When you hear of the word orthodontic, probably what comes to your mind is teeth covered with metal braces. Indeed, some orthodontic patients wear conventional metal aligners to treat overcrowded teeth, malocclusions, and gaps between teeth. However, today there exists a revolutionary alternative to traditional metal aligners known as the Invisalign. They are removable orthodontic appliances that dentists prefer over other options because they are cheaper, comfortable, and long-lasting.
The challenge is to undergo a successful Invisalign procedure. You will require a specialized and experienced dentist to ensure the plastic aligners shift the teeth to the required position. If you are experiencing challenges with alignment, we invite you to contact Washington Dental in Lomita to avoid wearing metal braces.
The History of Invisalign Set-Up
Invisalign are bespoke, invisible, and durable advanced teeth alignment solutions whose concept was first introduced in the 1940s. The set-up was later revised in the 1970s, allowing the creation of multiple impressions to establish the suitable position of the teeth. The system has seen many updates over time. Today, the treatment is much simpler than the previous ones because you only need one set of imitations and pictures of the teeth taken during the initial consultation.
The imitations or impressions are used to create a 3D computer projection of how the teeth could be shifted inch by inch, enabling tailored aligners made to realize the movement.
Align Technologies (ALGN) is the firm that manufactures aligners and aligns materials. The impressions made by your dentist go to ALGN’s laboratories, where aligners are produced using the CAD/CAM processes. The Invisalign aligners are sent to your dentist, who hands them out in groups of ones or twos during your dental checkups to ensure proper treatment management. You must wear the aligners in a specific order and exchange them every two weeks for a fresh set that will shift the teeth in small portions of .25mm to .33mm.
Although Invisalign aligners are removable, you need to put them on for at least twenty-two hours a day for optimum results.
Like traditional orthodontics, Invisalign’s aim is to correct orthodontic problems by strengthening and aligning the jawbones and teeth. The introduction of this technology eliminated the need for metal braces that are fixed to the teeth.
Are You a Candidate for the Invisalign Treatment?
Based on the American Association of Orthodontics statistics, an average of 4.5 million Americans wear braces and other dental devices to correct various oral problems like straightening jaws and teeth. The majority of dental patients that undergo this treatment are teens or children with permanently erupted teeth and can adhere to the dentist’s instructions. The reasons why you may need to experience the procedure include:
Overly Crowded Teeth
You will need an Invisalign treatment procedure if you have very many teeth and your jawbone or gum line isn’t big enough to accommodate all the growing teeth. This problem is common among children and not adults, and it often results in overcrowding of teeth and crooked teeth that make dental care more challenging.
Apart from having dental care issues, crooked or overcrowded teeth can affect your social life because your smile is no longer aesthetically appealing. Smiling becomes a problem because of the flaws in the mouth. You can protect your children from major dental, social, and psychological issues by having them undertake an Invisalign treatment at an early age. For adults, the procedure provides you with an opportunity to align overcrowded teeth without the need to wear metal braces.
You should consider visiting an orthodontist if you realize that your front teeth aren’t making contact and are leaving a gap big enough to let the tongue through because this might affect your speech. On top of speech issues, an open bite will interfere with your eating habits.
An underbite occurs when the upper front teeth fall behind the lower front teeth causing a malocclusion. The primary cause of this dental problem has a disproportionate jaw, and you should address it right away because if left unattended, it might result in tremendous wear of teeth and gum recession.
Overbite or Overjet
An overbite occurs when your upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. If this is your case, you might end up with fractured or chipped teeth, requiring other dental procedures like dental fillings and implants.
When Your Teeth are Too Apart
An orthodontic procedure will be proper for you if you have widely spread or gaps between teeth. The spaces occur when:
- There is an abnormal growth of the jawbone
- Movement of teeth out of their sockets due to missing teeth
If you are dealing with this kind of issue, you are a candidate for the Invisalign procedure.
If you experience teeth movement or relapse after removing the conventional metal braces, you should consider Invisalign for the problem.
If you are experiencing any of these oral problems, you should consider reaching out to Washington Dental for orthodontic treatment. Our dentists have advanced clinical training on these issues and can fix your problem to restore the appearance and ability of your teeth.
Forms of Invisalign Aligners or Braces
If you are a candidate for the Invisalign treatment, it’s critical to understand the three forms of Invisalign braces available. These are:
Teen Invisalign Aligners
As indicated earlier, most people who wear the traditional metal braces and the Invisalign braces are teens. And because their jaws are in the maturity process, experts have developed aligners that can allow growth, and these are called teen Invisalign. The braces are tailored to accommodate the development of the jawbones and the dental formula using various features like:
- Special braces promote the growth of the lower jawbone and allow for orthodontic treatment, needless of elastics.
- Tooth eruption tabs leave room for the teeth to continue sprouting and developing into permanent ones.
