Invisalign® in Elk Grove, CA
Straighten teeth without metal braces™.
How Invisalign Works
Invisalign® takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements your dentist or orthodontist plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. You’ll achieve a great smile with little interference in your daily life. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you’re straightening your teeth.
You may be somewhat familiar with how the Invisalign® treatment works, but we’d like to take you through each step of the treatment process, from consultation to confident smile. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or someone else, knowing more about the entire process can help you be more confident in your decision to choose Invisalign and enjoy a better smile every day.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Dr. Bellamy
During your free consultation, you and Dr. Bellamy will discuss your case in detail to determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. Invisalign now addresses many cases, from simple to more complex. Dr. Bellamy will determine if Invisalign is right for you.
A Customized Treatment Plan is Created for You
Dr. Bellamy will take x-rays, pictures and impressions of your teeth, which Invisalign will use to create a digital 3-D image of them. From these images Dr. Bellamy will map out a precise treatment plan, including the exact movements of your teeth, and tell you the approximate length of treatment. Using the same technology your doctor will be able to show you a virtual representation of how your teeth will move with each stage of treatment. While every case is unique to each patient, treatment typically takes approximately a year for adults. For teens the length of treatments is comparable to that of braces.
Receive Your Custom Aligners Based On Your Personalized Treatment Plan
Based on your individual treatment plan, a series of custom-made, clear aligners is then created specifically for you. These aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic that won’t irritate your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces often do. Simply wear them throughout the day, and remove them when you eat or to brush and floss your teeth. As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth gently and gradually begin to shift into place. And because they’re virtually invisible, most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them.
Wear a New Aligner Every 2 Weeks
Approximately every two weeks, you will begin wearing a new set of aligners, advancing you to the next stage of your treatment. To monitor your progress, you will also have occasional checkups with Dr. Bellamy, usually only every six weeks or so. For best results and a timely outcome, you should wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, throughout your entire treatment. At every stage, you will be able to see how much closer you are to having the smile that reflects the real you.
Reveal Your New Smile & Keep It Looking Great
Congratulations! This is the time when you celebrate. You have reached the end of treatment and you will be smiling more than ever.
Once your treatment is complete, protect the beautiful new smile you have invested in. Ask Dr. Bellamy if you will need retainers to keep your teeth in their new position. Vivera® retainers are custom made using the same state-of-the-art technology as Invisalign. Vivera® retainers lock in your beautiful smile.
From mild cases of crooked teeth and protruding teeth, to much more difficult dental problems involving serious malocclusion, overbite, or underbite, Invisalign® effectively corrects a wide variety of dental problems. Whether your teeth are widely gapped, overly crowded or somewhere in between, Invisalign has an affordable teeth straightening option for you.
Here are some of the main conditions Invisalign currently treats. But if there is a specific dental problem that you do not see addressed here, please contact Dr. Bellamy for more information to see if Invisalign is right for you.
Gaps between teeth can occur with abnormal continued growth of the jawbone. Missing teeth can also cause the surrounding teeth to shift due to the extra space, creating gaps in your teeth. Spacing issues and gaps between teeth can lead to gum problems (due to lack of protection by the teeth), periodontal pockets and increased risk of periodontal disease.
What people commonly refer to as an “overbite” is known to dental professionals as “overjet.” It occurs when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. It’s typically caused by genetics, bad oral habits, or overdevelopment of the bone that supports the teeth. This can lead to gum problems or irritation, and/or wear on the lower teeth, and can cause painful jaw and joint problems.
Underbite can occur when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth. It’s usually caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or both. It can also be caused by missing upper teeth. This can prevent the normal function of front teeth or molars, which can lead to tooth wear. It can also cause painful jaw and joint problems.
Open bite often occurs when some teeth are unable to make physical contact with the opposing teeth for a proper bite. Most often caused by a genetic abnormal jaw structure or excessive thumb-sucking, an open bite can cause poor or painful chewing, and even speech impairment. It can also lead to greater issues like thermo-mandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Teeth crowding occurs when there is simply a lack of room within your jaw for all of your teeth to fit normally. When left untreated, overly crowded teeth can get worse over time, and result in severely crooked teeth. This crowding can lead to plaque accumulation, tooth decay and an increased chance of gum disease.
Crossbite can occur when the upper and lower jaws are both misaligned. It causes one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth, and can happen on both the front and the sides of the mouth. This can cause wear of the teeth, gum disease and bone loss.
One of the best things about Invisalign® is the minimal impact it has on your everyday life. Since the aligners are so comfortable, you should be able to wear them for the recommended 20 to 22 hours a day without much effort. Here are some comments from patients going through treatment:
The aligners are easily removable, so you can continue to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would. Cleaning your aligners is just as easy with the Invisalign cleaning kit. Or you can simply brush and rinse them in lukewarm water. That’s it! Achieving that great smile couldn’t be easier!
“I’m usually pressed for time in the mornings, and I appreciate how Invisalign doesn’t slow me down. I just pop out the aligners, brush my teeth and pop ’em back in.” Amy from Irvine, CA
You’ll also remove the aligners each time you eat. This means you can continue to eat all the foods you love without any restrictions or worrying about food getting stuck in your wires and brackets. With other teeth-straightening methods, the simple act of eating can often be troublesome.
