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July 13, 2023

Invisalign Refinements: What They Are and Why They’re Necessary

Smiling woman

Invisalign is an excellent way to straighten your smile without traditional metal braces. After creating a treatment plan with the help of a 3D map of the teeth, your dental care provider will set you up with a sequence of clear plastic aligners (also called trays). You then wear each aligner for around two weeks before moving on to another, each one pushing your teeth closer to the ideal position.

Sometimes the course of treatment does not go quite as planned and adjustments are necessary. Invisalign refinements are how your dental care provider can get your treatment back on track. Read on to find out how they can help you achieve your ideal smile.

Why Would I Need Invisalign Refinements?

Invisalign trays are shaped to fit over your teeth and apply exactly the right pressure to slowly move them into a better alignment. A full Invisalign treatment normally takes about 12 to 18 months to finish. However, in cases like dental issues, facial trauma, or insufficient wearing of trays, the necessary progress isn’t quite achieved. In these situations, the shapes of future trays in the sequence need to be adjusted to get the intended results.

The process involves going to see your dental care provider regularly to evaluate your progress. If your teeth are not shifting into the desired position, your dentist will have the trays in your future treatment modified to compensate. Changing course in the treatment plan like this can add months to the process.

How Do I Get Invisalign Refinements?

If your doctor determines that you require adjustments to your treatment plan, the first step is to rescan your teeth with the iTero 3D scanner. This collects the data necessary to create adjusted trays. You will then receive your Invisalign refinement trays in the mail or pick them up at your provider’s office. The number of refinement trays needed depends entirely on your individual case.

How Can I Stay on Track with My Treatment?

The best way to keep your time with Invisalign as brief as possible is to follow your treatment plan. Wear your aligners 20 to 22 hours a day, take them out for meals, clean them thoroughly before putting them back in, and replace them at the prescribed intervals. Sometimes, however, refinements are needed for unforeseen reasons like when teeth move differently or are just more stubborn than anticipated.

If you want a more beautiful smile with all the health benefits of well-aligned teeth, Invisalign can be a great method for straightening things out. Needing them doesn’t mean you have failed as a patient. It can be necessary for reasons outside of your control. The combination of modern dental technology and your dedicated effort can give you the results of your dreams.

About the Author

Dr. James Olsen earned his doctorate at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1988. After opening his private practice in Ann Arbor with just one employee and one dental workspace, he has seen it grow into a beautiful state-of-the-art office. Services include general, restorative, preventive, and cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and advanced dental technology like iTero Digital Impressions. If you have any questions about Invisalign refinements, contact him online or dial (734) 996-0200.

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