Steps in Getting Invisalign

smiling girl with tooth tray

In 1998, our San Francisco dentist began sharing the advanced technology of Invisalign with our patients. As one of the first in the area to become a certified by Invisalign’s creator, our dentist is an expert in Invisalign treatment. Since that time, countless patients trusted our dentist to guide them through the Invisalign process.

Getting Invisalign is straightforward, but it does involve a few steps.

• Consultation-
During your no-obligation consultation with our dentist, you can ask questions and find out more about the Invisalign treatment system. At the same time, our Invisalign dentist in San Francisco will evaluate you to be sure that this is the best orthodontic treatment for your teeth. You will also discuss what you can expect going forward with Invisalign.

• Impressions and Registrations-
To create your care plan, our dentist will take optical impressions of your teeth. These go to the Invisalign lab, where they are the basis for your alignment trays. At this time our dentist also takes what is called a bite registration. This is an image of how your teeth fit together. It is valuable information which will help guide your care plan. Your information then goes to Invisalign where they create your custom aligners.

• Getting Your Invisalign Alignment Trays-
In approximately 4-6 weeks your aligners are complete and ready for you to wear. While the exact number of trays depends on individual circumstances, most patients receive between 20-30 sets of upper and lower aligners, although 25 is the average number of aligner trays for most patients.

• Fitting and Instructions-
Our dentist will give you the first alignment tray while you are in the office. This helps him be sure that the fit is correct and that you are comfortable with the trays. You will also get written instructions regarding the care and use of your Invisalign aligners. Our dentist will also attach tiny tooth colored buttons to several of your teeth. These align with small holes in the alignment trays and help to keep aligners securely attached.

You will visit our office periodically for quick check-ups and your newest alignment trays. If you have any questions about any aspect of your Invisalign treatment, do not hesitate to contact our office.

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What Causes Gum Recession

Beautiful woman with a whiten perfect smile

Receding gums are a common dental problem. We see many patients who have issues with varying degrees of gum recession, and even though it is not rare, it is still a serious condition that you should not ignore.

Gum recession happens when the gums that are usually snug against your teeth start to pull back or wear away. Eventually, pockets between teeth and gums form, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and plaque. Some of the dangers of untreated receding gums are an infection, potential tooth loss and bone loss in the area where your gums are pulling away from your teeth.

There are several reasons for gum recession, some of these include:

• INADEQUATE BRUSHING AND FLOSSING- Most of our patients know the suggested oral health routine our dentist recommends. We advise patients to brush at least twice a day (although brushing after each meal is preferable) and thoroughly floss at bedtime. These ordinary activities are the first line of defense against numerous dental problems, including receding gums.

• PERIODONTAL DISEASE- Bacteria causes these infections, which are the leading source of gum recession. These infections are preventable, as proper brushing and flossing remove bacteria.

• TOBACCO PRODUCTS- Those patients who use tobacco have a higher amount of sticky plaque on their teeth. The plaque eventually leads to receding gums as well as gum disease and tooth loss.

• CLENCHING AND GRINDING YOUR TEETH- When you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, you are exerting a considerable amount of pressure on your teeth. Often, this persistent pressure leads to gum recession.

• BODY PIERCING OF THE TONGUE AND LIPS- The metal studs cause friction along the gum line. The consistent friction wears away the surface of your gums and causing them to retract away from the metal.

Often, our patients do not notice their gums are receding because it is a slow process with nearly imperceivably small changes. There are a few signs that indicate you have gum recession including tender or swollen gums, teeth that appear longer, bleeding gums, and loose teeth. Any of these conditions are a good reason to make an appointment with our dentist.