Invisalign is one of the most exciting orthodontic treatments around! These innovative clear aligners offer patients a convenient and discreet alternative to traditional braces, allowing them to transform their smiles without any of the inconveniences associated with the infamous metal brackets, elastics, and wires. However, in some cases the Invisalign process requires a little refinement and fine-tuning as patients approach the finish line, to ensure that the teeth are realigned as intended. Continue reading to learn more about Invisalign refinements, why they’re needed, and how they ultimately contribute to the treatment’s success!
What Exactly Are Invisalign Refinements?
Generally, the Invisalign process is much shorter than the timeline for traditional orthodontic treatment. While some patients must wear metal braces for some time (16 to 18 months on average, or potentially longer), Invisalign treatment can often be completed in about 12 to 18 months.
However, since this timeline is also quite dependent on the patient’s compliance with their treatment—mainly their willingness to wear their trays as instructed—sometimes, things can become delayed. Additionally, teeth can sometimes be quite stubborn and refuse to shift as desired, despite due diligence on the patient’s part. This is where Invisalign refinements come into play.
Invisalign refinements are essentially extra sets of trays that are meant to “refine” your treatment; they don’t add anything brand new or unexpected to your treatment, and they’re more or less identical to the trays you’ve been wearing. They’ll add some time to your treatment timeline, usually a couple of extra months, and in most cases, you won’t incur additional costs.
Why Would I Need Invisalign Refinements?
In a perfect world, the teeth would shift exactly as planned and without any issues throughout orthodontic treatment; however, there are numerous reasons why your orthodontist could decide to add refinements to your treatment plan. Here are a few possible explanations:
- You’ve failed to wear your aligners for the recommended 20 – 22 hours each day, resulting in stalled progress or aligners that no longer fit properly.
- You’ve gone through an extended period without wearing your aligners, either due to losing or damaging them.
- Your teeth are moving differently than anticipated, which can be entirely out of your control.
- You need a dental treatment that will alter the shape of your teeth.
If you end up needing refinements, don’t fret—simply stay the course, adhere to your treatment guidelines, continue visiting your provider for check-ins, and keep up with your oral hygiene at home. Refinements for Invisalign aren’t anything super fancy or complicated, nor are they anything you should feel concerned or disheartened about; they’re there to ensure that your treatment grants you the beautiful smile you’ve been wishing for!
About the Practice
Under the leadership of Dr. Erika Whitehouse and Dr. Meghan Kilkelly, the talented team at Derby Dental proudly serves patients and families in the Austin, TX metroplex. They’re excited to offer a wide range of orthodontic services including Invisalign for patients hoping to straighten their smiles and vastly improve their overall quality of life. If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to schedule an appointment for you or a family member, feel free to contact the practice online or over the phone for additional information. Telephone: (512) 795-0128.