What is Invisalign and how is it different from traditional braces?
Invisalign is a type of dental treatment that straightens teeth without the use of metal braces. It has transformed orthodontics giving patients an alternative to metal brackets.
Many people want straighter teeth. But few want to wear metal brackets and experience the discomfort associated with traditional braces. If you fit this description, consider Invisalign.
Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, include no metal and are custom made for your teeth. They work with a series of trays that gradually shift your teeth into place. Each tray is manufactured so that the teeth are slightly straighter than the previous tray. Your teeth will typically move up to 0.25 mm per tray. Every two weeks, you will receive a new set, slowly moving your teeth towards their ideal positions.
Invisalign offers complete convenience.
Just pop the trays in, and you’re ready to go. Because the aligners are clear and barely noticeable, they are perfect for people who want a more discreet option. And, unlike metal braces, Invisalign won’t irritate your mouth like wires and brackets can. There is no need to apply wax to irritating brackets.
Another benefit is that Invisalign allows you to see what your smile will look like when treatment is complete. No need to wonder about the end result — you can see it yourself.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign involves wearing a series of custom-made clear plastic aligners that shift your teeth into the proper position. Patients who would have never considered braces before are now giving Invisalign a try.
Wear your aligners as you go about your daily routine. Take them out in the morning and evening to clean them. All you do is brush them as you do your teeth. Take Invisalign out when it’s time to eat so that you can enjoy all your favorite foods. No special diet because nothing gets stuck in wires or brackets.
In fact, Invisalign keeps teeth cleaner than traditional braces because you brush as usual. This treatment is also perfect for people who play contact sports, especially those that require mouthguards. Simply remove the aligners while playing and replace them when you’re done.
Once you’ve reached your ultimate goal, your doctor will recommend retainers. This is the same whether you’ve gone through treatment with traditional braces or invisible aligners. Retainers are necessary because teeth can shift back into their pre-treatment position.
How much does Invisalign cost?
The typical price of Invisalign braces can be a bit higher than regular braces. The average cost is between $3,500 and $8,000. Your orthodontist can give you a better estimate of the price. The factors that come into play are the extent of the alignment and how many aligners needed to complete treatment.
The cost of regular braces varies widely but is usually in the range of $2,500 to $6,000. Again, the price may change depending on individual need and should be discussed with your orthodontist. Most dental insurance plans cover Invisalign just as they would regular braces. Check with your insurance company to determine the level of coverage.
Where can I find Invisalign?
You may want to start by taking Invisalign’s Smile Assessment to see if it is the right treatment for your smile. Then you should consult with an experienced provider, like Dr. Priscilla Larson of Sky Orthodontics who can determine whether this treatment will work for your teeth. Dr. Larson and her staff can also answer any medical or financial questions you have.
Keep in mind that not every dentist will have professional experience or training with Invisalign. Invisalign-trained providers attend specialized instructional sessions and participate in ongoing clinical training. It’s essential to visit an expert working with Invisalign, like Dr. Larson, to ensure your best smile possible.
Invisalign’s unique technology explained.
After your visit, Dr. Larson will perform a digital scan and create a custom treatment plan. She will use precise 3-D images of your teeth to map out their movements over the course of treatment. These images help create your custom-made aligners. The smooth, BPA-free plastic is non-irritating and comfortable for constant wear. Every two weeks or so, you graduate to your next set of aligners.
The aligners straighten teeth using a patented thermoplastic design. This not only controls the force applied to straighten teeth but also the timing of force application. Just a few teeth move during each stage based on your individual treatment plan.
The average treatment takes about 12 months. This varies based on the severity of each individual situation. Dr. Larson will work closely with you to develop a personal treatment plan.
In addition, Dr. Larson may use attachments to further perfect your smile. In some cases, tooth-colored composite “bumps” applied to your teeth help the aligner grip the teeth better. This helps ensure the desired tooth movement.
Will Invisalign work for me?
Gapped teeth, overbites, underbites, and crowded teeth are just a few of the problems that Invisalign can correct. Besides being unsightly, these problems can affect your dental health.
Gapped teeth will leave gums unprotected and can lead to periodontal disease. Overbites and underbites can cause stress to the jaw, and result in painful joint problems. Over-crowded teeth frequently lead to plaque accumulation because it’s difficult to floss effectively. This could result in cavities forming in over-crowded areas.
Invisalign addresses all of these problems and more. Plus it promotes your best oral health. In the end, it is up to you and your doctor to decide which treatment is best for you.
The average price is not much higher than regular braces. Plus, Invisalign offers unique advantages that may outweigh the difference in price. If cost is a big concern for you, talk to Dr. Larson’s staff about financing options. Sky Orthodontics offers flexible monthly payment plans to spread out the cost of Invisalign braces over a longer period.