Even though traditional braces have undergone a pretty incredible transformation in recent years, many of our teen and adult patients are still on the fence about using them to straighten their smile. The good news is, there’s an alternative available and it offers patients the chance to achieve a confident, healthy smile without all the brackets, wires, and bands!
Invisalign clear aligner therapy is an innovative system that offers patients the same beautiful results as braces but with more freedom and flexibility. Compared to braces, which have been around for a long time, Invisalign aligners are relatively new in the world of orthodontics. As such, there are quite a few misconceptions out there about how they work, how effective they really are, and how much they cost. We’re going to explore the truth about Invisalign below, so keep reading to learn more!
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign clear aligners were developed by a company called Align Technology in 1998, but similar trays had actually been used for decades before that as post-treatment retainers. The Invisalign system created software and technology that would allow orthodontists like Dr. Jared Lee to move crooked and misaligned teeth in stages using customized aligners. At the end of each stage, patients will replace their current aligner with the next in the series. This generally occurs every 1-2 weeks, depending on their personalized treatment plan.
At first Invisalign was used to treat simple spacing issues or very mild crowding for the most part. As orthodontists became aware of its potential and it began to grow in popularity, the design improved dramatically. When used as directed, Invisalign can now be just as effective as traditional braces for many mild to moderate cases.
Does treatment with Invisalign take longer than treatment with braces?
Orthodontic treatment of any kind requires a commitment from patients in order to be successful. This compliance is especially important with Invisalign aligners, however! Because braces are affixed to the surface of the teeth, much of the hard work is done without too much effort on the part of the patient. Aligners are a removable appliance, and as such, they must be worn for 20-22 hours a day for treatment to be successful. Failure to do so can result in longer treatment times or inferior results.
Every case is different and each patient responds to treatment in their own way, so there’s no “one size fits all” answer as to how long a patient will need to be in braces or aligners. In general, the average number of aligners used with Invisalign is somewhere between 10 and 48, with the total treatment time averaging anywhere from 6 to 18 months. This is actually slightly faster than the average time spent in braces!
Does Invisalign treatment cost more than braces?
Treatment with Invisalign was considered quite expensive when it first entered the orthodontic market. As it became more popular and readily available over the years, that cost decreased. While there are several factors associated with the overall cost of orthodontic treatment in general, aligners tend to cost just about the same as traditional braces these days.
Dr. Lee is committed to providing affordable, high-quality orthodontic care for every budget! We have a variety of payment options available for your convenience, and accept many major insurance plans as well. Our team can even verify your orthodontic benefits and process your insurance forms for you!
What advantages does Invisalign offer over braces?
Thanks to their removability, Invisalign aligners give patients a flexibility that more traditional treatment methods just can’t beat. Take food restrictions, for example. Crunchy and chewy foods can wreck brackets and wires, so patients in braces must avoid these items throughout the treatment process. This can eliminate several popular foods and snacks, but with Invisalign, you can still eat all your favorite foods! You simply take the aligners out any time you want to eat, then put them back in when you’re done.
Removable aligners also make it easier to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing around wires, brackets, and bands can often be frustrating and time-consuming. Invisalign aligners are removed before brushing and flossing as you normally would! Caring for the aligners themselves is a simple task, too. There are special kits designed to clean them, or you can gently brush them using toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
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 of time, they’re also perfect for those special events where you only want your natural smile shining through, like a wedding, prom, or senior pictures.
Will the Invisalign system work for everyone?
Generally speaking, aligners tend to work best for teen and adult patients who have mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are particularly complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve. When you schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Lee, he’ll be able to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you, or if you’d be better served by a different treatment method. You can always trust our practice to recommend only the treatment that will be best for your unique smile!
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
Whatever orthodontic treatment you choose, your teeth will always remember their previous place in your mouth. If there’s nothing there to stop them, they will begin to drift back towards those positions over time. This is why retainers are essential for lasting results! Once your treatment is complete, our office will provide you with a retainer. In order to keep your newly straightened smile in place, you should always wear it exactly as directed by Dr. Lee.
Invisalign is the clear choice for a beautiful smile from Dr. Jared Lee
Invisalign’s innovative system is the most popular alternative to traditional braces, 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 Oxnard, Santa Paula, and the surrounding communities.
If you’d like to learn more about the amazing things Invisalign can do for you and your smile, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Jared Lee. We’re here to help you achieve a healthy, happy smile!