Individuals who have minor misalignment, gaps, or spaces between their teeth, and teeth that are crooked can benefit from the use of Invisalign® trays. The Invisalign® system involves the use of several clear trays, each slightly different than the one before it. Each tray moves or shifts the teeth a little at a time over the course of several months. Both teens and adults can benefit from this type of system. The trays need to be worn for several hours each day to move the teeth and ensure that they are held in place so that they don't return to their prior position.
The number of trays needed for an Invisalign® treatment will depend on how extensive the correction will be. In most cases, up to 24 trays are used over a two-year period. Each tray is worn for approximately two or more weeks to ensure the shift of the teeth is gradual and complete. Every person is different and there are no set number of trays used at any given time. Patients who have moderate misalignment may have to wear the trays longer than expected if the structure of the mouth does not change sufficiently enough in the allotted amount of time. The dentist may include additional trays if the teeth do not shift according to the treatment plan.
Invisalign® works by slowly moving the teeth, small amounts at a time. Several trays are created with each one being slightly different than those that came before. Each tray is used for a specific amount of time to allow for the teeth to shift or move according to the treatment plan. With each subsequent tray, the teeth are moved more and more towards the final outcome of the treatment plan. The treatment is gradual and allows the patient to remove the trays whenever they need to.