INVISALIGN BRACES: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Teeth braces are a big deal because they help improve your appearance but also becauase they require the collaboration of the patient over time. In this article we answer the most frequently asked questions about Invisalign Braces and why we recommend them.

Each patient chooses Invisalign Braces for their own reason. Most patients are looking for a more esthetic alternative to metal braces. Some like the convenience of a removable appliance that allows them to maintain their oral hygiene while others prefer it for it’s comfort. Whatever your reason for choosing Invisalign, you can be sure that it will fit into your busy life to give you the results you want.

 

HOW IS INVISALIGN DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL BRACES?

The obvious difference is esthetics. Invisalign is almost invisible. Many people will find it difficult to tell you are straightening your teeth.  Invisalign is also more hygienic. Because it is removable you can floss and brush your teeth as usual without worrying you are putting yourself at risk for cavities, white spots or gum disease.

 

IS EVERYONE A CANDIDATE FOR INVISALIGN?

Invisalign can correct most tooth concerns that metal braces can.  It is great for closing spaces or resolving crowded teeth and correcting overbites or underbites. Most patients who are in good dental health are candidates for Invisalign. Others can qualify for Invisalign in combination with other orthodontic treatment.

 

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO USING INVISALIGN?

  • Aligners (the trays worn to straighten the teeth) are clear, making them virtually invisible.
  • Aligners can be removed to thoroughly clean the teeth on a daily basis making brushing and flossing easier and more effective than working around metal braces.
  • Invisalign wearers caneat whatever they like.
  • Aligners are smooth and comfortable to wear. There are no wires or brackets that can break or cut the mouth.
  • There is no painful tightening of any wires as with traditional braces. Instead, patients move to a new set of aligners every two weeks.

 

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE INITIAL AND FOLLOW-UP VISITS?

During your records visit photographic documentation is taken. Pictures are taken of your smile and the alignment of your teeth. Molds (impressions) and a bite registration are taken and are submitted to Align for the fabrication of your custom aligners. Once the aligners are ready, your dentist places any necessary attachments and ensures the aligners fit properly. You are given several sets of aligners and return every six to eight weeks. These short follow-up visits allow your dentist to ensure your teeth are tracking according to the treatment goals.

 

DOES INVISALIGN HURT?

No! Because a new set of aligners is used every two weeks, the movement the teeth move more gradually….meaning more comfort for the patient. This does not mean that braces work faster. In many cases Invisalign treatment time is shorter. Patients may feel some tightness when they first place a new aligner but this usually resolves after one or two days. It is a sign the teeth are moving!

 

HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF THE ALIGNERS?

Aligners can be cleaned using a clean toothbrush and warm water. Never boil the aligners or soak them in mouthwash or bleach. You may also purchase cleaning crystals directly from Invisalign.

 

WHAT IF I LOSE AN ALIGNER?

Call your dentist immediately. He or She may instruct you to wear your last set of aligners until a new set can be made. In some cases you may need new impressions.

 

HOW LONG CAN THEY BE TAKEN OUT DURING THE DAY?

Invisalign is meant to be worn at least 22 hours a day. The aligners should only be removed when eating and when brushing and flossing. They should also be worn when sleeping. Patients who fail to wear their aligners for the proper amount of time will have complications in their treatment. When the aligners are not worn for 22 hours a day the teeth will not move properly and the final results may be compromised.

 

HOW LONG WILL TREATMENT TAKE?

Average adult treatment time is one year. For teens and youth, treatment time is similar to that of braces. Each patient’s length of treatment depends on the complexity of their case and the desired treatment outcomes.

 

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN TREATMENT FROM GOING TO A DENTIST INSTEAD OF AN ORTHODONTIST? IS SPECIAL TRAINING NEEDED?

Both general dentists and orthodontists receive training and certification from Aligntech to be able to prescribe Invisalign for their patients. When choosing an Invisalign certified provider be sure to look for a dentist or orthodontist who has treated extensive Invisalign cases and who keeps up to date with continuing education. Dr. Gretzula is a “preferred provider” certified to prescribe Invisalign. Preferred providers have treated many simple and complex cases and have completed numerous hours of continuing education.

 

WHAT DO I WEAR ONCE TREATMENT IS COMPLETE?

It is vital to wear retainers once your Invisalign is complete. Your dentist will provide you with a set of retainers to ensure your teeth do not shift back to their original position. These retainers may be removable (similar to the aligners), a fixed wire or a combination wire/removable retainer.

 

HOW COMPARABLE IS THE PRICE COMPARED TO TRADITIONAL BRACES?

In most cases, the cost of Invisalign is comparable to that of metal braces. Each patient’s case is different however. Cost is dependent upon length and difficulty of treatment, treatment goals, as well as insurance coverage. The national range of cost is $3,500-$8,000 with an average of $5,000.

 

WILL INSURANCE COVER ANY OF THE COST OF INVISALIGN?

Each insurance plan is different. If your particular dental insurance includes orthodontic coverage, these benefits may be used for Invisalign. You should be familiar with the benefits of your particular plan and if it contains orthodontic benefits.

 

CAN YOU MAKE PAYMENTS?

Many offices allow patients to make smaller monthly payments. Many Invisalign patients at Hawley Lane Dental choose Healthcare Financing  to help pay for the cost of treatment.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES?

Please visit our Invisalign Braces page to view our patient gallery. Check back often for new updated before and after photos!

HAWLEY LANE DENTAL IS AN INVISALIGN PREFERRED PROVIDER.

If you have any other questions or are ready to make an appointment to have your or your child’s teeth straightened, please call us at (203) 377-9300 today.