How Invisalign Treatment Works at Smiles Orthodontics

Code SMILESGEORGINA gets you free ZOOM Teeth Whitening at the end of your Invisalign treatment at Smiles Orthodontics in North Vancouver!

I recently completed my Invisalign treatment at Smiles Orthodontics in North Vancouver, and I thought it could be useful for anyone considering getting Invisalign to hear how it works! 🦷

I chose to go with their ‘Smile Refresh’ plan, which is their lowest price option. It aims to achieve minor realignment of the front teeth, to give your smile a makeover, and typically takes around 3 – 6 months to complete.

I had noticed some small gaps forming between my teeth, and after suffering (🙊) through a year and a half of uncomfortable and unsightly traditional black and silver train track braces as a teenager, followed by six months of metal night retainers, I hated the thought of my teeth shifting out of place!

So although my teeth didn’t need to change significantly, I was drawn to Invisalign to correct any minor misalignments that had occurred in the years since my last orthodontic treatment, and to prevent any further movement from happening.

I also opted to have Accelerated Invisalign, which involves using a Propel device that vibrates to increase blood flow to the roots of the teeth. This in turn helps with bone healing, and speeds up the rate of tooth movement. It’s basically a rechargeable mouthguard, that I used for 5 minutes every evening.

By using the Propel device, I could then change my aligners every four days, making the treatment time fly by. This option is great for people like me, who have an end-date in mind – my wedding was approaching, so I hoped to finish my Invisalign treatment before then!

If you’d like to watch my full Invisalign vlog, you can do so here:

Initial Consultation

To begin your Invisalign treatment, you’ll first have a consultation to gauge whether you’re a good candidate for Invisalign, to check the health of your teeth, and to determine which program would best suit your needs. (This consultation is complimentary at Smiles Orthodontics).

Your teeth will be scanned using a camera on a wand, which I found to be a much nicer experience than having a plaster cast taken! They also take x-rays, record your bite to see how your teeth fit together, and take photos of both your teeth and face.

Treatment timelines and pricing options will be discussed with you, and at this point you are not locked in to start the treatment process right away, or at all if you decide against it. You can go home to think it over and check for any dental coverage, or you can book your treatment to start when it best suits your schedule. With my wedding coming up, I wanted to get going as soon as possible so that I could finish my treatment beforehand. Smiles Orthodontics’ ‘Smile Refresh’ option is great for squeezing in Invisalign between any important life events, such as weddings or vacations!

Attachment Bonding

Once your Invisalign aligners have arrived with your orthodontist, you’ll head in to have your attachments bonded and to collect your aligners. At this stage I also watched a video, which explained the whole treatment process.

Invisalign attachments are small, tooth-coloured ‘bumps’, which are bonded to your teeth using dental composites. They are strategically positioned so that your aligners can grip your teeth as they guide them to shift to their new positions.

Depending on your treatment plan, some people may also need Invisalign buttons bonded on too. These are to connect rubber bands, and are particularly useful for correcting your overall bite.

This is what I looked like with my aligners in!

Invisalign Treatment

Now you’re ready to start working your way through your Invisalign treatment! The first few days may feel a little odd as you adjust to your new aligners, but you’ll soon get used to having them as part of your daily routine. For example, my aligners made me speak with a lisp at first, and I realized I couldn’t snack as easily, as you’re supposed to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours per day, and to have brushed and flossed your teeth before you put your aligners back on.

My top tips are to only drink water / cold drinks with your aligners in, to ensure they don’t bend out of shape. Also, I found it was best to save eating any strongly coloured foods, such as curries, for the final day before your aligner change-over, so as not to stain your brand new aligners!

I had opted for Accelerated Invisalign, so I used my Propel device for 5 minutes every evening, and this in turn allowed me to change my aligners every four days, speeding up the overall process.

This is what the Propel device looks like
It vibrates in your mouth for 5 minutes

You can use the (free) Virtual Care app to track your progress, and I found this to be a great tool for reminding me when to change to my next aligners. You can choose the time you get this notification, depending on whether you’d rather switch over in the morning or evening. On the day you change aligners, you’ll be asked to take and submit photos of your teeth, with and without your aligners on, via the Invisalign app.

To help your orthodontist to see the very backs of your teeth, you place a cheek retractor (which you’ll be provided with) into your mouth. It looks very funny – just like that ‘Speak Out’ game, where you try to speak with a retractor in your mouth 😆 – but it’s super useful for your doctor!

You’ll then receive feedback from your orthodontist, who in my case was Dr. MacKenzie, who is certified as a top 1% Invisalign provider, 3-years running!

My top tip for changing your aligners, would be to clean, dry, and place your old aligners back in their numbered bag before you get your new aligners out, to be extra sure you’re placing new aligners on!

Progress Check-Ups & Refinements

You will be scheduled for a few in-person appointments throughout your Invisalign program, to ensure that everything is tracking nicely, and that you’re happy with the results so far.

When it comes to the end of your expected treatment time, you’ll have your teeth scanned again, which will enable your care provider to see which teeth have moved according to plan. If all your teeth have moved into place perfectly, then you should now be ready to have your attachments removed.

In my case, a few of my teeth had been stubborn to shift, so Smiles Orthodontics sent away for some Refinement Aligners, which are additional sets of aligners to continue your Invisalign treatment.

While I waited for the extra sets to arrive, I continued wearing aligners from my previous set, because you will actually be given more sets than you need, just in case you ever need tiding over like this.

Debonding

Once your desired results have been achieved, you’ll head back in to your care providers to have your attachments removed, which is called debonding. This is a painless process, and your teeth will feel so smooth afterwards!

You may have a few of your teeth filed a little, to even out the bottom of your teeth and provide an even neater smile. I tend to grind my teeth at night, so had a few uneven edges, and just smoothing these out a little made a big difference.

I am really happy with my results, and I had a great experience at Smiles Orthodontics from start to finish!

Vivera Retainers

Debonding marks the end of your active Invisalign treatment, but to ensure your teeth stay in their new position for life, it is recommended that you continue to wear aligners while you sleep. These slightly more robust aligners last for around a year (with proper cleaning), and are named Vivera Retainers.

You can pay for these monthly, or in one go, and receive a new pair annually. I find them absolutely fine to sleep in after wearing aligners all day and night, and no one needs to know! They really do provide peace of mind that your teeth will stay in place, and they’re also good for people like me, who clench their jaw a lot!

– If you ever misplace your aligner or Vivera carry case, you can purchase a replacement here.

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I hope you’ve found this useful! I wish you good luck on your Invisalign journey, and if you live in the Greater Vancouver area and would like to have your treatment through Smiles Orthodontics (who I highly recommend), then you can use code SMILESGEORGINA to get free ZOOM Teeth Whitening at the end. ✨

A huge thank you to Dr. MacKenzie, Jocelyn, Riju and Cherri for providing me with a great experience throughout! 😁

You may also be interested in my blog post on the best block heel wedding shoes for brides.

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