- Compliance signs so that parents can know the teen is wearing the braces at least 20 hours a day
Full Invisalign Aligners
If you have advanced oral problems, we often recommend full Invisalign braces to position the teeth. The treatment takes around one to one and a half years to complete, but your orthodontist might recommend additional time if they see it necessary.
Express Invisalign Aligners
For those with moderate dental problems, our dentists recommend express Invisalign braces as the solution. The type of Invisalign aligner the dentist will use to fix your malocclusion depends on the extent of the misalignment, so it’s up to you to visit us for a consultation to determine the most appropriate braces.
Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign braces have multiple benefits. These are:
They Provide You With an Invisible Look
Invisalign braces are transparent, making them invisible when wearing, thus appealing to teens and adults who want to live stress-free without permanent braces. Suppose your child is afraid of orthodontic treatment because they fear the traditional metallic aligners will make their smile and appearance less appealing. In that case, you should take them for an Invisalign procedure. Also, for employees who interact with clients a lot at work and the smile means a lot, you can opt for Invisalign to fix your misalignment issue while maintaining a natural smile.
They Give You Straight Teeth
The main reason for undertaking an Invisalign procedure is to align your teeth in the gum line to prevent tooth abnormalities like malocclusions. The results are attainable after twelve to eighteen months, depending on your situation. With straight teeth, you can regain your confidence, avoid speech issues, and restore your confidence in social gatherings.
They Improve Your Oral Health
Misaligned and overcrowded teeth can result in various dental problems like wearing out of the enamel and periodontal disease. Treating these conditions using conventional metal aligners could also result in infection, leaving Invisalign braces the best alternative to enhance your dental health. The fact that you can remove them during brushing means they allow you to observe good oral hygiene habits that are key to having healthy teeth. The sooner you undergo an Invisalign procedure to straighten your teeth, the fewer your visits to the dentist, which in the end saves you money.
They are Pleasant to Wear
Compared to the traditional metallic aligners, Invisalign braces are more pleasant and restful to wear because they are designed from smooth plastic. Further, Invisalign lacks extruding edges that reduce the risk of hurting the mouth. Composite-resin Invisalign is made of plastic, thus preventing the irritation and pain associated with the metal aligners.
They are Easy to Remove
Metal aligners are usually attached to the teeth, and it’s only a professional who can remove them, meaning you sleep and eat while wearing these dental devices. However, with Invisalign, you can remove them when eating, observing oral hygiene, engaging in sports, or enabling you to speak correctly. You are only required to wear the braces for twenty to twenty-two hours a day, meaning you can remove the devices.
They Reduce the Risk of Tooth Decay
As indicated earlier, metal aligners increase the risk of dental infection because they are attached to the teeth, making it challenging to observe good oral hygiene. The Invisalign trays are removable, which means you can remove them when brushing, cleaning every corner of the teeth and gums to prevent buildup that often causes oral infection. Proper oral health also ensures you don’t have bad breath, cavities, and mouth sores.
They Reduce Jaw Pain
When your teeth are misaligned or crooked, you are likely to have malocclusion, which results in jaw pain, tooth grinding, muscular problems, and teeth tear. You can use metal braces to resolve this problem, but these devices cause irritation and discomfort. Luckily, Invisalign braces are a perfect alternative for metal braces because they eliminate the pain and give you a flawless smile.
They Improve Digestion
With malocclusions, eating becomes a problem, and even when you can eat, the food cannot be appropriately chewed, resulting in poor digestion. Thankfully, if the teeth are aligned through Invisalign treatment, you will chew food well resulting in better digestion.
Remember, with metal aligners, you must be restricted on what foods you consume for proper healing, and this might limit your choice of diet. However, with Invisalign braces, you need to worry less about chewy and hard food because you can remove the braces while eating and restore them, meaning you have minimal restriction on what you eat.
The Treatment Takes a Short Time
The average time you will need to wear Invisalign braces is twelve months, after which the treatment will be complete. However, depending on your case, it might take longer or shorter than the one-year duration. The procedure itself is even more straightforward because it is completed within minutes, and you are free to go home.
Once you have understood the benefits of an Invisalign procedure, it’s time to understand what the process entails and what you should expect. If you want to straighten your tooth and prevent overcrowding, even if you are sure it is the treatment you want, you should consult with an orthodontist first for more information. Our specialists at Washington Dental in Lomita will conduct a thorough oral examination to determine if you are a candidate for the treatment.
Once we have established you are a candidate for the procedure, we will capture your teeth and face images, develop a dental impression of your teeth to send to the ATGN lab, and undertake two X-rays. When the specialists obtain the prints, they will scan them to acquire 3D models, which the technician in the lab will use to create braces or aligners. Taking the impressions and obtaining the final aligners takes around four weeks, after which the alignment process commences.
How Much Does the Treatment Cost?
The cost of Invisalign is higher than that of metal braces, and it mainly depends on the manufacturer, your oral needs, and the dentist performing the procedure. The national average costs range from $3,000 to $8,000.
