What are Invisalign Refinements?

November 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — treehouse @ 4:49 pm

Gloved hand holding clear alignerIf your teen is using Invisalign to fix their bite and alignment, their orthodontist explained what to expect during your treatment. You may not have expected them to require Invisalign refinements. About 20% of people who choose clear aligners require refinements, which are additional aligners needed after already wearing Invisalign. Don’t worry if their orthodontist must adjust your child’s treatment plan. Here’s why they may need refinements and what they can do to prevent any additional complications along the way.

What are Invisalign Refinements?

Invisalign uses a series of aligners that are worn over the teeth. Each set applies continual pressure to make adjustments gradually. Your teen’s orthodontist used state-of-the-art technology to map the movement of their teeth, with the average treatment taking about 12 to 18 months. 

Although 80% to 90% of patients reach their goal on time, some people will require additional aligners. Essentially, they are extra sets of aligners to achieve maximum results. Not all treatments progress as anticipated for various reasons, like slower tooth movements or not wearing their aligners enough. 

Your child’s orthodontist may notice a hiccup in their treatment plan during routine appointments to monitor the movement of their teeth. If they aren’t moving the way they should, their orthodontist will recommend refinements, which can extend how long your teen will need to wear Invisalign.

Preventing Invisalign Refinements

Although needing extra aligners can’t always be avoided, your teen can lessen their risk of delays in their orthodontic journey by:

  • Commit to Wearing Their Aligners: They must wear their aligners for at least 22 hours per day. They should only remove them when eating or drinking anything except water. They should also be taken out when brushing and flossing or cleaning their aligners. 
  • Switch Their Aligners On Time: Your teen must change to the next set of aligners on time. Changing them too soon can cause their teeth to move too quickly, which can be painful and cause issues with their treatment. Not switching to new aligners on time will add delays to the progression of their treatment. 
  • Protect Their Aligners from Damage: Invisalign trays are made of durable plastic, but they can break if your teen is not careful. They can also misplace them if they don’t keep them in their storage case when they are not wearing them. As a result, your teenager may have to wait for replacements, which can slow their tooth movements. 

If your child needs refinements, it’s not the end of the world. It’s just a minor speed bump to ensure they achieve their best smile. Committing to their treatment at home and visiting their orthodontist regularly for check-in appointments will keep their treatment on track.

About Dr. Jing Guo

Dr. Guo achieved her dental degree at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine and continued her education in orthodontics at the University of Detroit Mercy. She is an active member of the American Dental Association and the Massachusetts Dental Society. Request an appointment through her website.

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