WHAT IS INVISALIGN?
Invisalign is a type of orthodontic treatment that can be used to achieve a more beautiful smile. It can be utilized for patients who have mild to moderate misalignment and can also align the bite. Patients with overbite, crossbite, or underbite can enjoy Invisalign treatments. The process is done using clear plastic aligner trays to gradually move the teeth into proper alignment. This is done by wearing the trays for at least 20 hours a day. The trays are easily removed, allowing patients to maintain their oral health and wellness, flossing and brushing as they normally would without having to worry about brackets and wires that can make it complicated.
How does Invisalign work?
Patients often ask how the process is completed. First, patients book their consultation appointment. This visit allows for assessment of the patients’ smiles and decides if they are appropriate candidates for Invisalign treatment. If patients choose to move forward with this service to achieve the smile they desire, they then work with the dental team to complete a series of 3D digital impressions. These impressions create images that are sent to the Invisalign laboratories. The team there will create a precision set of trays that will guide the patients through the process of enhancing their smiles. The number of trays in the patients’ series will vary, depending on how severe the misalignment is. Patients return to the dental office to obtain their trays. During this time, the dentist will walk patients through the process of enhancing the smile.
Will Invisalign work for me?
As with any brace, for Invisalign to work you would need to adjust your lifestyle. The aligners must be worn for no less than 22 hours per day and you must remove them when you eat or drink anything other than cold water. If you are not strict with wearing the aligners, you may be faced with your treatment taking longer than planned or not achieving the best result possible. Most cases are suitable for Invisalign these days, however, there are some cases where only a fixed brace will provide the best result. The great thing about Invisalign is that you can see what the end result should look like before you actually commit to the treatment.
How long should each aligner be worn for?
The aligners should be worn for 2 weeks before changing to the next set. Moving teeth should be done at a slow and gentle pace as moving teeth too quickly can cause shrinkage of the roots which can make teeth less stable and become mobile over time.
What do the aligners feel like in the mouth?
As movement is fairly gradual with Invisalign, the treatment is generally pain free. You may notice slight tenderness when you change to the next set of aligners but this is a sign that the teeth are moving as they should be. It will take a few days to adjust to wearing the aligners and adapting to a new routine, as you would expect with anything. Many patients miss their aligners when they finish treatment.
Will people notice them?
Although the aligners are clear and virtually invisible, you may find that people notice something different about you but may not be able to pin point what it is. The aligners can make your teeth appear shinier and may discolour very slightly as you are getting close to your next aligner change. Many of our patients get through treatment and tell us no-one even knew.
What are Invisalign alternatives?
Invisalign may be the household name for clear aligner braces, but there are alternatives.
If you’re mostly concerned with appearances, you can ask your doctor about lingual braces, which are installed behind the teeth and can’t be seen when you smile. Lingual braces still use metal, clear, or ceramic brackets but may be cheaper than Invisalign.
In the United States, ClearCorrect is the major competitor of Invisalign. ClearCorrect also uses invisible, plastic aligners. Their aligners are made in the United States.
The ClearCorrect website says their product costs $2,000–$8,000 before insurance, and that insurance may cover $1,000–$3,000 of your treatment.
The Consumer Guide for Dentistry estimates the national average cost for ClearCorrect treatment to be $2,500–$5,500.
Treatment time may be the same as Invisalign, but ClearCorrect is usually cheaper. Of course, cost and timeline all depends on how complex your case is.
In both cases of Invisalign and ClearCorrect, each company is offering their brand of aligner product. Neither Invisalign nor ClearCorrect are actual dentists. Talk with your dentist about what kind of orthodontic appliance is best in your case. Your dentist will order the product and use it as a tool as they work on shaping your smile.
Smile Direct Club
There is also a third option called Smile Direct Club. Smile Direct Club does have a few locations, but they can bypass the dental office visit altogether by offering at-home impression kits. You make a mold of your mouth at home and mail it to Smile Direct Club. Then, you receive your aligners in the mail and use them as directed. Smile Direct Club says their treatment costs only $1,850. Or you can do a monthly payment plan.
This is clearly the cheapest option and may be good for someone who really fears dental offices. However, you’re missing out on the professional consultation, which really is invaluable when you’re talking about oral health and teeth to last you a lifetime. With Smile Direct Club, you never have any direct contact with a licensed dentist. Also, your impressions are reviewed by a dental professional — not necessarily a licensed dentist.
We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us to answer all of your questions so get an appointment today.