November 8, 2022
Have you ever wondered what happens when your Invisalign treatment has ended? How we make sure your teeth remain straight and you don’t ever experience the issues that brought you here in the first place?
Once your Invisalign treatment is over, it is critical that your teeth are stabilized and that the results are maintained over time in order to avoid any recurrences of the problems that brought you here in the first place. The process of aging causes constant movement and shifting of the teeth that we have worked so hard to straighten, therefore we need some system of containing the shifting that happens naturally.
With Invisalign, we use a series of containment devices. These devices can be either fixed or moveable. For the moveable, iIt is usually possible to wear these devices only at specific times, such as during the night when you go to bed. The fixed devices are invisible and used over a period of time, and the mobile devices will occasionally need to be refitted.
These devices are not used to further straighten or correct your teeth. They are used only to maintain and keep your teeth aligned and in their new position. Even though there may be some teeth that need attention after your Invisalign treatment, these correction devices are not meant for treatment. Rather, they are intended to allow your teeth to remain in their new position so that they can relax and establish themselves. The first year after treatment ends is the time when the response and instinct to shift back is the strongest.
Retention is the final step of your Invisalign treatment at Bruno Orthodontics. Once your doctor has determined that your teeth and jaw are straight and aligned, your Invisalign treatment is complete. At this point, when possible, a wire is placed on the upper and lower jaw to be used as an internally bonded retainer.
The retainer is essential for teenagers who have undergone Invisalign treatment. The type of retainer, however, is not a given. Most teenagers wear Invisalign for around one to two years, under the close supervision of their orthodontist.
To maintain the tooth alignment before and after the treatment, and to prevent the recurrence of alignment issues, your doctor will establish a plan of retention including checkups to ensure that the normal shifting, as well as unconscious actions such as tooth pressure, do not affect your progress. For teenagers, we will also need to keep an eye out for any health issues and possible complications such as wisdom teeth.
Orthodontists worry about recurrence because no orthodontic treatment can be considered permanent. It is possible, however, to plan for future issues and prevent future tooth loss and shifting.
Many factors can affect the quality of a treatment’s conclusion. Included in these are new dental issues and aging. In these situations, the contention device is critical. Recurrences can also occur if the dental self-care of the patient is poor. Your doctor will recommend the proper brushing and flossing regimen to maintain your dental health as well as maintain the contention device.
Lifespan of the Retainers
Retainer devices, both fixed and mobile, have a lifespan of around 8 years. During the lifespan, it is important that you get regular checkups from your doctor to ensure that there are no issues that need to be addressed regarding your post-care.
For each patient after treatment, your orthodontist will determine a custom treatment for retention that is designed specifically for your situation.
To start your journey to a beautiful smile, you can schedule a free consultation today with Dr. Bruno to discuss your options.