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Let’s talk Invisalign
If you’re looking to straighten or realign your teeth, you may be considering two options: braces and clear aligners.
Most of us have a basic knowledge of how braces look and work. So let’s take a moment and learn more about clear aligners, which are becoming an increasingly popular option.
A brief history of Invisalign
Invisalign is probably the best known and oldest clear aligner brand. It was introduced in 1998 by Align Technology. Today, there are more companies offering clear aligners such as ClearCorrect, uLab, or Spark to name a few.
Invisalign is a type of a thin clear aligner made from SmartTrack, a flexible thermoplastic material. It’s widely used in orthodontic treatments to make them look less noticeable. After all, clear, tight-fitting teeth coverings are harder to spot than wires and brackets of braces.
There are several issues Invisalign can help with:
- Teeth crowding
- Teeth spacing (gap teeth)
- Mild/moderate bite problems (open bite, overbite, underbite and crossbite).
If you think clear aligners might be right for you, start by visiting an orthodontist. They will create a three-dimensional image of your jaw and mouth, and devise a plan for realigning your teeth. Once that plan is ready, a series of customized plastic aligners will be created. Wearing them will put pressure on your teeth, slowly moving them into their proper places.
Clear aligners need to be switched out every one to two weeks, or per your orthodontist’s instructions. Usually, they need to be worn for up to 22 hours a day for maximum effectiveness. They can be removed when you’re eating or drinking, brushing or flossing your teeth, or cleaning your aligners.
Something to keep in mind – do not clean your aligners in very hot water. It can damage the plastic, which would in turn lead to altering the fit of your aligners. Ill-fitted aligners do not work properly and thus affect progress.
Another aspect to think about is the complexity of your orthodontic issues. The more problems you’re trying to fix, or the more complex your issues are, the longer your treatment may be.
According to studies, Invisalign is more effective for people ages 35-50 as the rate of teeth movement increases slightly in that age group. In addition, men between the ages of 50 – 70 experience a greater decline in tooth movement than women.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Invisalign
As with all treatment options, using Invisalign comes with some pros and cons.
- They’re aesthetically pleasing. Most users admit that they are much less conspicuous than traditional braces.
- They’re easy to remove. Aligners can be physically removed whenever you need.
- They allow for better teeth cleaning. Removing the aligners allows you to brush and floss between your teeth. Some studies suggest that this can improve your overall oral health as you’re reducing the amount of bacteria on your gums and teeth.
- They’re safer than braces. You’ll never have to deal with a bracket that fell off or a broken wire. No emergency visit to the orthodontist on that account.
- They’re not as effective for complex issues. Additionally, people with bridgework on their teeth might require other treatment options.
- They require compliance. As we’ve mentioned before, Invisalign works best when it’s worn for 20-22 hours a day. If you cannot commit to that, you may need to reconsider getting aligners.
- They need to be taken out during meals. When you’re eating or drinking, you should take your aligners out to prevent any food or drink from getting inside. You don’t want to stain your teeth or bacteria to grow along your teeth or gum line.
- They can influence your food choices. Sometimes, when aligners are removed, people experience tooth soreness. In those instances hard foods should be avoided.
The cost of Invisalign
The cost of Invisalign is similar to the cost of traditional braces. It can range anywhere from $3,000 – $5,000. Factors affecting the total cost are:
- Length of treatment
- Complexity of alignment issues
- Place of residence
How can you pay for Invisalign? Some insurance plans cover the total or partial cost of Invisalign. Make sure to check with your provider. In addition, if you have an FSA (Flexible Spending Account), you may be able to use it for part of your treatment. If you do not have insurance, many dentists and orthodontists can offer a payment plan. But make sure to inquire about it before the treatment begins.
Invisalign- an option for you?
To help you decide between braces and clear aligners, try answering these questions:
- Is my alignment issue complex or fairly simple?
- How do I feel about wearing braces?
- Will I be able to wear aligners for 20-22 hours a day?
- Will I be able to take care of my Invisalign?
- Can I afford the aligners?
In case of more questions or concerns, talk to your dentist or orthodontist. They can help you determine if Invisalign is a good option for you.
Reach Out to Smile in Michigan Today!
If you’re looking to straighten or realign your teeth, reach out to Smile in Michigan today. Our dentist will gladly perform an exam and discuss the best options for you. You’re simply a phone call away from improving your smile.