As the very term Invisalign® suggests, patients can align troublesome teeth in a virtually “invisible” way. This method, using a series of transparent aligners, is particularly popular among adults who desire to have their teeth straightened, but without an association being drawn to metal braces commonly seen on adolescents. The Invisalign® system can ultimately help shift your teeth into a more desirable position and renew the appearance of your smile. In addition to teeth misalignment, this treatment can address common orthodontic issues such as a crossbite, overbite, or underbite. If you believe the discreet Invisalign® system could benefit you, please contact our practice to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dentists here at Smile for Life Dental.
- What Is Invisalign®?
- Invisalign® Vs. Braces
- Invisalign® Treatment Process
- Does Invisalign® Hurt?
- Invisalign® Results
- Invisalign® Cost
- Invisalign® Alternatives
- Additional Invisalign® FAQs
What Is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® is a system of customized, removable aligners designed to correct mild to moderate orthodontic concerns. Invisalign® works by utilizing the clear, plastic aligners to gradually straighten the teeth or address bite irregularities. The aligners are virtually unnoticeable, offering patients the ability to address common orthodontic issues without visible braces and wires on their teeth.
Invisalign® Vs. Braces
There are the obvious cosmetic advantages, but can Invisalign® outshine traditional metal braces in other ways? Yes! Clinically, aligners avoid many of the side effects common to traditional fixed appliances. Almost all other types of orthodontic treatments will cause the roots of teeth to shorten, a demineralization of enamel, and/or teeth to decay when food particles are entrapped in the device. Invisalign® offers patients a healthier option. Unlike traditional braces, aligners are easily removed when a person desires to eat, drink, or brush their teeth. This allows an upkeep of oral health superior to that of traditional braces. Some of the commonly noted advantages of Invisalign® treatment include:
- The option to remove aligners while brushing, flossing, eating, or drinking
- No uncomfortable brackets or wires
- Often more affordable than traditional braces
- Typically less follow-up visits than with metal braces
- Many patients experience a shortened treatment time when compared to traditional braces
An added bonus for patients using the removable aligners is that there are no food restrictions like those specified for patients with metal braces.
What Does the Invisalign® Treatment Process Involve?
At Smile for Life Dental, we can start by taking your dental impressions, dental images, and photographs. These can then be submitted to Align Technology, allowing for a 3-D model to be created. A treatment plan will be mapped out demonstrating each progressive stage. Once the plan has been approved, a series of aligners will be constructed just for you.
Approximately every two weeks, simply graduate to the next prepared aligner. Periodically, you may be asked to come in for a brief appointment so we can check on the progress of your treatment. These are typically short and less frequent visits than those needed while wearing traditional braces. Before long, you should be able to attain straighter teeth and a renewed smile! Of course, the success rate for Invisalign® patients requires a commitment to wearing the prescribed aligners at least 20-22 hours per day, so be sure to follow the recommendations of our dentist to achieve optimal results.
Does Invisalign® Hurt?
Invisalign®’s use of clear, plastic aligners instead of wires and brackets often produces a more comfortable experience during the treatment process. You may feel a bit of pressure or soreness while wearing a new set of aligners for the first few days; however, these effects should dissipate as your mouth continues to adjust. Also, many patients find that over-the-counter pain medication can successfully relieve discomfort during this time.
How Long Does Invisalign® Take?
In some cases, patients have achieved optimal Invisalign® results after just 12 to 18 months. In others, it may take even less time for the desired outcome. The length of treatment will ultimately depend on individual goals, in addition to the severity of one’s orthodontic concerns. Our dentist can provide you with a more specific estimate of how long Invisalign® treatment may take once you have been evaluated during the initial consultation.
How Much Does Invisalign® Cost?
A treatment with Invisalign® is an investment in the function and appearance of your teeth. While this system boasts a relatively short treatment time compared to traditional teeth straightening methods, the results can pay off for years, if not decades, to come.
The Invisalign® procedure is customized to each of our patients’ needs, therefore the overall price of each treatment varies. However, we can provide some details on how the cost of the treatment is determined. Some of the factors will include the length of treatment necessary to meet your needs and the number of aligners that may be required. In your consultation with one of our experienced dentists, they can determine if Invisalign® could be a successful procedure for you. If so, our doctor will then create a custom treatment plan that can help you reach your goals. Our highly-trained dental staff is available to discuss payment and dental financing options, as well as to determine if your insurance plan offers any coverage for your treatment.
What Are the Alternatives to Invisalign®?
There are effective alternatives to Invisalign® for patients who may not be ideal candidates for the procedure, or for those who would simply like to consider other options to address their orthodontic needs. Porcelain dental veneers can often be utilized as an effective treatment for patients looking to correct the appearance of gaps and spaces between the teeth. A porcelain veneer procedure does not require ongoing treatment for signs of teeth misalignment; instead, this option involves the placement of customized tooth restorations in the specific areas affected. The veneers are designed to look just like natural teeth, ultimately serving to “mask” spaces and gaps to create a more uniform smile. Our dentist will be happy to explore the alternatives with you if Invisalign® is not the ideal solution for your needs.
Additional Invisalign® Frequently Asked Questions
As one of our most requested cosmetic dentistry treatments at Smile for Life Dental, Invisalign® can spark some questions about certain aspects of the procedure. Below, we have outlined some of the most common inquiries from patients who are considering this treatment.
Can I take my Invisalign® aligners out?
Yes! One of the benefits of correcting crooked teeth with these clear, plastic aligners is that they are removable. Patients who wish to eat, drink, or celebrate special occasions without the aligners on can temporarily take them out. We recommend that, for the system to be effective in your quoted treatment time, patients should wear the aligners at least 20-22 hours per day.
Will my speech sound different with Invisalign®?
Your speech may sound different than normal while your mouth gets acquainted with the clear aligners. We have found that some of our patients speak a bit differently the first few days of wearing Invisalign® as the mouth and tongue adjust to the aligners’ presence.
What Are Invisalign® Aligners Made Of?
Invisalign® aligners are made of a special kind of thermoplastic material known as SmartTrack®. This state-of-the-art flexible plastic material, made specifically for Invisalign®, is clear, thin, and custom-designed for the best possible fit over your teeth.
How should I care for my clear aligners?
To clean your aligners, we suggest brushing them daily with a toothbrush and water. For a more thorough cleaning, the durable aligners can handle being scrubbed with a small amount of antibacterial soap on a toothbrush and rinsed until clean.
If you would like more information about the Invisalign® procedure, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office today.