If so, you may be a candidate for Invisalign®, a highly popular treatment for both adults and teens used to straighten teeth… without the need for metal braces. It’s estimated more than 2 million people worldwide have been treated with Invisalign.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign use clear plastic aligners to straighten your teeth. Unlike traditional braces, there are no metal brackets, wires, etc. to worry about. The aligners are also removable so you can take them out before meals, brushing your teeth or for other occasions you may not want them in your mouth.
If you’re interested in getting straight teeth using Invisalign, you need to visit a dentist or orthodontist that offers the treatment. A dentist/orthodontist must go through specialized instructional sessions in order to become a trained Invisalign provider.
How It Works
The first step in the treatment process is an assessment of your teeth. During this assessment, your dentist will determine whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign. A few of the main conditions that Invisalign can help correct include gapped teeth, overbite, underbite, open bite, over crowding and crossbite.
If you are a good candidate for the treatment, your dentist will make impressions of your teeth. Some may also use a scanner to create a digital image of your teeth. This then gets sent to the Invisalign company which will create a set of aligners that have been customized for your teeth and treatment plan.
How Long Does It Take?
On average, adults will complete an Invisalign treatment in about a year. However, this can vary widely depending on the circumstances. During this time, you will wear a series of aligners – switching aligners approximately every 2 weeks.
The aligners, which looks similar to a teeth whitening tray, make gradual adjustments to the positioning of your teeth following a personalized strategy mapped out in advance by your orthodontist. Each aligner will slowly shift your teeth into the next position of the plan until you end up with your teeth perfectly aligned.
Just as with traditional braces, Invisalign aligners will move your teeth through the targeted placement of controlled force. This force is not painful, though you may feel some pressure when you first start using each new set of aligners. Unlike traditional braces, however, Invisalign aligners control both the force and the timing of the application (only certain teeth will move in each set of aligners).
Once treatment is started, it is recommended that you wear your aligners between 20-22 hours each day. You should also visit your dentist every 4-6 weeks so she/he can keep track of your progress.
Wearing Invisalign aligners won’t have much of an impact on your day to day life. It is recommended, however, that you don’t smoke or chew gum while wearing Invisalign. Other than that, they fit firmly on your teeth so you can laugh, talk, sleep and more while wearing them.
The cost of Invisalign treatment typically ranges from $3500 to $8000 with the national average being around $5000. If you do have orthodontic insurance coverage, check with your provider to see if some of your treatment may be covered. Many Invisalign providers also offer financing options so check with your dentist or orthodontist to see what financing/payment plans are available to you.