What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a brand of orthodontic appliances that uses a series of clear, removable aligners to progressively straighten the teeth. It’s made of a patented thermoplastic material, also known as SmartTrack, that is thin and clean enough to be virtually invisible but also strong enough to reposition teeth. Unlike traditional braces, this system does not use any brackets, wires, or bulky, uncomfortable mechanisms.
How does Invisalign work?
Our orthodontist will create a treatment plan that predicts how the aligners can move your teeth with each set of trays. Once this treatment plan is finalized digitally, the clear aligners are designed to apply the perfect amount of pressure to gradually reposition each tooth. After receiving the aligners, it’s imperative for patients to wear their aligners for 20-22 hours per day. Each set of aligners will take 1 – 2 weeks to adjust the positioning of the teeth and then, a new set will be implemented to continue the smile correction process. Patients can go through 20-30 trays or more to achieve their ideal smile. Throughout this time, our orthodontist will monitor your progress to ensure the aligners fit correctly and work effectively. Your treatment will be adjusted to your needs from start to finish!
How long does it take to straighten your teeth with Invisalign?
On average, treatment time ranges from 12 – 18 months, but the length of treatment really just depends on each individual’s situation. There are many factors that tie into your treatment time, such as the complexity and severity of the case and how often the patient wears the aligners. Our orthodontist will give you an estimate of how long treatment should take depending on your specific needs, but it may change during the process..
How much does Invisalign cost?
Invisalign usually costs around the same amount as braces. The price of each case will depend on its complexity, time, and number of aligners. At East Gate Orthodontics, we also offer several ways to make Invisalign more affordable and flexible, such as monthly payment plans. Our financing options include:
- No-interest in-house financing
- All credit cards
Give us a call if you’d like to schedule a consultation for a quote!
Can Invisalign be covered by insurance?
Yes, as stated above, Invisalign may be covered by your insurance provider. We recommend checking ahead of time to see if it’s part of your plan. Our office accepts most insurance, including:
- Delta Dental
- Dominion Dental
- United Healthcare
- Anthem BlueCross BlueShield
- United Concordia
Is Invisalign as effective as braces?
Invisalign can be just as effective as braces if it is used correctly. Braces can be a better option for those who are more forgetful because the orthodontic appliance is semi-permanently secured on the teeth at all times. Since Invisalign patients have the ability to remove their trays, they also need to be more responsible with them. Invisalign patients must be diligent with their use of the clear aligner trays or the treatment won’t be as effective.
Though Invisalign can be customized to most cases, braces can be more effective for extremely severe or complex dental issues. Talk to your orthodontist to see if Invisalign is the right appliance for you.
What are the benefits of Invisalign?
There are many benefits to Invisalign! The treatment system works just as well as regular braces, but the user has a lot more control and flexibility. Below are the major benefits that our patients enjoy.
Appearance: Invisalign clear aligners are made of a clear, thin material that rests closely against the teeth, so they are virtually invisible. Many of our teenage and adult patients appreciate this aspect of Invisalign because it allows them to participate in activities and events without being self conscious about having clunky metal appliances in their mouth. Patients can speak and smile with confidence, which can be especially important during special occasions like interviews or presentations.
Comfort: Traditional braces with metal brackets and wires can be bulky and uncomfortable, especially for patients with sensitive mouths. They can even scratch and bruise the inside of the mouth. Because Invisalign is made of such a thin material and its molded precisely to the mouth, many patients find it to be more comfortable. Of course, it still applies pressure on the teeth, so it will inevitably make the mouth a little sore from the tooth and bone movement.
Convenience: Since Invisalign is a removable appliance, it’s a lot more convenient for patients. Food and drinks can easily get stuck in braces, but Invisalign users can simply take off their braces when they need to eat.
Cleanliness: It’s much easier to care for teeth with Invisalign than with braces. Patients can thoroughly brush and floss their teeth if they have the ability to remove their Invisalign trays. There’s no need to maneuver around tricky brackets and wires. There’s also less risk of calcification and stains on the teeth after the treatment is complete.
Safety: Patients who are involved in contact sports may want to consider Invisalign because it’s a much safer option than regular braces. Invisalign trays fit snugly against the teeth, so mouthguards can easily be placed over them. They can also be removed if needed for practice and games/matches. Traditional braces can severely scratch and bruise patients if there is trauma to the head or mouth. It’s also much more difficult to use mouthguards with a mouth full of braces.
Am I a good candidate for Invisalign?
Invisalign is a viable orthodontic treatment for both adults and teens who have all their permanent teeth. With recent technological advances, Invisalign can treat almost all orthodontic problems, such as malocclusions, crooked teeth, and gaps. Even patients with complex cases can be candidates for Invisalign.
Like all other orthodontic appliances, there is only one prerequisite for Invisalign: healthy gums and strong bone structure. Because Invisalign exerts so much force on the teeth, patients need a stable structure to keep teeth in place throughout the treatment. The orthodontist may recommend seeing a periodontist before getting Invisalign if the patient has a history of gum disease.
Will I need retainers after getting Invisalign?
Yes, you will need retainers after getting Invisalign. Retainers will stabilize the teeth and jaws, so they stay in the correct position for the rest of your life. At first, retainers are worn at all times like Invisalign to ensure the teeth do not shift back. Then, they will only need to worn at night.
What if I’ve already had cosmetic/orthodontic work?
There are many patients who seek Invisalign after their first round of orthodontic work if they are unsatisfied with the first process or their teeth have shifted. It’s also possible for patients to switch to Invisalign from traditional braces under the right circumstances. For patients with cosmetic work like veneers or crowns, Invisalign can still be an option because the clear aligners move each tooth one at a time, regardless of whether they are natural or artificial. However, only the orthodontist can determine whether you are a candidate for Invisalign, so come in for a consultation if you are interested!