How Invisaligns Work
The Invisaligns system is actually really cool. It's all done with computers. Here is how it works.
To start with, they get a mold of your CURRENT teeth position. An orthodontist actually sticks goop in your mouth that quick-hardens to the exact shape of your teeth. That way the Invisalign people know exactly the shape of every tooth in your mouth and how it is currently aligned in your jaw.
The Invisalign computers then figure out what all those teeth would look like once they were in a straight line. Since it knows the shape and size of every tooth in your head, it's just a matter of arranging those into a gentle curve.
Then - and this is the cool part - the computer program figures out a gentle set of "stages" that let your teeth get from Initial Situation to Final Situation. It creates in between steps of how your teeth sort of "nudge" a bit, month by month, to move along the way from one place to the other.
It's always easier to look at actual images. Here is my not-yet-worn Invisalign Tray #2, the upper teeth. Note that the clear plastic has printing on it on the back molars, so you know which tray is which. That is what those black smudges are.
Here is Tray #3, again the upper teeth -
They look about the same right? Here is what happens. About 3 weeks after wearing Tray #1, I move on to tray #2. That *almost* fits my teeth but not quite. It is slightly out of alignment with my current teeth position. The teeth are feeling pressure from the tray to fit into their proper spots. After 2 to 3 weeks of this pressure they do in fact end up in the spots the tray wants them to be in. Then at that point I stop wearing tray #2 and start wearing tray #3. Again, the holes the teeth fit into isn't QUITE right. The teeth are slightly off, and are being "leaned on" by the tray to move into the new spots. By the time the teeth perfectly match the orientation of tray #3, it is time to move on to tray #4.
If you look at those two trays side by side they seem pretty close to identical - but each one is progressively moving the teeth along towards a more straight position. If you then looked at tray #10, the teeth would all be straight and lined up!
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