Dental procedures can be expensive, so it’s a good idea to go in with an understanding of the process and any associated costs. We’re going to answer the most common questions people have about Invisalign to help you understand this dental service. In turn, you’ll know whether or not it’s a good fit for you. 

What is Invisalign treatment?

Invisalign treatment is the process of wearing a series of clear and removable aligners that gradually work to straighten your teeth. There are no brackets and wires, and you do not need to deal with many of the restrictions that come with metal braces. 

How will Invisalign treatment straighten my teeth?

Your dentist will create a unique, digital treatment plan that maps out the exact movements of your teeth. Invisalign clear aligners are then designed to apply the right amount of force to the right places at the right time based on the plan of your mouth that they’ve constructed for you. Your dentist will be with you every step of the way to keep an eye on your progress and ensure that your aligners fit correctly for your particular dental alignment plan. 

What are the primary benefits of Invisalign treatment?

Invisalign clear aligners are virtually invisible. People may not even notice that you’re wearing them. You can remove them to eat and drink, brush and floss, or for special occasions. There are no metal brackets or wires that can cause irritation, hurt your mouth, or break. 

What is the treatment process?

Invisalign treatment starts with a consultation with an Invisalign-trained dentist. The dentist will evaluate your smile and then map out a precise and customized digital treatment plan that shows the step-by-step transformation of your smile.

Once you approve your plan, your individual aligners will be created. You will wear both your top and bottom aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day, then switch to a new set of aligners every 1 to 2 weeks, as directed by your dentist. Each set of aligners will gently and gradually shift your teeth into place, working with your treatment plan until you’ve reached your beautiful new smile.

Can I go to any dentist or orthodontist for Invisalign treatment?

Many orthodontists and dentists are Invisalign-trained dentists, but not all. Dentists who want to offer Invisalign treatment must complete specialized training to be able to use Invisalign correctly.

What should I expect during my consultation?

During your consultation, your dentist will discuss your teeth-straightening goals with you and examine your smile in order to determine your specific needs. Your doctor may also talk to you about how quickly you can attain your ideal smile, as well as the treatment cost.

Your doctor will most likely recommend scheduling a dental checkup and cleaning before you begin Invisalign treatment to ensure your teeth and gums are in good health and avoid unnecessary risks.

How long will the treatment take?

The length of treatment depends on multiple factors, like how complex your case is and how often you wear your aligners. Your dentist will determine exactly how long your treatment will take based on your specific needs. On average, Invisalign treatment time is 12 to 18 months. However, you may actually start seeing results in a matter of weeks.

How many hours a day should you wear your aligners?

For the best results, Invisalign suggests that you wear your clear aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. Make sure to take them out only when necessary to perform tasks like eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing.

Can I get Invisalign treatment on just my top or bottom teeth instead of both?

Invisalign treatment options are available for just top or bottom teeth, but make sure to consult your dentist for your individual needs and requirements.

How much does Invisalign treatment cost?

In most cases, the cost of Invisalign treatment is similar to the cost of braces. Your dentist will determine the cost of your treatment based on the complexity of your case and how many aligners you need. There are several options to make Invisalign treatment more affordable for you, from using insurance and copayments to a monthly payment plan.

Will my insurance cover Invisalign treatment?

Many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign treatment the same way they cover braces. Your insurance may pay for a certain percentage of your Invisalign treatment, or it may pay up to a certain dollar amount for your Invisalign treatment. Please contact us to discuss your payment options.

Has the FDA approved Invisalign treatment?

Yes, Invisalign aligners are classified as Class II medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Align Technology, Inc. received the necessary 510(k) clearance from the FDA to sell and market Invisalign treatment in 1998.

Since having my braces removed, my teeth have shifted. Can Invisalign treatment fix this?

Yes, Invisalign clear aligners can treat nearly all common teeth-straightening issues, from the simple to the complex. Many people who previously had braces choose Invisalign treatment as a discrete solution to improve their smile when they find that their teeth have shifted back.

Can I take my aligners off whenever I need to?

Yes, you can remove your Invisalign aligners for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. You can take them off for special occasions, like a wedding, job interview, or while playing your favorite sport or instrument. Remember to wear them 20 to 22 hours a day to get the best results.

Is Invisalign treatment painful?

Invisalign treatment moves your teeth by applying gentle, constant force. However, some people do feel temporary discomfort for the first few days of wearing a new set of aligners. Typically, people describe it as feeling “pressure,” and that’s normal. This pressure sensation is a sign that your Invisalign clear aligners are working and slowly transforming your smile by straightening your teeth.

Getting a dental procedure done is a major decision. Invisalign has the potential to help improve your smile, which can lead to increased self-esteem and confidence. However, it’s not for everyone. Before committing to a major dental treatment, make sure to schedule a consultation with us and we can walk you through all the costs and benefits.