Do you wish there was a way to straighten your teeth without traditional braces? The Invisalign® system is a remarkable option for patients seeking to align their smiles without brackets, wires, or the discomfort often associated with orthodontic adjustments. Instead, the Invisalign® system uses a series of clear, plastic, virtually invisible trays to gradually move the teeth into their proper position. This treatment can be the ideal way to discreetly improve orthodontic concerns and enhance the appearance of your smile!
Contact the practice of Edward Shukovsky, D.M.D., today to learn more about Invisalign® as an alternative to braces.
- How Invisalign® Works
- Invisalign® Vs. Braces
- Invisalign® Treatment Process
- How Long Does Invisalign® Take?
- Does Invisalign® Hurt?
- How to Clean Invisalign
- Invisalign® Alternatives
- Invisalign® Cost
- Additional Invisalign® FAQs
How Does Invisalign® Work?
The Invisalign® system is a discreet solution to minor orthodontic problems such as crooked or crowded teeth, gaps between the teeth, and bite problems. Invisalign® straightens the teeth using a series of virtually invisible aligning trays. Each set of trays guides the teeth one step closer to their final, aligned position. The trays are removable and practically unnoticeable, so you can wear them to social occasions with confidence. Invisalign® usually achieves dramatic results, and it is an excellent smile makeover option compatible with several other cosmetic dentistry treatments.
Invisalign® Vs. Braces
Invisalign® and traditional braces have one thing in common: they are both designed to effectively improve orthodontic concerns. However, they significantly differ in terms of how they can achieve that goal.
- Invisalign® requires no metal or mechanical parts
- Invisalign® teeth aligners are composed of clear plastic and are virtually invisible
- The aligners can be removed for cleaning, eating, brushing, and flossing
- No dietary restrictions—you can eat anything you like!
- Wires and brackets are required
- The brackets and wires necessary for traditional braces can be uncomfortable and irritate soft oral tissues
- More effort is often necessary to adequately brush and floss
- Braces typically limit an individual’s dietary options; many types of food must be avoided
In addition, Invisalign® often takes less time for patients to achieve optimal results when compared to braces!
What Is the Invisalign® Treatment Process Like?
To begin the Invisalign® process, our experienced dentist will take molds of your teeth and mouth, which he will send to the Invisalign® laboratory that will custom-craft your aligners. Invisalign® technicians will use these aligners and advanced computer software, along with input from Dr. Shukovsky, to map out your treatment plan from start to finish. In a few weeks, they will send your aligners to our office. We will schedule an appointment with Dr. Shukovsky to insert your first set of aligners. Simply wear the aligners at all times, day and night, removing them only to eat and drink, brush, and floss. Your next appointment will be in two weeks. At that time, Dr. Shukovsky will give you three sets of aligners and you will be seen again in our office in six weeks.
Each set of aligners is changed every two weeks. Throughout treatment, you will visit our office every four to six weeks to monitor your progress and to deliver the new aligners.
How Long Does Invisalign® Take?
Patients who wear their aligners as directed very often complete treatment in as little as twelve months. With that in mind, each patient’s orthodontic needs are different, and some individuals with more complex concerns may need to wear the aligners for a longer period of time. Ultimately, the duration of treatment is dependent on the severity of the issues being addressed, as well as individual goals. Dr. Shukovsky will be able to provide you with a more specific projection of how long Invisalign® treatment may take once you have been examined in the initial consultation.
Does Invisalign® Hurt?
One of the best things about Invisalign® is that it often helps patients address their orthodontic concerns in a way that is more comfortable than traditional braces. When you first begin wearing the aligners, you may feel some degree of soreness and pressure; however, these sensations should only be temporary and will likely wear off in just a few days as the mouth becomes more accustomed to the Invisalign® appliance.
How Do I Clean Invisalign®?
