Invisalign(R) is a convenient and increasingly popular alternative treatment to traditional metal braces, especially for patients who are looking for a more discreet and natural-looking way to straighten their teeth. Using a series of clear multi-layer polymer plastic trays made from patented SmartTrack technology, Invisalign works by exerting gentle but constant pressure on the teeth and jaws so that teeth can slowly and predictably shift into a more desirable position.
Invisalign is an ideal option for teens and adults who may be struggling with malocclusions (misalignments of the teeth).
However, as with all orthodontic treatment methods, Invisalign may not be ideal for everyone.
Initial consultations for orthodontic treatment used to involve messy and time-consuming impressions of your teeth. Now, with the iTero Element 2 Scanner, your dentist or orthodontist can take a detailed 3D scan of your entire mouth, mapping out each and every tooth and its current placement. This detailed rendering will provide the information necessary to create your Invisalign clear aligner trays, and it will allow you to see what your smile will look like at the end of your treatment–before you even begin.
After your Invisalign trays have been created, you’ll visit your doctor for a fitting to address any concerns and to make sure that the trays are the right fit to achieve the desired results. During this fitting, it’s important to tell your orthodontist of any pain or discomfort you notice.Invisalign trays are custom-made using patented SmartTrack technology and are trimmed back at the gum line to ensure a comfortable fit that doesn’t push the edges of your trays into the soft tissues of your mouth.
Depending on the severity of the alignment problem, some patients may require more pressure than the trays alone can provide. Where traditional metal braces use rubber bands attached to brackets to place more pressure on the teeth, Invisalign uses attachments or “buttons,” small metal bumps that are bonded to the teeth in specific locations. These attachments essentially allow the aligners to “grip” the tooth and place a little extra pressure on it. Buttons can also be used to hold rubber bands in place, and can be colored, clear, or metal. While they are a bit more noticeable than the Invisalign tray itself, the buttons are still more discreet than other traditional orthodontic options.
During the fitting, you’ll be advised on how often to change out your aligner trays as well as guidance regarding how long to wear them each day (typically 22 hours per day) and how to properly clean and maintain them while keeping your teeth and mouth healthy.
Regular checkup appointments with your doctor will be scheduled according to your specific treatment plan, typically every 2-3 months for most patients. These appointments allow your doctor to monitor your progress and ensure your teeth are moving as planned. They also give your doctor a chance to make any adjustments to your aligner sequence or to the treatment plan as a whole, to make sure any potential issues are caught and addressed early before they become harder to correct.
Once your Invisalign treatment is complete and all aligners have been worn, your doctor will likely recommend a retainer to help preserve your results and discuss the options with you. Even after orthodontic treatment, teeth can shift back into their original positions; permanent and removable retainers ensure that the progress accomplished with your Invisalign treatment doesn’t disappear. The type and duration of your retainer will depend on your unique needs.
Clear aligner treatment has grown rapidly in popularity over recent years, with many companies offering direct-to-patient options, complete with mail-in mold kits and aligners delivered right to your door. However, what’s often missing from these brands is in-person, professional supervision from an orthodontist or dentist. All checkups and evaluations are done remotely, and they may not be with a trained professional.
Invisalign has been straightening smiles since 1997, and in addition to using advanced and proven SmartTrack technology, Invisalign requires its providers to be AAO certified practitioners who have completed special training. With the combination of a professional, predictable experience and one-on-one, in-person care, Invisalign patients can expect superior results that will last a lifetime.
The cost of Invisalign treatment is generally around $4,500 – $6,000, which is comparable to traditional metal braces. Though they don’t typically pay for the full cost of treatments, some insurance companies will offer benefits or discounts for orthodontic treatment, and some may pay up to 50% of the costs.
Another option to help you pay for Invisalign treatment is to apply the pre-tax dollars available to you in your FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or your HSA (Health Savings Account) towards your balance.
A straight smile is more than just nice to have; it can improve both your oral and your overall health. Orthodontic treatment is often well worth the investment for a healthier smile, and most providers will work with you to find ways to afford it through flexible payment options or low-cost financing.
At Dental Depot DFW, we believe everyone deserves a straighter and more confident smile, and we’re experts at helping them create it. We are proud to be a Diamond Plus Invisalign Certified Provider, an accreditation earned by just 1% of Invisalign providers nationwide. This means you can expect unparalleled experience and expertise at every stage of your treatment, from the initial consultation to your final beautiful results and beyond.
Dental Depot DFW offers comprehensive dental care services–including orthodontics–for everyone in your family at all of our convenient DFW metro locations. Find the one nearest you and schedule an appointment today.