What is Invisalign?
Did you know that straight teeth not only give you a beautiful smile, but can also help keep you healthy? Straight teeth trap less food which leads to less plaque and tartar, and are easier to clean which leads to less gum disease. Gum disease is linked to cardiovascular problems and diabetes. But having straight teeth used to mean having regular braces – brackets, wires… and for many of us, that was not an option. For many years now, there has been an alternative: INVISALIGN.
We are a Certified Invisalign and Invisalign Teen Provider.
We love Invisalign because our patients love it, and the results are excellent. Invisalign has helped millions of smiles worldwide! So what is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a way of straightening your teeth that is CLEAR, CLEAN, and COMFORTABLE!
Invisalign is a series of clear plastic aligners (they look like clear retainers) that move your teeth. Invisalign uses advanced 3-D computer imaging technology to manipulate your “virtual” teeth into the desired position. Instead of wearing braces and wires, with Invisalign the plastic aligners place pressure on your teeth in a systematic way to cause movement. Since they are clear, no one knows you’re wearing them. Invisalign is virtually an invisible way to get the smile you want – no “train tracks”!
Invisalign aligners are removable. You wear them all day, but remove them to eat, and to clean your mouth. This means that you get to keep your teeth and gums clean and at their best while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. As your dental care team, we love this feature of Invisalign, because along with straight teeth we love to see healthy teeth.
Invisalign aligners are very smooth and comfortable to wear. They exert the most pressure the first day you wear them, and most patients tolerate this easily. Since you change your aligners every 2 – 3 weeks, this means that the “pressure” days are only once in a while. The longer you wear them each day, the more comfortable they feel.
So how do I get Invisalign?
We provide a complimentary consultation where you meet with our dentists and they will assess your teeth and let you know if they think Invisalign is right for you. If they feel you would benefit from regular braces or other forms of orthodontics, they will let you know. Our dentist will give you a rough estimate as to how long you might be in Invisalign, and a ball park cost. We can send a predetermination if you wish so you can get a written response from your dental insurance company on whether Invisalign (orthodontic treatment) is one of your benefits.
Diagnostic Records Appointment
If you are a good candidate for Invisalign, your first step is to come in for a Diagnostic Records Appointment. During this 90 minute appointment, you undergo a comprehensive orthodontic examination, radiographs are taken, as well as photographs, and special molds of your teeth and your bite. Our team can provide you with an information sheet about this appointment and associated costs.
After this appointment, you meet up with the dentist about 2 – 3 weeks later, for a Final Consultation Appointment, which is complimentary and lasts about 30 minutes. At this time, your dentist will discuss with you the specifics of your case, how long they think it will take, go over any risks or challenges they expect, and will provide you with a detailed financial agreement. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and if you would like to return to discuss your case further, we will accommodate you.
Approve Invisalign Treatment Plan
If you feel all your questions have been answered, and you are ready to proceed with Invisalign, all you have to do is sign the consent form, the financial agreement form, and make the initial payment. Your aligners will be ready within 2 weeks.
First Appointment to get your Invisalign Aligners
At that appointment, which is about an hour, your dentist will make sure your first set of aligners fits well. They will show you how to use your aligners, how to clean them, and what to expect.
Invisalign Progress Appointments
You usually return once every 4 – 8 weeks for regular Invisalign checks, receiving two, three or even four new sets of aligners at each visit. The frequency of your progress appointments depends on several factors, including the complexity of your case and which movements are being done at that stage. Usually new impressions and photographs are taken near the end of treatment to do fine tuning movements. This is included in your fee. On average, most Invisalign treatment in our office takes about 12 – 18 months.
Retainers are used at the end of Invisalign treatment to help you maintain the new position of your teeth. Your dentist will discuss what kind of retainer will be best for you, how to use your retainer, how to clean around it (if it’s a lingual wire type of retainer), and how long on average the retainer will last. Future retainers can be made for you at our office if you lose or break yours or feel like it no longer fits snugly. Please note that only your first set of retainers is included in your Invisalign fee.