Invisalign®: A Clear Way to the Straight Path
Imagine dental braces that can straighten your teeth without wires or brackets. Well, that treatment is not only here, but it's actually helped over 1,000,000 people worldwide perfect their smiles. Introduced by Align Technology in 1999, Invisalign is a series of clear, removable aligners that are completely customized to meet your orthodontic needs, yet so discreet that no one may know you're wearing them. If you're interested in Invisalign braces, read this Invisalign review to see if it's the right dental treatment for you. We cover the Invisalign procedure, Invisalign prices and more!
Invisalign vs Braces
Invisalign is similar to dental braces in its approach: It uses controlled force to move your teeth into the correct position. The difference is in the timing -- during each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, rather than moving all of your teeth at once.
Like braces, Invisalign treats a wide range of orthodontic problems, including crooked teeth, crowded teeth, irregular spacing, overbites, underbites and a crossbite. Both Invisalign braces and dental braces straighten teeth effectively, but Invisalign offers several perks dental braces do not:
- Removable -- With Invisalign, you don't have to worry about food getting stuck in your braces. You can remove Invisalign braces to eat, brush your teeth and floss (braces can make flossing harder).
- Comfortable -- Having dental braces means regular appointments to visit the dentist to adjust the wires, which can be uncomfortable for some. Invisalign not only eliminates these adjustments, but the smooth edges of the aligners do not irritate the gums and cheeks the way braces do.
- Discreet -- Invisalign braces are virtually invisible, making it hard to tell you're straightening your teeth at all.
- Time-Saving -- The elimination of wire adjustments means less time spent in the dental chair.
While there are many advantages to Invisalign, they may not be for everyone. In some cases, Invisalign may need to be combined with braces to complete your treatment. Like with dental braces, you may feel some minor discomfort from the pressure as your teeth move.
The Invisalign Procedure
Invisalign uses 3-D computer-imaging technology to plan each stage of your treatment in advance. The result is a series of aligners, each made with precise calculations to move your teeth strategically into position to achieve a beautiful smile.
- An orthodontic consultation will be needed to determine what type of dental braces is best for you. You dentist can provide you with an honest Invisalign review, discussing Invisalign vs braces and Invisalign prices before helping you choose a treatment plan.
- Impressions are taken and digitalized to create a 3-D image of your teeth.
- Your dentist will then plan your entire Invisalign treatment right in his or her office. Virtual images are used to show what your smile will look like after each stage of treatment.
- Customized Invisalign aligners are created and sent to your doctor. There will be one aligner for each stage of treatment, each a little different from the last. Your dentist will establish a schedule for you to change your Invisalign braces about every two weeks.
- You may need to visit your dentist every 4-6 weeks to make sure your treatment is progressing as planned.
- Treatment times vary depending on severity of case. The average treatment time is 12 months, or 24 aligners, but you may receive anywhere from 20-30 aligners for each arch.
- Following your Invisalign treatment, you will most likely be fitted with a retainer.
Invisalign: Review Your Options
There are several types of Invisalign products to choose from:
Invisalign FullTM -- The original Invisalign braces, Invisalign Full is used to treat a wide range of cases, including more complex malocclusions.
Invisalign AssistTM -- When only aligners are needed, Invisalign Assist may be recommended. Designed to treat simpler malocclusion cases, Invisalign Assist also features product support and guidance to help keep you on the right track.
Invisalign ExpressTM -- If you had braces as a kid and notice that your teeth are starting to shift again, you may want to consider Invisalign Express. A short-term version of Invisalign Full, it uses up to 10 sets of aligners to correct minor cases of crowding or spacing. Treatment time takes an average of six months and Invisalign prices for Express are often less than other types of Invisalign braces.
Vivera Retainers -- Manufactured using the same technology as Invisalign aligners, Vivera retainers come in a set of four aligners that are sent to you over time to best maintain retention. Vivera retainers are not just limited to Invisalign -- they can be used as part of any orthodontic treatment plan.
Invisalign TeenTM -- Invisalign Teen is made to meet the specific dental needs of teenagers. The Invisalign Teen system works the same as Invisalign with a few exceptions:
- Designed to compensate for the growth of new molars (in order to qualify, the teen's molars must be at least partially erupted)
- Contains an indicator that fades from blue to clear to let you know when it's time to chance aligners
- Up to six replacement aligners are included in case originals are lost
Invisalign Teen is a great choice for kids who play sports, as there is less risk of damaging the soft tissues of their mouths from metal brackets. Teens who don't feel confident in braces may also benefit from Invisalign braces.
Invisalign prices vary according the severity of your case, the type of Invisalign product you choose and the length of your treatment. The only way to determine the cost of your Invisalign procedure is to consult with a dentist. When it comes to comparing Invisalign vs braces, comparing comfort and convenience to cost can help you determine overall cost-effectiveness. If you're using dental insurance, be sure to verify how much of Invisalign prices are covered before starting treatment. If you don't have insurance, you may want to find a dentist who offers a payment plan.
In order to be effective, Invisalign aligners must be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day and should only removed for eating, drinking and practicing oral hygiene. To help prevent staining, you should not smoke, eat or drink with the aligners on. You can clean your aligners by brushing them with lukewarm water or purchasing a cleaning kit from Invisalign. Of course, the best way to get an Invisalign review is to consult with a dentist who uses it.
To find an Invisalign dentist near you, call us at 1-866-970-0441.