Invisalign has gained popularity for its discreet and removable aligners, offering a convenient alternative to traditional braces. However, the feasibility of getting Invisalign after braces depends on various factors, including your individual case and the assessment of an orthodontist.
Can I Get Invisalign After Braces?
In most cases, yes, you can get Invisalign after having braces. If you had braces years ago as a teenager, but your teeth have shifted slightly over time, Invisalign can help straighten them again.
The Invisalign process begins with a consultation with an orthodontist. They will examine your teeth, take x-rays and impressions. This information is used to map out your precise treatment plan and design your custom aligners. As long as you are in overall good oral health, there is no reason why Invisalign would not work simply because you had braces in the past.
However, it is important to note that Invisalign may not be the best option if you have certain dental issues:
Severely Crooked or Crowded Teeth
Traditional braces may work faster for major tooth movement. Invisalign works best for minor to moderate correction.
In some cases, braces or combination treatments are better for correcting overbites or underbites. Consult your orthodontist.
Jaw Surgery Needed
If jaw realignment is required, braces are usually necessary during the process.
Teeth Too Close Together
Invisalign needs a small space between teeth to work. Teeth that are too crowded won’t respond well.
How Invisalign Works
Invisalign works differently than traditional braces. Rather than using brackets and wires to move teeth, Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners. Each aligner applies light forces to gradually shift the teeth into place over several weeks. Every two weeks, you switch to a new aligner in the series until the desired position is reached.
Benefits of Invisalign
There are several benefits that make Invisalign an appealing choice for adults:
The aligners are virtually undetectable when worn. This is a major plus for adults who don’t want the look of traditional braces.
Invisalign can be taken out for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing. This also allows you to maintain proper oral hygiene.
The smooth plastic aligners are much more comfortable than the brackets and wires of braces. There are no sharp edges digging into your cheeks.
Shorter treatment times
The average Invisalign treatment is 6-18 months. Some cases may be even shorter depending on the complexity.
When worn as directed, Invisalign can effectively improve bite alignment and straighten teeth similarly to braces.
The Invisalign Process After Braces
The Invisalign process is very similar whether you’ve had braces before or not. It begins with a consultation and examination. From there, the steps typically include:
Molds are taken of your teeth to create the 3D imaging needed for your aligners.
A digital scan may also be done of your teeth. This allows for very accurate aligners.
Using the impressions or scan, your custom treatment plan is mapped out. The total number of aligners is determined.
A series of custom aligners are made specifically for your teeth based on the plan.
You’ll switch to a new set every 1-2 weeks, moving your teeth gradually.
You’ll have periodic check-ins to monitor your progress and fit new aligners.
When your teeth have straightened, clear retainers are worn to hold their position.
In conclusion, the possibility of getting Invisalign after braces largely depends on individual circumstances and the assessment of an orthodontist. While braces are a tried-and-true method for correcting dental misalignments, Invisalign offers a discreet and convenient alternative for those who desire further adjustments or refinements. Invisalign can address minor issues such as crowding, spacing, or minor relapse after braces.