without braces. Brush well, floss and use a rinse or fluoride gel as directed. Home care with conventional braces, brackets and wires is definitely not impossible but it certainly is more of a challenge to keep your teeth and gums clean.

Especially with kids, a problem with conventional braces that is seen more often than wished is de-calcification of the enamel. At the completion of the orthodontics when the conventional bands and/or brackets are removed from the teeth, some patients have whitish, blotchy areas on their front teeth called decalcification.

Basically, the enamel has been weakened and some of the calcium has been leached out and a major culprit is poor home care, poor brushing and flossing.

Since the aligners are able to be removed to brush and floss, home care is far easier and can be more thorough. We have never seen a case of enamel decalcification at the completion of clear aligner therapy. Not even once.

By the way, we advise you can drink water with your aligners in place, but with any other beverage they should be removed while drinking, to ensure that no liquid stays in the aligner and stays in contact with the teeth, especially with drinks like sweet tea, soft drinks, etc. that can contain sugar, citric acid or phosphoric acid, all of which can damage your enamel.

Dr. Abeles is an experienced Atlanta Invisalign dentist. Call us or click the banner below to get more information about our Invisalign treatment!


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