Invisalign® Q & A

by Dr. R. (Ron) Hessamfar, DMD, MS

When straightening teeth, traditional braces aren’t the only option. At Broadlands Orthodontics & American Braces and Smile Center, Invisalign® aligners are used to straighten teeth and provide a nearly invisible look. Dr. Hessamfar can help patients in and around the Washington DC Metropolitan area from his three locations, Woodbridge, Ashburn and Arlington.

What is Invisalign®?

Invisalign® is an orthodontic procedure which is used to slowly correct a patient’s with spaced or misaligned teeth over time. The Invisalign® system is different than traditional braces because the aligners worn by patients are clear and practically invisible.

The Invisalign® aligners are fabricated specially for each patient’s teeth and mouth using x-rays and 3D impressions. These clear aligners are a good option for those who wish to straighten their teeth without the look of braces.


How do the Invisalign® Aligners Work?

While each person’s case will be different, the orthodontist usually begins with designing a treatment plan and ordering a set of unique aligners. These aligners will be worn throughout the process to adjust the patient’s teeth. The aligners are made from BPA-free, medical plastic which is comfortable to wear and doesn’t irritate the gums and cheeks. Patients will wear the aligners daily and remove them to eat or brush and floss their teeth. As the process continues, the patient’s teeth will gradually begin to move into the right place.

For most people, the aligners will be switched out every two weeks and should be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours each day. The length of the entire process will be approximately one year in adults but may change depending on the severity of the alignment issues being treated.

What Benefits do Invisalign® Aligners Offer?

While traditional braces cannot be taken off at all during the treatment, Invisalign® aligners can be removed whenever needed such as to eat or brush teeth. Invisalign® aligners are also clear which makes them ideal for a person who does not want people to be able to see what is on their teeth. Additionally, since the aligners can be removed it makes much easier to maintain good oral hygiene habits throughout the process which can be difficult when there are wires and brackets to clean around.