Have you ever wondered what really happens when you start your Invisalign® treatment? Dr. David, our Calgary Orthodontist, explains on this week's Ortho Talk!
While your experience can vary from one orthodontic practice to the next, the approach is more or less the same. First you’ll have a discussion with your orthodontist to talk about your treatment goals and what needs to happen. Once you have decided on treatment, the first step is to take records. What this means is we will take photographs of your face, profile, and smile. This is to ensure your orthodontic treatment plan makes sense for your unique face and smile.
Next, your orthodontist will take an x-ray to help ensure that all your tooth’s roots are healthy, that the bone is healthy and there are no issues or impacted teeth (teeth that are hidden underneath the root).
Finally, your orthodontist will take impressions. Impressions can be taken digitally, using a scanner or orally, using a material in the mouth. You may remember having impressions taken for one reason or another at your dental office. At our offices, will use Invisalign®’s digital scanner, called the ITero Scanner.
Once your digital scan is complete, we can manipulate the 3D image on the ITero scanner’s touchscreen to look at the image from every angle. We will isolate the upper and lower teeth, evaluate the bite and determine what needs to be done to straighten the teeth and correct misalignment.
This digital scan is sent to Align Technology, the makers of Invisalign® aligners, from there, who will create a three-dimensional model using software called ClinCheck. This 3D model will be sent to your orthodontist, who will determine your treatment plan. This includes which teeth should move where, in what sequence they should move, and when.
Your Custom Aligners
Using your custom treatment plan, your orthodontist will request your Invisalign® aligners from Align Technology. This process typically takes two to three weeks, after which you will have a follow-up appointment with your orthodontist to take home your aligners. During this appointment, your orthodontist will explain how the aligners work, how to clean them, and what to expect at each of your subsequent visits.