Today’s braces are almost unrecognizable from years past, with smaller brackets, a sleeker appearance, and greater comfort. Despite this transformation, many teens and adults we see are hesitant about using them to straighten their smile. Fortunately, there’s an alternative available, one that offers patients the chance to achieve a beautiful smile without any brackets, wires, or bands! Invisalign clear aligner therapy is an exciting way to give you the same incredible results as braces but with a lot more freedom and flexibility.
Braces have a long track record of proven results, but Invisalign aligners are still relatively new. That means a few misconceptions are floating around out there about how they work, how effective they are, and if they’re more expensive than other treatments. We’re going to get to the truth about Invisalign below, so keep reading to find out more!
What is Invisalign?
Although Invisalign clear aligners as we know them were developed by a company called Align Technology in the late ’90s, similar trays had been in use for decades as post-treatment retainers.
Depict the advanced technology involved, the Invisalign system is simple, from a patient’s perspective. You’ll wear each of your aligners for about two weeks before switching them out for the next in the series, and only take them off to eat, drink, brush, or floss. As you follow these instructions, your teeth will keep moving into their new positions gradually.
In the beginning, Invisalign was only used to treat simple spacing issues or very mild crowding. Once dentists and orthodontists became aware of its potential and the system became more popular, the design improved dramatically. When used as directed, Invisalign aligners can now be just as effective as traditional braces for many mild to moderate orthodontic issues.
Does Invisalign treatment take longer than braces?
No orthodontic treatment will be successful unless you’re willing to commit. This compliance is especially important when working with Invisalign aligners! Because braces are attached to your teeth’ actual surface, much of the tooth movement occurs without too much work on the patient’s side. Aligners are a different story. They are a removable orthodontic appliance, and as such, they must be worn for 20-22 hours a day for the treatment to succeed. Failure to do so can result in longer treatment times or inferior results.
Unfortunately, there’s no “one size fits all” answer to how long a patient will need to be in braces or aligners. That’s because every case is different, and each patient responds to treatment in their way. In general, however, the average number of aligners used with Invisalign will be between 10 and 48, with the total treatment time-averaging anywhere from 6 to 18 months. The good news? This is slightly faster than the average time spent in braces!
Does Invisalign treatment cost more than braces?
Like any time something new hits the market, treatment with Invisalign was considered to be quite pricey in its early days. That cost has decreased as it’s become more popular and readily available. While there are several factors associated with the overall cost of orthodontic treatment in general, Invisalign aligners tend to cost just about the same as traditional braces these days.
Here at Germantown Dental Group, we’re committed to providing high-quality care for every budget! Your treatment fees vary depending on several factors, and we’ll make sure you understand everything the total cost includes before proceeding with the active phase of treatment. We have a variety of payment options available for your convenience and accept many major insurance plans. Our team will be happy to verify your dental benefits and will even process your insurance forms for you.
What advantages does Invisalign offer over braces?
One of the most significant benefits of Invisalign aligners, besides their invisibility, is that you can take them off. Because Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed before eating or drinking anything other than water, you’ll never have to worry about food getting stuck in brackets or wires. You’ll also remove your aligners before brushing and flossing. This makes it much easier to access your teeth and maintain a good oral hygiene routine, which is especially important for orthodontic patients.
The clear aligners’ removable nature also means you can avoid any food restrictions, which can be one of the most significant learning curves with traditional braces. With Invisalign, you don’t have to stop eating any of your favorite foods while you’re working on a straighter smile! Aligners do need to be removed before all meals to avoid staining and should be cleaned and rinsed out with warm water at least once or twice a day.
There are no pesky wires with Invisalign aligners to poke out and irritate your mouth, and there aren’t any adjustment appointments. Invisalign wearers can still expect to attend follow-up visits about every 6-8 weeks, so Dr. John Whittemore, Dr. Todd Gruen, Dr. Mickey Bernstein, Dr. Ryan Vick can be sure everything is progressing on schedule.
Because they’re removable and don’t have any wires or brackets to get in the way, Invisalign aligners are great for athletes and musicians who play certain instruments. Since they can be removed for short periods, they’re also perfect for those special events where you only want your natural smile shining through, like a wedding, prom, or senior pictures.
Does the Invisalign system work for everyone?
Generally speaking, Invisalign aligners tend to work best for teen and adult patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are incredibly complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner can achieve. When you schedule your free consultation with our doctors, we’ll be able to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you, or if a different treatment method would be better. Our practice will only recommend the treatment best suited for your unique smile!
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
Your teeth will always remember their previous place in your mouth. If there’s nothing in place to stop them, they will eventually begin drifting back towards those positions. This is why retainers are so important when it comes to achieving lasting results! Once your treatment is complete, our office will provide you with a retainer. To keep your newly straightened smile in place, you should always wear it exactly as directed by our doctors.
Find your best smile with Invisalign from Germantown Dental Group
Invisalign’s innovative system is the most popular alternative we have to traditional braces right now, and it’s not hard to see why! This exciting option continues to change the way people view orthodontic treatment, and we’re proud to offer it to our patients in Germantown, Collierville, Memphis, and the surrounding communities.
If you’d like to learn more about the exciting things Invisalign can do for you and your smile, get in touch with us today to schedule your consultation. We’re here to help you achieve a healthy, confident smile!