What Happens After Invisalign Treatment is Completed
LAST UPDATED: NOVEMBER 22, 2016
Whether you are considering Invisalign treatment or are already a patient, you may have questions about what happens once treatment is finished. To maintain the beautiful new smile you have invested in there are some additional steps and ongoing care. The aftercare process and continued treatments best for you or your child will be determined in consultation with your orthodontist, but there are some basic things you should know.
Invisalign is an alternative to traditional braces and uses invisible aligners to move the teeth in a less invasive and more aesthetically pleasing process. AcceleDent, the newest technology, may be used as a complimentary treatment to safely accelerate treatment time with the aligners.
Care and treatment are offered through an orthodontist, a specialist in correcting bites and straightening teeth. Their extensive training and specialized care goes beyond what a dentist is able to provide. As specialists, they recognize technology is constantly changing and strive to bring you the most up-to-date practices and methods.
Rather than traditional messy impressions, offices now use 3D digital scanning to produce images of your jaw and teeth immediately available for you and your specialist to view and assess. This new technology is especially important for newer alignment treatments as it makes it possible to share the information digitally and produce an exceptionally precise fit.
Treatment for adults is typically about 12 months but may vary for teens.
After Treatment Ends
Once treatment is complete maintenance must begin. This is true regardless of what type of braces or alignment treatment you use, but the maintenance is important. Consequently, if you don’t follow the maintenance efforts correctly, the work can be undone resulting in
- Incomplete remodeling of the tooth socket and retaining bone
- Teeth beginning to shift again
- Teeth returning to a misaligned state
- A waste of your time and financial investments in your smile
Post-treatment maintenance begins with retainers. Thanks to advancements in technology the retainers used today are more comfortable and less invasive than previous styles. There are some important things to know about care for your retainers, such as
- Do not eat with the retainer(s) in. Sticky food can get caught on it. It is best to remove it all together while eating and replace it when done.
- Do not drink hot beverages with the retainer(s) in as this can melt or damage them.
- Make sure to at least rinse the retainer between taking it out and putting it back in your mouth. It should be cleaned properly at least once a day.
Part of post-treatment maintenance will also be continuing basic oral care. You should brush and floss twice a day, see your dentist twice a year and remain in contact with your orthodontist. You should also contact your specialist right away if you damage your retainer or if something just doesn’t feel right so they can assess the issue and correct any potential problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I get retainers?
There are different types of retainers but the recommended is Vivera, which are made from a stronger clear material than other brands. Vivera retainers are customized using the same state-of-the-art 3D scanning technology that was used to measure and evaluate you for your original alignment trays as well. Furthermore, this ensures proper fit, and it is done in your specialist’s office so you do not need to go to an unfamiliar location. You are able to order the retainers through your provider and the order includes an extra set.
Can’t I just continue to wear my last alignment tray?
Your alignment trays are not meant for continuous wear beyond their treatment cycle. They are likely to become damaged quickly and may also no longer be the correct fit once your treatment is complete. The retainers are a stronger custom-fitted tray to meet your ongoing needs.
How long do I have to wear the retainers?
You may have to use the retainers for life, but how long you have to wear them each day will lessen. Typically you begin wearing them all the time and gradually reduce over time.
How do I know if my retainer is damaged or needs to be replaced?
You should be thoughtful of your retainer, removing it when drinking hot beverages or when eating. You should also make sure to rinse and clean it at least daily. Additionally ,if your retainer seems to fit differently, feel differently in your mouth, become more difficult to put in or take out or if you can see damage it is important to get it replaced immediately.
What will happen if I just don’t wear the retainer?
In conclusion, if you don’t wear the retainer your teeth will gradually drift back to their original positions and your investment will have been wasted. It is common for adults who had braces as a child but did not use their retainer to return for treatment again because their teeth have returned to their previous misalignment.
Fix Your Smile Today
Contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics today to set up your consultation. There’s no reason to put off a visit to our helpful team of professionals. It is our goal to help you make the most of your smile.
When your teeth are aligned properly and your jaw is flowing smoothly, you will find more reasons to flash those pearly whites every day. Let Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics be your partner in good oral hygiene.
Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200, Larkspur, California 94939 415-459-8006
What Happens After Invisalign Treatment is Completed