What are aligners made of, and what do they look like? The virtually invisible aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to teeth-whitening trays. A series of Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, to move your teeth in the sequence determined by your doctor.
How do the aligners straighten teeth? Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a series of aligners. Each aligner will make slight adjustments to tooth position. During each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, a process that is mapped out in advance by your doctor, specifically for your situation. When the aligners are placed on the teeth, they cause the teeth to gradually shift from their current position. The main difference is that Invisalign not only controls the force but also the timing of the force application. After approximately two weeks, you will begin using the next set of aligners, which will continue the teeth straightening process.
Is Invisalign really effective? More than 3 million patients have been treated with Invisalign worldwide with great success. The aligners move teeth just as effectively as traditional metal and wire braces.
What are the other primary benefits of Invisalign comparing to Traditional Braces? Invisalign aligners are removable and you can eat whatever you want. For the best results and a timely outcome, aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day. However, unlike with braces, you have the flexibility to remove your aligners to eat and drink what you want during treatment. And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would, for fresh breath and good oral hygiene.
Avoid Pain and Irritation. The metal wires in traditional braces are notorious for causing pain, discomfort, and mouth sores. And since the treatment is long-term, patients are forced to live in discomfort for months. Invisalign straighteners are made of smooth plastic that is carefully molded to your teeth for a comfortable, pain-free fit. Some people might experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This discomfort typically goes away in a couple of days.
Visit the Dentist Less Often. Traditional braces require frequent visits to the dentist for tightening and correction. And since they compromise your oral health, you might also need more cleanings and intensive treatments. Patients who choose Invisalign straighteners instead typically only need to see a dentist every four to six weeks. That is an easy commitment to fit into a busy schedule.
How much does Invisalign cost? We know cost is a big question for anyone considering orthodontic work. In most cases, Invisalign treatment is comparable to the cost of traditional braces. However, as with other medical treatments, only your Invisalign-trained doctor can determine the cost, based on your specific needs. Other factors may include your treatment goals, the difficulty of your case, how long you are in treatment, where you live, and additional factors determined by your dentist or orthodontist. Also, check your dental insurance plan—Invisalign treatment is covered by many dental insurance policies. And many doctors can offer flexible and affordable monthly payment plans as well.
Can I go to any dental for treatment with Invisalign? While Invisalign can be used with virtually any treatment philosophy, special training is needed. All orthodontists and dentists interested in treating patients with Invisalign must attend training to become qualified and proficient in the various requirements for treating patients before treatments will be accepted from their office. More than 82,000 dentists and orthodontists worldwide are already trained to treat patients using Invisalign.
Will Invisalign still work if I am an adult/older? Many adults are choosing to get their smiles into alignment – in fact, nearly one-quarter of our orthodontic patients are adults! While traditional braces are becoming more accepted for both adults and kids, Invisalign is a great option for adults who may not want the full “braces” experience and would prefer a lower-profile, nearly invisible option.
What if I’ve had braces, veneers, bridgework or have other special dental conditions will Invisalign aligners work with them? Please consult with your dentist about any special orthodontic cases, such as veneers, braces.
Can I just wear the aligners while I sleep? No. The aligners must be in place a minimum of 20 to 22 hours a day for the treatment to be effective.
Can I smoke while wearing the aligners? Smoking is discouraged while wearing aligners because it is possible for the aligners to become stained or discoloured.
What is the best way to clean my aligners? The best way to clean your aligners is by brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water and using the Invisalign Cleaning Crystals or special cleaning tablets. It’s important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain proper hygiene.
What happens after the Invisalign treatment is completed? Is there a retainer necessary? Wearing a retainer after any orthodontic treatment is an important step because it keeps teeth stable in their new positions. If you want your teeth to remain in their ideal position, it is best to wear a retainer as directed by an Invisalign Provider. In many cases, your last aligner will be your temporary retainer, until your retention option is determined. Your Invisalign Provider can advise you on long-term retention options.
Will Invisalign really work for Me? To find out if you’re an Invisalign candidate, first make an appointment with your dentist on the website. In addition to determining if your particular dental problem can be fixed with Invisalign, you need to assess your lifestyle to determine if Invisalign will work for you. When you select traditional braces, they remain in your mouth 24 hours a day, but Invisalign is removable for eating, brushing and flossing. You still need to wear the aligners 20 to 22 hours per day, only removing them when absolutely necessary. Wearing them only while you sleep is not enough. If you tend to lose things or are forgetful, Invisalign might not be as effective for you.
Remember, when considering Invisalign or any other clear aligners, it is important to understand that the aligners alone will not fix your teeth. Invisalign is just a tool in the hands of an experienced dentist. Only experienced dentist can successfully treat cases with Invisalign. Your dentist, and not Invisalign, is responsible for any good or bad outcomes and your satisfaction. That applies only to those cases where the patient complies with the dentist’s instructions. The treatment success depends not just on a dentist but on the patient’s compliance as well. Without due diligence, Invisalign is not a good choice for you.
We will always discuss the retention protocol after the treatment. Remember, it is not about making your teeth straight, it is about keeping them straight for a long time. You do not want to waste your hard earned money and have crowded and misaligned teeth only a few months after treatment is completed.
Permanent retainers, in most cases, are better than removable retainers. Please make sure retainer prices are included in the total to avoid any surprises.
Also make sure refinement prices are included in the total. If you do need some braces during the treatment, which sometimes are necessary with Invisalign for the best results, make sure you do not have to pay extra.