What is Invisalign? Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten teeth without braces. Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth, without metal or wires.
Does Invisalign really work? Yes. In both clinical research and in orthodontic and dental practices nationwide, Invisalign has been proven effective at straightening teeth.
How does Invisalign work? Invisalign uses 3-D computer imaging technology to depict the complete treatment plan from the initial position to the final desired position from which a series of custom-made "aligners" are produced. Each "aligner" moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.
What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?
- Invisalign is nearly invisible. You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.
- Invisalign is removable. You can eat and drink what you want during treatment. You can also brush and floss normally to maintain good oral hygiene.
- Invisalign is comfortable. There are no metal brackets or wires to cause mouth irritation, and no metal or wires means you spend less time in the doctor's chair getting adjustments.
- Invisalign allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan before you start—so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete.
What are aligners made of? Aligners are made of clear, strong medical grade plastic that is virtually invisible when worn.
What do aligners look like? Aligners are nearly invisible and look similar to clear tooth-whitening trays, but are custom-made for a better fit to move teeth. Some dentists have referred to them as "contact lenses for teeth."
Is this a new way to straighten teeth? For years, dentists have used removable appliances for limited treatment. Today, with the application of computer technology and custom manufacturing, Invisalign treats a broader range of cases with greater precision.
How old is the company? Align Technology, Inc., the company that manufactures Invisalign, was founded in 1997. Since then, Align has manufactured over 10,000,000 aligners and 250,000 patients have been in treatment.
How old is this technology? In 1945, Dr. H.D. Kesling envisioned that one day modern technology would enable the use of a series of tooth positioners to produce the kinds of movements required for comprehensive orthodontic treatment. Technology has made this vision a reality. Using advanced computer technology, Align generates Invisalign®, a series of customized appliances, called "aligners." Each aligner is worn sequentially by the patient to produce extensive tooth movements in both upper and lower arches.
How many patients are being treated with Invisalign? Worldwide, almost 250,000 patients have been treated with Invisalign. The number grows daily.
Do doctors need special training in order to use Invisalign? While Invisalign can be used with virtually any treatment philosophy, specific training is needed. All dentists interested in treating patients with Invisalign must attend training before cases will be accepted from their office. Close to 30,000 dentists worldwide are certified to use Invisalign.
How does Invisalign effectively move teeth? Like brackets and archwires, Invisalign aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on the teeth. The principal difference is that Invisalign not only controls forces, but also controls the timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, and these movements are determined by the treatment plan for that particular stage. This results in an efficient force delivery system.
Has the FDA cleared Invisalign? Yes, the FDA has reviewed our application and in August 1998 determined that Invisalign is exempt from 510(k) pre-market notification.
How do I get started with Invisalign®? Just make an appointment with our certified doctor for an initial consultation.
Can I go to any dentist to be treated with Invisalign? Specific training is needed to use Invisalign; as a result, dentists are required to become Invisalign-certified before they can begin treating patients with Invisalign.
How much does Invisalign® cost? We know that cost is a big question for anyone considering dental or orthodontic work. The truth is, only your doctor can determine the cost for your specific treatment. It depends a lot on the kind of treatment you need, how long it takes, and even where you live. Invisalign treatment is usually similar to the cost of traditional braces—it can start in the ballpark of $3500 and go up from there. The national average for Invisalign is about $5000. We offer flexible and affordable payment arrangements. Call for a complimentary consultation.
Does insurance cover Invisalign? Because medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, each patient should review their coverage. However, if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces.
What payment options are available for Invisalign? We will help you find options to make your treatment affordable. We offer flexible and affordable payment arrangements through CareCredit.
CareCredit is a third-party patient financing program, specifically designed for healthcare expenses, that makes it easier for you to get the treatment or procedures you want and need. Ask us about CareCredit and we will provide more information.
Is Invisalign® for Me?
What is the minimum age of a patient that a doctor can treat with Invisalign? Doctors can use Invisalign to treat a vast majority of patients with fully-erupted molars. This commonly occurs between the ages of twelve and fourteen.
Are crowns a factor in Invisalign treatment? No, crowns are usually not a factor in Invisalign treatment. However, sometimes small composites called "attachments" are bonded onto teeth to help achieve certain movements. In these cases, the location of crowns must be carefully evaluated.
Will TMJ affect Invisalign treatment? TMJ refers to the temporomandibular (jaw) joint. Individuals can have a number of problems with the jaw joint, some of which can be aggravated by appliances and treatments like Invisalign. To find out if your TMJ problem will adversely impact dental treatment, consult our Invisalign-certified doctor.
Can Invisalign close gaps (space closure)? Yes. Spaces between teeth are generally easy to close with Invisalign.
Are bridges a factor in Invisalign treatment? Because bridges firmly link two or more teeth together, they can offer significant resistance to tooth movement. Our doctor will be able to determine whether bridges will determine whether bridges will be a factor in your treatment.
Will the treatment be painful? Most people experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It is a sign that Invisalign® is working—sequentially moving your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away a couple of days after you insert the new aligner in the series.
Will wearing Invisalign aligners affect my speech? Like all orthodontic treatments, aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp caused by the aligners should disappear.
Are there restrictions on what I can eat while in treatment? No. Unlike traditional wires and brackets, you can eat whatever you desire while in treatment because you remove your aligners to eat and drink. Thus, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor. Also, it is important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain proper hygiene.
Will smoking stain the aligners? We discourage smoking while wearing aligners because it is possible for the aligners to become discolored.
Can I chew gum while wearing aligners? No, gum will stick to the aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks.
What's the best way to clean my aligners? The best way to clean your aligners is by brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water.
How often must I wear my aligners? Aligners should be worn all day and night, except when eating, brushing and flossing.
How often must I see the dentist? Your dentist will schedule regular appointments—usually about once every 4-6 weeks. This is the only way your doctor can be sure that the treatment is progressing as planned.
What happens after treatment to prevent my teeth from moving again? Patients will need a clear plastic retainer similar to the ones Invisalign makes for the aligners. The wearing of the retainers for life is important to ensure that your teeth will not move again.