Orthodontic Relapse and Invisalign

My teeth were straight, but not anymore.

Does this scenario sound familiar? You had braces when you were younger. You struggled though all the difficulty of having brackets and wires in your mouth: food caught in your wires, loose wire ends poking your cheeks and lips, figuring out how to effectively brush and floss (hah!) them, and if you had to deal with those little bands, you’re happy to never do so again. Chances are that in group photos, yours was not the biggest smile. But eventually they came off and you probably thought that the results were not that bad at all; in fact, they were probably great! You might have even thought the ugly duckling stage was worth it.

You wore your retainers for a while but then…you lost them, or you don’t know the last time you put them in and now they don’t fit, or maybe they broke. And now, a few months or years later you have been realizing that your teeth are not as straight as they used to be. The discrepancy that you may notice may be a little or a lot. And it may bother you a little, or a lot. But dealing with brackets and wires again? No, thank you!

Rest assured, there are other solutions. Orthodontic relapse, the scenario explained above, is quite common. Unfortunately, teeth have a habit of moving, due to the prevailing forces around them, which include forces exerted by the surrounding and opposing teeth, as well as the cheeks, lips, and tongue.

Invisalign is an alternative to dealing with the hassles of traditional wired braces and a good option for orthodontic relapse. It’s a teeth-straightening system that uses clear plastic trays to incrementally move teeth. These trays are custom-made to a high degree of precision to gradually move an individual’s teeth to a final position mapped out in advance by the doctor for that specific situation.

The advantages of Invisalign include no brackets and wires, making them more visually-appealing. Because the trays are made of clear plastic, they are virtually unnoticeable when worn. They can be taken out to eat and drink when you want. Additionally, they can be taken out for brushing and flossing as you normally would, making these daily activities much easier than wired braces.

Invisalign treatment begins with a treatment plan showing the virtual results for your case so that you can see what your straightened teeth will look like. The aligners—clear plastic trays that gradually move your teeth—are then fabricated and delivered to you to initiate treatment.

For best results and a timely completion, it is highly recommended that you wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. Each set of aligners is typically worn for two weeks, after which a new set of aligners will be worn. The length of the treatment depends on the amount of difficulty of movements necessary to achieve the final results. Twelve to thirteen months of treatment are typical.

Many orthodontic relapse cases can benefit from “Invisalign Express.” These express options are ideal for those cases in which the movements to be done to achieve the desired results are slight. The benefits are not only a shorter duration of treatment but also a lower cost for the treatment.

And Invisalign is not only used in cases of orthodontic relapse; it can also be used for straightening teeth that have never had traditional braces. Many adults choose Invisalign over traditional braces because of the more discreet look.