Invisalign teeth straighteners have been around for some time now, but patients still frequently ask us questions about them. Here we’ve collected some of the most commonly asked questions in this Invisalign FAQ to help you decide if Invisalign is right for you and your family.
All Your Answers Are In This Invisalign FAQ
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an alternative to traditional “bracket and wire” braces. The Invisalign process corrects teeth alignment issues using clear plastic straighteners that shift teeth slowly into the correct position.
Did You Know We're an Elite Invisalign Provider?
How Do You Know I Know If I Need Invisalign Teeth Straighteners?
If your dentist has recommended straightening your teeth to avoid oral health issues, or if you simply want to straighten your teeth for a better smile, Invisalign might be the best solution for you.
Though the principle behind Invisalign straighteners is the same as that for traditional braces, there are advantages to Invisalign that people love:
- The straighteners/aligners are less noticeable
- The straighteners/aligners are removable, which makes them easier to clean and easier to leave out for important events, such as job interviews or dates
- No metal means less irritation of gums, lips, and tongue
Read more: “Is Invisalign right for me?”
How Is Invisalign Different From Braces?
Braces consist of metal brackets glued to your teeth and tied together by wires and tiny rubber bands, while Invisalign is designed to be almost invisible. Aligner trays made of smooth, comfortable, BPA-free clear plastic are worn over your teeth to subtly and gently move your teeth.
While both braces and Invisalign can help straighten teeth, they each have pros and cons. Read more: “Braces vs. Invisalign: From an Orthodontist that Uses Both.”
Is Invisalign Appropriate for Teens and Children?
While Invisalign was originally designed for adults, its success quickly gave rise to a new process called Invisalign Teen. Invisalign Teen has some unique features that make it ideal for adolescents:
- Extra features to accommodate growing teeth in teens
- “Power ridges” to help tooth roots grow into the right spots
- Complimentary replacements is straighteners are lost or damaged
- Tools to help teens stay on track with wearing the straighteners
Plus, teens tend to like Invisalign Teen more than traditional braces because they are less noticeable, easier to clean, and more comfortable for growing mouths.
What Is the Invisalign Treatment Process Like?
Once you and your orthodontists agree that Invisalign is right for you, there are some set steps in the process:
- He or she will want to take X-rays and impressions of your teeth. These will be used to create a 3-D image of them for further use in the treatment, mapping out the exact movements your teeth will need to make.
- Next, your orthodontist will make a customized series of aligner trays from virtually invisible (and BPA-free) plastic through which you will progress (or change out) about every two weeks.
- You will need to wear your aligner trays for 20 to 22 hours daily, throughout your treatment. (Though you’ll want to remove them while eating, brushing or flossing.) You will also visit your doctor about every six weeks to make sure you’re teeth are moving as planned.
- As with braces, you may need to wear retainers after your Invisalign treatment in order to keep your teeth in their new position. Your doctor will help determine whether you need them or not.
That’s it! Once the straighteners themselves have been custom-made, the length of treatment is really up to you. So, wear your Invisalign aligner trays proudly!
Still have questions? Keep reading: “Can the Invisalign Treatment Process Work for You?”
How Much Does Invisalign Cost?
The cost of Invisalign varies depending on the complexity of your issues, the number of aligner trays needed, and the coverage your dental insurance provides. For simpler cases, Invisalign may only cost a couple thousand dollars. But very complex cases can cost as much as $8,000 or more.
To get a rough idea of costs in your specific case, try using The Invisalign Calculator.
Invisalign is concerned Orthodontic treatment so that it may be covered or partially covered by some insurance plans.
How Do You Keep Invisalign Teeth Straighteners Clean?
If you want to get fancy, some online stores offer an Invisalign Cleaning system. Many patients find that this cleaning system makes cleaning and maintaining their aligner trays easier.
That said, the aligners can also be cleaned by brushing them with a normal toothbrush and rinsing them with lukewarm water. Just like your teeth, the better you brush them, the cleaner they will stay.
What is Invisalign Express?
Invisalign Express is like Invisalign, but faster. It makes use of ten or fewer straighteners, compared to the 22 or so straighteners used in traditional Invisalign. Treatment can take as little as six months to complete, compared to 1-2 years for traditional.
Invisalign Express is not appropriate for all cases, however. It is often used to correct minor alignment issues, and it requires strict adherence to the procedure to obtain fast results. Your first step should be to consult with an orthodontist to see if Invisalign Express could work for you.
What Does It Mean to Be an Elite Invisalign Provider?
To be an Elite Preferred Provider, an orthodontist must have the highest level of Invisalign case experience. Currently, only about 2% of Invisalign providers across North America have the level of experience to qualify. Most Elite Invisalign providers have a proven track record of successfully treating patients of all ages.
To be considered an Elite Preferred Invisalign Provider, the orthodontist office must treat among the highest number of cases using the Invisalign clear braces system. Having this distinction helps patients find an Invisalign provider they can trust – one that has the knowledge and experience to create healthier, straighter smiles.
The Happy Tooth Can Answer More About Invisalign
As your Elite North Carolina Invisalign Provider, you can rest assured your smile, and your family’s smile, is trusted to the best - The Happy Tooth professionals.
If you’re considering the best straightening options, we are more than happy to talk through them. We invite you to schedule a free consultation with an Invisalign specialist, today so that you can begin the journey to a brighter, straighter smile!