You likely won’t start hearing about Invisalign refinements until after you begin your treatment, but they’re an important part of many people’s journeys towards a straighter grin. In order to stay on track with your timeline and make sure that you achieve an aligned, beautiful smile once it’s all over, you may require these extra refinement trays. Learn more about how they work and why your dentist may recommend them.
What are Invisalign Refinements?
While the average Invisalign treatment takes between 12 and 18 months, refinements, losing a tray, and other factors can come into play and extend your original plan. While it’s unfortunate, and can sometimes be disheartening, flexibility throughout this process is important, especially because every smile is different, and sometimes teeth don’t move the way they’re expected to.
That’s where refinements come into play, which are extra trays that are prescribed to you by your dentist. They’re designed to move your teeth just enough so the next sets of aligners in your treatment fit your arch. If they notice that your teeth aren’t moving like they were intended to, they’ll likely need to capture another digital scan of them to help design your refinement trays. Just like your routine aligners, these will need to continue being worn for between 20 and 22 hours each day, only removing them whenever you eat, drink anything besides water, or brush and floss your teeth.
Will You Need Refinement Trays?
Refinement trays may be recommended for a variety of reasons, such as:
- You haven’t worn your trays for at least 20 hours a day.
- You aren’t able to wear your trays due to an accident or illness.
- Your teeth haven’t moved as your dentist anticipated them to.
While some of these factors may be within your control, others aren’t, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you hear that you need refinements.
Keeping Your Treatment Plan the Right Track
The best way to avoid needing refinement trays, if they’re not required due to an uncontrollable reason, is to stick with your treatment plan as discussed with your dentist. Wearing your trays for 22 hours a day will ensure that your teeth continue to shift to their ideal alignment. If you happen to damage or lose one of your trays, contact your dentist immediately to find out whether you require a replacement or you can move onto the next set in the process.
Although it can be upsetting to learn that your orthodontic treatment may last a little longer than you anticipated, remember that it’s all worth it! A couple months of refinements is nothing compared to a lifetime with a straightened, healthy grin.
About the Author
Dr. Mahmoud Homsi obtained his dental degree at Boston University, Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. He is dedicated to keeping up with the latest techniques and technology in his field, which is why he pursues continuing education each year. He has completed additional training in orthodontics from the American Academy of Clear Aligners. As a passionate and caring dentist, he enjoys being able to help his patients achieve their ideal smiles through providing attentive and thorough Invisalign treatment. For questions or to schedule a consultation, visit Charm Smile Dental’s website or call 603-228-0123.