At Washington Dental, we have flexible payment options to make the treatment affordable. However, if we don’t have the right choice, you can opt for third-party financing like CareCredit.
Dental Insurance Coverage
Most insurance companies that provide coverage for Invisalign pay up to $3,500 for the treatment, but it’s always advisable to consult with your policy provider to understand the orthodontic treatment you are eligible for.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Teeth issues can hinder the growth and development of your and their health. If your child has oral problems, including misalignment, you should check if you are eligible for CHIP. The federal program provides coverage for your child’s dental treatment.
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
An FSA is a program that enables employees to pay for their medical treatment by setting aside a particular amount of their wages before tax to be used to pay for treatment. Remember, not all employers offer this option, making it necessary to check with your employer to know if the option is available. If you are fortunate to have an employer who provides workers with these benefits, you should take advantage of it to pay for your Invisalign treatment.
Funds in this scheme don’t roll over to the next fiscal year, so you should utilize your employer’s annual contributions of $2,650 before they go to waste.
Also, you can utilize 3rd party financing like Capital One or CareCredit if you need extensive dental care to correct malocclusions and overcrowding of teeth. With these financing options, you will pay a deposit before the treatment begins. After, you will pay the remaining amount in monthly installments over some time. The installments can go as low as $50 per month, and the maximum you can pay as a monthly installment is $200.
When exploring the best payment option, you should have a budget in mind. The cost of treatment varies from one orthodontist to another, as mentioned earlier. Additionally, it depends on many factors like the duration of treatment or the underlying dental problem. Therefore, if you want to estimate the cost of your treatment, you should speak to an experienced dentist specializing in orthodontics. These professionals will conduct a thorough teeth examination to determine the extent of the damage. They will also estimate the number of aligners required and the duration you must wear for optimum results.
Costs Associated With Invisalign Aftercare
After dealing with malocclusions and overcrowded teeth for years, the outcome of an Invisalign procedure is worth every penny. Apart from the cost of performing the process, you will incur particular expenses before and after the treatment. These expenses will force you to dig deeper into your pockets, but every dollar spent towards correcting these oral flaws is well spent, considering the challenges you have endured in the past.
One of the costs you will incur after the treatment is that of purchasing retainers. Remember, even after Invisalign treatment has corrected your oral flaws, you might experience a relapse where the positioned teeth move from their position. To prevent these events, you are encouraged to wear retainers to hold the teeth in their new positions or arrangement. You can opt for the cemented or removable retainers, although their costs vary. The price for one retainer can go as low as $100, and the maximum you can part with for these oral devices is $500.
We advise you to wear retainers every day after successful treatment until your orthodontist allows you to adorn them only at night. Further, you must maintain regular visits to the dentist for check-ups to track the progress of the treatment and address any issues that might arise. For adults, Invisalign provides you with a lifetime opportunity to correct the various problems because, after successful treatment, you will never have to worry about wearing aligners again. After all, your teeth and jawbones are already mature.
Not all dentists or orthodontists are equal because not everyone is authorized to perform an Invisalign procedure. Your dentist’s ability to complete the process depends on their level of training and experience. So, you must understand that not all orthodontists in Lomita can perform an Invisalign treatment, despite the commonness of the treatment.
ALGN, to ensure orthodontists perform the procedure right, offers training to dentists on how to prescribe Invisalign braces. The training ensures these dental practitioners possess the skills and knowledge necessary to install the aligners perfectly for a successful treatment. Once the training is over, these dentists must meet additional requirements before being certified to provide the treatment.
If you or your child is experiencing dental issues that require the expertise of an orthodontist, you should check if the expert is certified to prescribe the Invisalign aligners. Certification means the dental experts have satisfied all the requirements. You should also determine if the dentist undergoes a continuing education program for Invisalign because technology keeps changing every day. With an orthodontist who is up to date with the latest innovations on Invisalign, you can rest assured however evolved your dental needs are; you will receive the best treatment.
Is Invisalign Right for Me?
Living with teeth alignment issues as a teen or adult is not something simple. You are forced to carry the weight of living with low self-esteem because of the flawed smile. Although Invisalign treatment will correct these problems, the procedure has its disadvantages like:
- High cost of treatment
- You can only remove them for two hours a day, the rest of the time you must wear them
- Hot drinks like coffee can stain these aligners, causing discoloration
- You need to forget about wearing lipstick
Before undertaking the treatment, talk to people who have undergone it in the past and learn about their experiences. Besides, you should go online and read reviews from dental patients who have been successfully treated to see what they have to say. Finally, you should consult with a dentist certified to offer these services for their professional opinion.
Find the Right Orthodontist Near Me
Suppose you are dealing with teeth alignment issues like malocclusions and overcrowding. In that case, you need to worry anymore because ALGN has provided you with a solution to your problems through Invisalign braces. At Washington Dental, our dentists have been trained to perform this procedure and have the equipment necessary to address your evolving dental needs in Lomita. Reach out to us today at 310-326-5183 for a free consultation.