What to Expect From an Invisalign® Dentist in San Mateo
As your Invisalign® dentist in San Mateo, we will be the first to tell you that your smile will look beautiful when we are done but it is not a quick process to get your teeth straightened using Invisalign® or any other system. We follow a very set and defined process at our clinic to make sure that your teeth not only move to the right location, but also stay there. It is important for you to set the right expectation, and have a clear sense of the ultimate goal which is to give you straighter, better-aligned teeth at the end of the treatment.
Invisalign® works based on a series of aligner trays. Each of these trays are designed to move your teeth .25 millimeters and are supposed to be in place for 2 weeks at a time. Using a “pushing” method this gradual movement allows the teeth to adjust to their new alignment before starting to move them to the next phase. Since it is a slower process, we estimate that the average of a patient will undergo treatment for around 12 months. There are a few cases where it can be completed in around 6 months, and even some cases where it has taken up to 3 years, but the average is 12 months. We will discuss your particular situation during the first consultation.
When you meet with us for the first time, as your Invisalign® dentist in San Mateo, we will go over a number of different aspects of your treatment. This will include information on the length of the treatment and what to expect after you are done with your initial Invisalign® plan. Two aspects that are not as well know about Invisalign®, are the use of refinements after the treatment and the need to wear a retainer. We will discuss this with you before starting the treatment, but here is a quick overview.
Retainers: Whenever you move your teeth into a different alignment, they have a tendency to want to move backwards after the treatment is completed. We do not want you to lose the alignment, which we work so hard with you to get for a period of a year or more. To offset this potential movement, we will prescribe a retainer. The retainer will be custom fabricated for your mouth specifically. You will need to wear this retainer every night so that it can hold your teeth in place. If you do not wear the retainer, you do run the risk of the teeth moving and having to restart the entire process. This is especially true if you have a tongue thrust.
Refinements: One thing we have learned as an Invisalign® dentist in San Mateo, is that after the treatment is over there are often small modifications that need to be made. Sometimes these modifications are adjustments that you want to see, and at other times we will need to make modifications. To do this, we will take measurements of your newly aligned teeth, and create a special set of refinement aligners to make the tweaks necessary to give you a perfect set of straight teeth.
During your initial appointments, we will discuss all of this in detail, including the likelihood that any refinements may be necessary.