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Invisalign Refinements: What Are They & Will You Need Them?  

June 7, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — AdvancedDental @ 3:56 pm
a person putting Invisalign trays in their mouth

Ideally, everything in life would go as planned, but in many cases, there are too many factors to account for, leading to small compromises needing to be made. Such is the case with Invisalign refinements. Sometimes, certain teeth can be stubborn, or you may not be as diligent about wearing your aligners throughout the day. In these situations, your dentist may have you wear additional trays to help shift your teeth into their ideal positions and provide you with the best results. Read on to learn more about Invisalign refinements, like when it’s necessary and how long they’ll tack onto your original treatment plan.

What are Invisalign Refinements?

Refinements are small adjustments made by your dentist during your Invisalign plan. If after a certain point in your treatment plan your teeth aren’t in their ideal position, an additional tray or two may need to be added to help them get there. While the average Invisalign journey lasts between 12 and 18 months, if you aren’t following your dentist’s instructions closely or your teeth just happen to be stubborn, these small modifications may be necessary in order for you to achieve a straightened grin.

Your refinement trays will be identical to your regular ones and are tailored to address these minor movements your dentist feels are necessary. At each of your routine check-ins, your dentist will track your progress. Here, you’ll learn whether you need refinements or not. In some cases, these minor adjustments can add several months onto your total treatment time but are a necessity.

Why are Invisalign Refinements Necessary?

There are several different reasons why refinements may be necessary add-ons to your treatment plan, such as:

  • You haven’t worn your aligners for the recommended 20 to 22 hours every day.
  • You don’t wear your aligners due to an accident, illness, or other life event that keeps you from being able to.
  • Your teeth aren’t moving as the treatment anticipated.

During your routine check-in, your dentist will be able to discuss whether you require refinements and how long they’ll add onto your treatment so you know what to expect throughout the rest of your journey.

Tips for a Smooth-Sailing Treatment

While some factors of undergoing orthodontic treatment are simply out of your control, like your teeth not shifting as they were presumed to, others are. Here are some tips to help you stick to your treatment timeline:

  • If your dentist recommends chewies, which are small devices you can chew on to help your aligners seal to your arch, use them diligently to help your aligners track. These are highly effective for many patients.
  • Wear your trays for 22 hours a day, being sure to only remove them whenever you eat or drink anything other than water, and whenever you brush and floss your teeth.
  • If you misplace or damage one of your trays, immediately call your dentist. They’ll be able to determine whether it’s necessary to replace it or just move onto your next set.

Orthodontic treatment can require small sacrifices and life-changes, and truthfully, it doesn’t always go as planned. It’s important to remember that a couple of extra months added onto your journey is nothing compared to a lifetime with a straightened, beautiful grin!

About the Author

Dr. Kirsten Farr is a Wisconsin native who enjoys spending her days helping patients achieve their smile goals. She is a certified Invisalign provider and has completed additional education and training on using clear aligners to straighten teeth. Her patients are able to enjoy a comfortable and warm environment while they’re working towards an aligned and healthy grin. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit Advanced Dental Treatment Center’s website or call 414-209-7463.

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