Invisalign treatment can straighten a smile in a shorter amount of time than traditional braces using appliances that are only barely visible, but even this ingenious process could use some help sometimes. When things aren’t moving quite on schedule, Invisalign refinements come in handy for keeping treatment on track. Here’s what you need to know about when refinements are necessary and how they work.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign realigns teeth through a sequence of clear dental aligners (called “trays”) customized to a particular mouth. The patient wears the trays for 22 hours a day while taking them out for eating and cleaning. Each tray in the series moves the teeth into slightly better alignment and is worn for about two weeks before the patient moves on to the next one. Results can usually be seen within six weeks of beginning the process, and treatment usually lasts between six months and two years, averaging out at about a year.
How Do Invisalign Refinements Work?
Sometimes during the course of an Invisalign treatment, things don’t go as planned. It might be because of a miscalculation, unforeseen complications, or a lack of compliance with the treatment. In these cases, your orthodontist might bring in Invisalign refinements to get things back up to speed. Refinements are new trays added to the sequence that are designed to get stubborn teeth moving in the right direction.
How Does One Get Invisalign Refinements?
The orthodontist will perform a new 3D scan of the patient’s teeth, providing the data necessary to construct a new set of aligners. These aligners will be shipped to the patient or the orthodontist, and they work just like the old aligners. Introducing refinements to a treatment plan can extend its length up to six months, depending on how many new aligners are needed.
Needing Invisalign refinements doesn’t mean that the patient has failed their treatment. It just means that the treatment needs a little adjustment. Even if you need refinements, you can still expect the result to be spectacular, giving you a lifetime of beautifully aligned teeth and better dental health.
About the Author
Dr. Alex Johnson earned his dental doctorate at Washington University along with his master’s and his Orthodontic Certificate. He serves as a member of the Florida Dental Association, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and the American Association of Orthodontists. His practice offers services such as pediatric and adult orthodontics, traditional and ceramic braces, and Invisalign. If you’d like more information about the Invisalign process, contact his office online or dial (727) 786-7550.