One of the key advantages of Invisalign aligners is that they are removable. The unique design of the aligners allows for this flexibility and the patients may conveniently remove and replace the aligners on their own as required.
However, the users of aligners must understand that for ideal treatment, they should wear the aligners practically all the time. The only time when the aligners should be removed is while brushing or flossing the teeth, or while eating or drinking. In other words, a patient wears the aligners effectively for about 22 hours a day.
The aligners work on the same principle as the traditional braces, and improve the teeth alignment by applying gentle pressure on the teeth. This is a mild, constant pressure that gradually helps to re-position the teeth, without weakening them in any way. In the beginning, the patient may experience some irritation and soreness for a few days with the aligners. But the patient should not remove these aligners to avoid the discomfort. In fact, the patient may take some Aspirin, Ibuprofen or Tylenol to reduce the discomfort. Within two to three days the soreness will disappear on its own.
New aligners are prepared periodically during the course of treatment to correspond with the newly changing position of the teeth. The calibration of the trays is done with the help of computerized data in order to achieve high precision of the aligners. The entire treatment with Invisalign may take between twenty weeks to two years, depending on the difficulty of the case.
Once the teeth have moved adequately to acquire a new position, the aligners are removed and replaced with retainers. The retainers are worn for some time for support until the teeth are permanently set in their new position.
With removable aligners the patient is able to maintain good oral hygiene. This helps reduce the chances of tooth decay and avoids complications during the Invisalign treatment.