Invisalign is an orthodontic therapy that was invented to shift misaligned teeth back into proper alignment slowly. It consists of a set of clear, molded trays that fit firmly around your teeth. Invisalign® is practically invisible on your teeth, so only you and your dentist know you are wearing your aligners. At the conclusion of the treatment period, you can enjoy the straight, stunning smile you have always wanted.
Who Is a Good Candidate For Invisalign®?
Most patients who desire to have their teeth straightened are good candidates for Invisalign®. The system can treat mild to complex cases. Whether you have several teeth out of place or need your entire set of teeth straightened, it’s worth scheduling a consultation with our orthodontists to see whether you are a candidate for Invisalign®.
Common issues addressed with Invisalign® include the following:
- Open Bites: An open bite is when some of your teeth do not touch the teeth on the opposing jaw. Open bites can contribute to TMJ pain and difficulties with speech, so it is vital to address them with orthodontic treatments.
- Crowded Teeth: If your jaw is too small or your teeth are too large, your teeth may appear overcrowded and crooked. Your dentist may need to remove several of your teeth before implementing Invisalign to straighten your remaining teeth.
- Crossbites: When a tooth bites into the inside of the opposing tooth, this is considered a crossbite. It leads to premature tooth wear and bone loss.
Underbites, which occur when the bottom teeth protrude further than the top teeth, and overbites, which occur when the top teeth protrude too much further forward than the bottom teeth, can sometimes be addressed with Invisalign®. In severe cases, your orthodontist may recommend another treatment, like a jaw expander. However, you may be able to use Invisalign® in the final stages of treatment.
Invisalign® is a good option for teens who want straighter teeth, but it also works well in adults. Many adults who once had braces but whose teeth have since shifted frequently become Invisalign patients.
If you are an adult who never had braces but who has always desired a straighter smile, Invisalign® may be an excellent choice for you, too. The best way to find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign® is to schedule an appointment with our local orthodontists. He or she will use various techniques including x-rays and specialized imaging software to determine whether Invisalign® is a safe and effective choice, as well as giving you a glimpse of what your smile may look like after treatment.
How Does Invisalign® Work?
If your orthodontist decides you are a suitable candidate for Invisalign®, the first step will be creating custom trays for your teeth. When these trays are ready, you will pick them up from your orthodontist, and he or she will show you how to put them in and take them out.
One great thing about Invisalign® is that you only have to wear the trays for approximately 20 hours a day to get optimal results. You remove trays out to brush your teeth morning and night. You also remove the trays before eating a meal, which means you can enjoy all of your favorite foods with no limitations. Remember to replace the aligners after you finish eating. It’s okay to drink water while wearing Invisalign®, but you must remove them before drinking other beverages to avoid staining the aligners and exposing your teeth to too much sugar.
Each set of aligners slowly pushes your teeth into the desired position. You will update to a new set of aligners about every two weeks throughout your treatment period. Every six weeks or so, you will have a checkup with your orthodontist so that he or she can monitor your progress.
Every case is different, and your orthodontist will tell you how long you need to wear your aligners during your initial free consultation. Most adult patients need to use Invisalign® for about 12 months; teens may need to wear their aligners for longer. If you previously had braces and need a “touchup” to re-straighten your smile, you may only need to wear Invisalign® for six months or less. To straighten your teeth as quickly as possible, you need to be vigilant about wearing your aligners for the full recommended 20 – 22 hours a day.
It is essential to keep your aligners clean throughout the treatment process. Invisalign® makes a specialized cleaning system, but you can also clean them by brushing and rinsing them, much like you do with your teeth.
What Are The Benefits of Invisalign® Over Traditional Braces?
Invisalign® is regularly preferred over traditional braces because it is virtually invisible. Teens who are self-conscious about their image don’t have to be worried about smiling in public when wearing Invisalign®, class pictures, and selfies will look perfect. Invisalign® is safe to wear during sports and gym class without the worry of injury to tongue or cheeks, as with metal braces. For adult patients, wearing Invisalign® will allow you to maintain a professional image instead of dealing with the look of metal braces.
Wearing Invisalign® is also more comfortable than wearing braces for most patients. Though you may experience some aching and soreness, especially in the first few days after switching to a new aligner, there are no metal brackets or wires to irritate your gums. Your custom aligners will feel smooth against the cheeks and tongue.
Invisalign® may also allow you to maintain better dental hygiene than traditional braces. Since you remove your aligners before brushing, you can keep your teeth very clean. Brushing around conventional braces can be difficult; plaque and bacteria can build up around the braces, raising your chance of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
With Invisalign, there are no dietary restrictions. Patients resume eating all of their favorite crunchy and hard foods, including nuts, apples, and pretzels, when wearing Invisalign®. These foods are often off-limits with braces since they may snap the brackets or wires.
What Are The Challenges Associated With Invisalign® Treatment?
Wearing Invisalign® is comfortable and convenient, but it can take some time to get used to your aligners. New patients sometimes have trouble remembering to take their aligners out before eating and replace them immediately after a meal. You can help yourself remember to remove your aligners by setting the alarm on your phone several minutes before your planned meal and again a few minutes after your planned meal. Similarly, you can set alerts or reminders on your phone, so you don’t forget to replace your aligner trays every two weeks.
Some patients also find that their speech sounds a bit abnormal when they first get Invisalign®. They may have trouble pronouncing certain sounds like “th” and “s.” In time, you will get used to speaking with Invisalign® and will be able to talk again. Patients often find that practicing saying difficult words in the privacy of their own home helps them master speaking with aligners in place.
Furthermore, you’ll need to get used to when you first get Invisalign® trays is carrying the aligner case. Consider keeping a few cases at Work, in your bag, and your car, so you always have one on hand if aligners need to be removed at any point.
How Much Does Invisalign® cost?
The Cost of Invisalign® will depend on the complexity of your case, how long it takes to straighten your teeth, and whether your orthodontist needs to supplement your Invisalign® treatment with other procedures.
Most treatments cost between $3,000 and $8,000 in total. Keep in mind, however, that many dental insurance plans cover at least a portion of the Cost of Invisalign®. If you are thinking of getting Invisalign®, consider calling your insurance company to get a better idea of how much they cover.
If your dental insurance does not cover the full cost of Invisalign®, there are several other ways to pay. A flexible spending account through your workplace can use those pre-tax dollars to pay for your treatment. We also make it affordable to begin Invisalign treatment through our various financing options or low-interest payment plans.
Can I Get Invisalign® From an Orthodontist Near Me?
Don’t let a crooked smile hold you back at any age! If you desire straighter teeth or are looking into orthodontic options for your child, make an appointment for a consultation. Our consultation process is free, quick, and painless, and it will give you a better idea of the results you can expect with Invisalign® and how long you will need to wear the aligners to achieve your desired results.