“I love how I can pretty much eat whatever I want and not have to worry about whether it’s going to damage anything during my treatment.” Carl from Fort Worth, TX
For those who are active in contact sports, Invisalign allows you to continue wearing your aligners without having to worry about any sharp brackets cutting your mouth. If your sport requires wearing a protective mouthguard, simply remove your aligners and you’re good to go!
“Soccer is my life, which means there’s a lot of contact. Wearing braces would definitely make me a little hesitant to go all out” Teri from Boston, MA
Your bedtime routine can continue as before, with the simple addition of cleaning your aligners. You won’t be struggling with trying to floss and brush in between brackets and wires, which can be time-consuming.
“I don’t think I’d have the patience to keep braces clean especially having to floss between all those wires. With Invisalign, I just take out my aligners, brush and floss my teeth, quickly brush my aligners and I’m done.” Jeff from Bellevue, WA
Sure, there are other options out there for straightening your teeth, but none offers the level of comfort, convenience and confidence that you’ll find with Invisalign®. And no matter what stage you’re at in life, you’ll appreciate how our cutting-edge approach to treatment has minimal interference in how you live, but has a significant positive impact on how you look and feel about yourself.
While the results may appear the same—a confident, beautiful smile—when you stop and actually compare Invisalign® to other teeth-straightening options, the advantages become quite apparent. Knowing the pros and cons of each option ahead of time will help you make a more confident decision.
With regular braces, you may experience some or all of the following: pain, discomfort, mouth sores or injuries caused by the brace wires, tooth decay (from inadequate brushing and flossing), plaque buildup, tooth discoloration, tooth/bracket breakage, or difficulty eating. As if that weren’t enough, there are also the personal sacrifices—popcorn, chips, bagels, hard-crusted bread, pizza crust, pretzels, nuts, certain candies…plus apples, carrots, corn on the cob, and more.
Veneers and Similar Treatments
Many patients have asked about the benefits of veneers as compared to Invisalign. While veneers are certainly an option for improving your smile, they only cover up certain dental imperfections, rather than correct them. This means that some existing periodontal problems could remain. Applied to the front side of the teeth only, veneers also require the removal of the surface enamel of each tooth—an irreversible procedure—and need to be replaced every five to 10 years. This can become very expensive… Coffee, tea and red wine need to be avoided to prevent discoloration, and care must be taken to prevent chipping or breaking the veneer. So while the surface look of the teeth may improve with veneers, the underlying tooth and gum problems could still exist.
Of course, there’s always the option of not seeking treatment at all. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but do keep in mind that, if left untreated, many orthodontic issues can often lead to more serious dental and health issues.
Making the decision to straighten your teeth is much easier when you know that Invisalign® is flexible enough to let you live your life the way you want to. With Invisalign, you don’t need to worry about the gum and mouth irritation other teeth-straightening methods can cause.
With Invisalign, the aligner trays are not only smooth and comfortable to wear, but they’re also removable. That means you can continue doing all the things you normally would, from brushing and flossing, to eating whatever you like. With other devices, brushing and flossing properly can often take up to 30 minutes!
Special occasion coming up? No problem — just take your aligners out for that time and pop them back in when you’re ready. Of course, even when you’re wearing them, most people won’t even know you’re going through treatment, because they are virtually invisible!
Invisalign is also ideal for your busy schedule, with fewer doctor visits required (approximately every six weeks).
You may be surprised to know that the benefits of having properly aligned teeth extend far beyond a confident smile. According to the American Dental Association, straightening your teeth can actually significantly affect your overall dental health1. Think about it — a smile can hardly be perfect if it’s not a healthy one. Fortunately, with Invisalign®, having a confident smile and reducing your risk for tooth decay and gum disease go hand in hand.
Healthier Teeth & Gums
Swollen, red gums can often be the result of having teeth that are crowded or too widely spaced. Unfortunately, these are also signs of periodontal disease. When teeth are properly aligned, it helps the gums fit more securely around the teeth, allowing for the strongest and healthiest defense against potential periodontal problems. That’s where Invisalign comes in. The comfortable and clear aligners gently and gradually begin to move your teeth into the proper position — without unsightly brackets and wires.
One of the biggest challenges of having braces is removing all the food that gets trapped in the brackets and wires. This can often lead to plaque buildup and eventually tooth decay. With Invisalign, the aligners are removable, so it’s easy to continue brushing and flossing your teeth the way you normally do.
Think of your teeth as a window to the health of your body. Your teeth and gums — and how they look to others when you smile—say a lot about your overall health. If you’re taking good care of both, you’re probably taking good care of the rest of you.
Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by bacteria. Left untreated, they can cause mouth sores, tender or bleeding gums, bad breath, and possible tooth loss. Studies by the American Dental Association have shown that oral infections can also lead to other more serious ailments such as heart disease2, stroke3, pneumonia4 and diabetes5. Invisalign aligners make daily oral hygiene easier, thus reducing the risk of possible problems. And correctly aligned teeth can also alleviate the issues that can be caused by an improper bite, speech or chewing difficulties, jaw problems, and increased wear on the tooth enamel. Invisalign effectively addresses all of these orthodontic issues, so you’ll have the confidence of a great smile and increase the likelihood of improved oral health.