Invisalign is the most popular alternative to metal braces in the United States. These removable aligners are see-through, and they fit over the teeth. The aligners then gently shift the position of the teeth over a period of months, until they are ultimately straightened and give the patient the smile they’ve always wanted. The reason why Invisalign is so popular is because the aligners are almost invisible, unlike metal braces which are very conspicuous. There are some other distinct advantages that Invisalign provides, but keep in mind that metal braces are still used in certain cases, depending on the severity of adjustment that is needed. The best way to find out whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign is to schedule an appointment with us at Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.
Invisalign vs. Traditional Metal Braces
Metal braces are affixed to the teeth and remain in place for the entire treatment period. The patient’s dentist then adjusts and tightens the braces several times during the treatment period. Braces and the teeth require special treatment, because the braces don’t come off until the end of the process. Patients have to learn to eat and brush their teeth while the braces are in place. Braces can be used to straighten teeth in mild to severe cases.
Invisalign’s clear aligners are removeable. You can take them out for meals and when you brush your teeth. The aligners are custom-made to be an exact fit for your teeth, but you will receive a new aligner approximately every two weeks throughout the treatment process. Invisalign can be used to straighten teeth mild to moderate cases.
Both braces and Invisalign have their own advantages. However, Invisalign is much more popular due to the fact that others don’t have to know that the patient is having their teeth straightened.
The Invisalign Process
During your initial appointment with one of our dentists at Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, your teeth will be examined to determine whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign. If the dentist determines that your teeth can be straightened with Invisalign, a computer 3D model of your teeth will be created. The clear aligners are fabricated so that they will gently shift the position of the teeth over a period of months. You will be switching to a new set of aligners periodically as your teeth are adjusted.
Length of Invisalign Treatment
The average treatment time for Invisalign is about six months. For people who need only mild adjustments, the treatment time can be even shorter. You will have to come back to the office for periodic checkups, to ensure that the aligners are shifting the teeth properly. However, Invisalign treatment requires fewer office visits than traditional braces.
You should wear your aligners as much as possible during the treatment time, to help the process along. Even though you can take your aligners out for meals and brushing, don’t forget to put them back in immediately after brushing your teeth.
Is Invisalign Painful?
Invisalign does not require brackets or wires to be placed in the mouth, so the system is a lot more comfortable than traditional braces. It’s normal to feel a bit of discomfort and pressure in the early stages, as your mouth and teeth start to adjust to the aligners. Any soreness can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. The pressure will be less noticeable in just a few days.
Caring for Your Invisalign Aligners
The flexible plastic aligners are very easy to clean. You can simply take them out and brush them with your toothbrush, using warm water. This should be done every day. Avoid using hot water, because that can warp the plastic and ruin the aligners. You can also wash the aligners with an antibacterial soap (just be sure to thoroughly rinse the soap off before putting them back in your mouth).
Cost of Invisalign
The cost of treatment with the Invisalign system varies based on whether you require mild or moderate adjustment of the teeth. A lengthier treatment period will require more sets of Invisalign aligners and more office visits. You will be given an estimate for the total Invisalign treatment cost after your initial consultation. Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry works with many different insurance carriers. Once we provide you an estimate for the treatment plan, you can talk to your insurance provider to see if any of the costs are covered under your plan.
Benefits of Invisalign
One of the main benefits of Invisalign is the fact that most other people will not be able to see them. Here are some other benefits that Invisalign provides as well:
Removable: Easily take the aligners out for meals and tooth brushing.
Comfort: Invisalign’s clear aligner are thin and low-profile. They don’t irritate the inside of the mouth like traditional wire braces.
Convenience: Fewer office visits required than with braces, which have to be adjusted manually.
Faster: Invisalign provides optimal teeth-straightening results in less time.