Are you thinking about straightening your teeth with Invisalign? If so, it is essential to know how Invisalign works before you can make an informed decision. Our answers to 18 questions about Invisalign will help you decide if it is right for you.
1. What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic system that uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten your teeth. It is an alternative to traditional braces. And many people agree that it is a much better alternative.
2. Will Invisalign Work for You?
Invisalign corrects simple to complex tooth alignment and bite issues. The clear aligners are effective with cases like these:
- Gaps or spaces between teeth
- Underbite, overbite, or crossbite
3. Is There an Age Limit?
Invisalign works for children, teenagers, and adults. But children and teenagers need adult supervision to keep the aligners in their mouths and wear them full-time.
- Invisalign® First – Early detection of potential orthodontic issues might prompt a dentist to begin treatment when your child is between ages 6 and 10. This first phase of treatment guides tooth and jaw growth and development.
- Invisalign for teens – Many parents and teenagers prefer Invisalign for comfort and promoting self-esteem during orthodontic treatment.
- Invisalign for adults – There is no maximum age limit for Invisalign. But the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics advises that for best results with clear aligners, you need healthy tooth roots and quality bone to support correct tooth movement.
4. How Will Invisalign Look on Your Teeth?
Invisalign braces look virtually invisible on your teeth. From a conversational distance, people are not likely to notice you are wearing them because the braces are:
- Customized, snug fit
5. Is Invisalign Faster Than Braces?
Invisalign treatment is often faster than traditional braces, lasting six to 18 months. The National Library of Medicine published a study from the journal The Angle Orthodontist that compared clear aligners with traditional braces. The study found that clear aligners have several advantages, including:
- Fewer visits
- Less total chair time
- Shorter treatment duration
The length of your treatment will depend on several factors, including:
- Your age
- The severity of your case
- Your diligence in wearing the aligners
6. Will Invisalign Work for Really Crooked Teeth?
Yes, Invisalign works for really crooked teeth. Complex tooth movements may require small Invisalign attachments or “buttons” to help the aligners grip your teeth and move them to the correct position.
How do Invisalign attachments work?
Your dentist will make Invisalign attachments with these steps:
- Apply a small amount of tooth-colored dental composite to each affected tooth
- Shape and light cure the composite
- Ensure your aligners grip the attachments and will complete the desired tooth movements
7. Can You Do Invisalign Just for The Top or Bottom Teeth Only and Save Money?
Invisalign offers treatment options for top or bottom teeth only. But your dentist must examine and x-ray your teeth and check your bite to determine if you are a candidate for it. In some cases, Invisalign treatment for top or bottom teeth only can cause complications, including:
- Misaligned bite
- Uneven wear on your teeth
- Difficulty chewing or speaking
- Head, neck, and jaw pain from bite misalignment
8. How Much Can Invisalign Really Fix?
Invisalign corrects most common issues with teeth, including:
- Gaps and spaces
- General misalignment
- Open bite
9. Can Invisalign Fix Receding Gums?
If gum recession results from misaligned teeth, Invisalign may alleviate the recession and prevent it from progressing.
10. Is Invisalign Painful?
Invisalign applies gentle, constant force to your teeth to realign them. When you first put on a set of new aligners, you will feel pressure and temporary discomfort. But it will decrease in a few days as your teeth move to their new position. Invisalign’s clear aligners are much more comfortable than metal or ceramic braces.
11. How Many Hours a Day Do You Wear Invisalign?
You will wear Invisalign 20 to 22 hours daily. Closely sticking to the schedule will keep your treatment on track.
For the best treatment outcome:
- Remove the aligners only when necessary – Take them off to eat and brush and floss your teeth.
- Wear each set of aligners as directed – Your dentist will tell you how long to wear each set—one to two weeks before switching to the next set.
- Wear all the aligners – Most people need 20 to 30 sets of aligners to complete their treatment.
12. Can You Smoke with Invisalign In Your Mouth?
Although you can smoke while wearing Invisalign, we discourage it. Smoking will stain your aligners. And they will not remain clear.
13. Does Invisalign Impact Your Speech?
When you wear your first set of Invisalign, you may speak with a slight lisp until you adjust to them. But it should only take a few days to adjust.
14. Does Invisalign Require a Restrictive Diet?
Invisalign does not require a restrictive diet because you will remove the aligners whenever you eat. You can still enjoy your favorite foods.
15. How Much Extra Daily Dental Care Does Invisalign Require?
Invisalign does not require a lot of extra care. Your daily routine will include:
- Brushing your teeth after every meal
- Flossing between your teeth
- Gently cleaning your Invisalign trays with a solution for clear aligners and a soft-bristled toothbrush
16. Will You Need a Retainer?
When you complete Invisalign treatment, you will likely need a retainer to prevent your teeth from drifting back to their original position. Your dentist will explain your options for clear retainers.
17. How Much Does Invisalign Cost?
The average cost of Invisalign averages between $3000 – $7000. But the price varies with each case. Your cost will depend on several factors:
- The complexity of your case
- The number of aligners required
- How well you follow your treatment plan
- Where you live in the country and your dentist’s fees
Your dentist may offer financing options or payment plans to help make treatment affordable.
18. Is Invisalign Covered by Insurance?
Many dental insurance companies provide benefits toward orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign. Check with your insurance company to ask if benefits are available. An insurance company will often cover a percentage or a specific dollar amount of the total cost.
Would you like to know if you are a candidate for Invisalign? Dr. Dallin Snow is a certified Invisalign provider. Call us at Snow Family Dental to schedule a consultation or an exam or complete our contact form.