Cleaning your Invisalign® clear aligners is both quick and easy! Some lukewarm water and a good scrub with a toothbrush is often all that’s necessary to keep your aligners clean. While the aligners can typically be left in while drinking most types of beverages, it’s a good idea to rinse out your mouth and the aligners right afterward.
Are There Any Alternatives to Invisalign®?
Patients with more severe orthodontic issues and individuals who would like to consider treatments other than Invisalign® to achieve their goals may benefit from alternatives to this treatment that can also provide effective results. Dr. Shukovsky offers a number of options that can successfully produce straighter teeth and an improved bite. The innovative Six Month Smiles® technique can be ideal for patients who would like to address moderate to severe misalignment or bite irregularities while limiting the noticeability of the brackets and wires during the treatment process. In some cases, patients may be able to achieve their goals with porcelain veneers. This option does not require ongoing orthodontic treatment; in fact, it is a one-time procedure that involves the application of customized dental restorations in areas affected by spaces and mild misalignment. The veneers essentially hide the concerns under natural-looking teeth restorations that can give the smile a straighter, more uniform look.
Dr. Shukovsky can talk more with you about the potential alternatives to Invisalign® during your initial consultation and help you decide upon the best option for your needs.
How Much Does Invisalign® Cost?
The manufacturer of Invisalign® has estimated the national average price of this procedure to fall in the $3,000 to $8,000 range. One of the reasons this range is so broad is that Invisalign® procedures are customized for each patient based on a number of factors, which can make the final cost very different from one individual to another. Some of the components of Invisalign® treatment that will affect the total cost include the estimated time it will take to achieve the best results, the number of aligners necessary to meet the patient’s goals, and the overall complexity of the concerns being addressed.
After your Invisalign® treatment plan is developed, a friendly member of our dental team will produce a cost estimate that factors in all associated expenses and go over it with you. Many dental insurance policies offer coverage for orthodontic treatments, and Invisalign® is classified as such. Plus, our practice accepts an array of convenient payment methods, and we work with reputable companies such as CareCredit® and LendingClub® that offer affordable dental financing plans for applicants who qualify. Our team can answer your questions and assist you with finding the best payment method for your budget.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign®
What is Invisalign® made of?
A unique type of plastic called SmartTrack® is the primary component of Invisalign® clear aligners. This flexible material is quite thin, and its translucency allows for patients to achieve their orthodontic treatment goals with an appliance that is virtually invisible while on the teeth.
How noticeable is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® uses a clear plastic material rather than noticeable metal brackets and wires, making it practically undetectable on the teeth. In terms of how you may sound with the aligners on your teeth, you may notice a slight lisp at first; however, this effect should diminish once your mouth gets adjusted to the appliance.
Is Invisalign® covered by insurance?
Many dental insurance policies provide some degree of coverage for orthodontics, and Invisalign® is considered an orthodontic treatment. One of the members of our dental team can assist you with determining whether Invisalign® is a covered benefit under your dental insurance plan.
What can I eat and drink with Invisalign®?
Invisalign® can be removed when you eat and drink, which means that this treatment typically does not require any food restrictions. With that in mind, patients should always remember to take the aligners out while eating and drinking, especially when partaking of hot beverages (excessive heat can alter the aligners). Certain foods and beverages can stain the aligners, so it is typically best to remove them at mealtimes and to brush the teeth (or at least give the teeth a good rinse) before putting them back on.
Do I need to wear a retainer after Invisalign®?
A retainer will likely be necessary after the Invisalign® treatment is complete. The use of a retainer is very important since it can help maintain the results of Invisalign® treatment, ultimately keeping the teeth in their new position. Many patients are able to reduce their need to wear the retainer after several months. At that point, they may only need to wear it while they sleep.
If you are affected by misaligned teeth or bite irregularities, Invisalign® can often successfully address these concerns without the hassle of traditional orthodontics. Contact the practice of Edward Shukovsky, D.M.D. to schedule an Invisalign® consultation. Our Stamford office is pleased to offer these virtually “invisible braces” to our patients.