If you have decided to get treatment to straighten your teeth, you probably have wondered whether the best option would be to use traditional braces, or the more recent technology of Invisalign. Invisalign is an alternative method of orthodontic correction, using plastic aligners to progressively move teeth into place. Here are the answers to some of the questions you may have while considering Invisalign to achieve that ideal smile.
As with any medical or dental treatment, most people first wonder about the cost. The cost of Invisalign won't be the same for everyone, as a treatment plan is designed individually for each patient, just like with traditional braces. The average cost, however, is around $5000 for full treatment.
While this ranges near the top of the pricing scale of traditional braces, many insurance providers assist with either option. If your insurance provider covers orthodontic treatment, most often this coverage will include Invisalign, but be sure to check specifically for this service. For many, the benefits of Invisalign make it well worth the cost.
The draw of Invisalign is obvious, as it is less conspicuous than traditional braces, and in many cases more comfortable. Invisalign aligners are made of clear, BPA-free plastic, which fit onto your teeth like a retainer. The aligners can be removed at any time, but it is recommended that you wear them at all times except when eating and brushing/flossing your teeth. With this option you can avoid the pain of sores on the tongue and lips that can be caused by metal braces.
Also, brushing your teeth is a much simpler process, as you simply remove the aligner and brush as normal. While Invisalign does help you avoid the pain of getting brackets tightened monthly by the dentist, there still may be some pain involved while your teeth adjust.
Many people wonder if the aligners used with the Invisalign system are painful. The simple answer to this is, yes, they can be. Remember, however, that some soreness and pain is almost always associated with orthodontic correction, as your teeth are shifting from their previous position. Additionally, some patients note that at first, the trays can be uncomfortable.
This is a discomfort that should ease with time though, as you get used to the sensation of the aligner being a part of your daily life. In the long run, many decide that the temporary discomfort is worth the outcome. The average treatment process for adults completes in about a year, which is a small amount of time to deal with minor discomfort like this.
What process can you expect once you decide on Invisalign? You'll first meet with your Invisalign certified dentist, who will take x-rays, pictures, and impressions of your teeth. At this point your dentist will come up with a plan of action for you, and an approximate length of time you can expect for full treatment.
You will then receive your aligners, which you'll wear for 2 weeks each, progressing to next point of correction with each aligner. You should see your dentist for checkups about every 6 weeks while going through this process. Once your treatment is complete, most likely your dentist will suggest a retainer, usually for use at night, to maintain that beautiful smile.