When Invisalign was introduced in the late 1990s, it took the orthodontic world by storm. Its pioneering hi-tech features enabled people to fix crooked teeth faster, more discreetly, and with greater comfort and convenience than regular braces. There’s also less risk of oral health problems. If you’re thinking about getting Invisalign treatment to enhance your smile, you probably have a lot of questions about this innovative teeth-straightening system. Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about Invisalign in order to make an informed decision on whether this treatment is right for you or your teens.

What is Invisalign?

The Invisalign system was designed by Align Technology, a multinational medical device company based in the States. Invisalign treatment uses custom-made clear plastic aligner trays that fit over your teeth. Unlike braces, there are no metal wires or brackets. The aligners are manufactured with the help of advanced 3D printing, using CAD/CAM technology – computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. The aligners themselves incorporate smart tech features in the way teeth are moved gently and gradually in a series of precisely timed and regulated sequences. While fixed braces are glued to your teeth for the duration of treatment, Invisalign aligners are removable. In fact, Invisalign is the most popular removable orthodontic appliance. While treatment with braces can take two years or longer, Invisalign can generally do the job in 12 to 18 months, and signs of improvement are often apparent after a few weeks.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign provides greater control than braces in how your teeth are repositioned. You get a series of aligner trays to swap out every couple of weeks. Each aligner needs to be worn 20 to 22 hours a day for optimum results.

Invisalign can address many less severe cases of:

  • Crooked teeth.
  • Gapped teeth.
  • Crowded teeth.

Invisalign can also resolve bite alignment problems when upper and lower teeth don’t come together correctly. Because Invisalign exerts less pressure than braces, it’s unlikely to correct complex orthodontic problems requiring substantial movement of teeth. That said, the technology behind Invisalign is always progressing to broaden its treatment capabilities, and experienced Invisalign providers can usually treat a wider range of orthodontic issues.

When to Remove Your Aligners

You can – and should – take out your aligner trays to brush and floss your teeth, when you eat, and when you drink anything except plain water. You can also remove your aligners if it would make you more comfortable for special occasions – although it’s doubtful anyone will notice them – and for activities such as sports or playing a wind instrument. As with any orthodontic appliance, Invisalign may briefly affect your speech, causing a slight, temporary lisp. As your mouth gets accustomed to your aligners, any minor speech impediment should disappear, so it’s not a reason to remove your aligner trays.

Does Invisalign Hurt?

Like any type of orthodontic treatment, Invisalign may make your mouth feel tender initially. So you may experience a little soreness the first few days of wearing new aligner trays. The sensation is typically more like pressure than pain, and Invisalign users say the advantages of Invisalign far outweigh any discomfort. Studies have shown that over a third of Invisalign patients experience no pain whatsoever. Those who did get some discomfort said it went away a couple of days after starting with a new aligner.

How to Take Care of Invisalign Aligners

Your aligners need to be kept clean to avoid staining and bacteria build-up. You should:

  • Brush your aligners gently at least twice a day.
  • Use clear anti-bacterial soap and rinse the aligners in tepid water (hot water could warp the plastic).
  • Rinse your aligners every time you take them out.
  • Brush and floss your teeth before putting your aligners back in.

You can also use the Invisalign Cleaning System – packs of crystals you dissolve in a cup of water to break down plaque and kill bacteria on your aligners.

What are the Main Advantages of Invisalign?

Invisalign holds several key advantages over regular braces. They’re a healthier, more aesthetic option and provide more convenience. The brackets and wires of braces make it hard to clean your teeth properly, and food particles can become lodged in them. This can lead to accumulation of plaque and tartar – a leading cause of cavities and gum disease. The removability of Invisalign appliances allows you to brush and floss as normal, and you also get the convenience of being able to eat foods you would need to avoid to prevent damage to braces. Although braces are more discreet nowadays, the wires and brackets are still far more noticeable than Invisalign aligners, which as the name suggests are practically invisible in your mouth. Another benefit of Invisalign is that the aligner trays are designed with smooth edges to make them more comfortable than braces.

How to Minimize Invisalign Treatment Cost

The amount you pay for Invisalign treatment will depend largely on your particular orthodontic problem. According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, the national average price for Invisalign treatment is $3,000 to $5,000 – about the same as the cost of traditional braces. The Invisalign company gives a slightly different price range –$3,000 to $7,000.

You can make your Invisalign treatment more affordable by looking for a dentist who:

  • Accepts major dental insurance plans – Align Technology says this can save you up to $3,000.
  • Takes major credit cards.
  • Facilitates CareCredit financing.
  • Offers discounts on Invisalign treatment.

Save $200 on Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign certified dentist Dr. Jeff Kindseth ticks all the above boxes, which is helping more and more adults and teens to get the benefits of Invisalign at his Dana Point practice. And he is currently offering $200 off the price of Invisalign treatment for a limited time. Dr Kindseth has been looking after the general oral health needs of the community for 30 years and has a deep insight into the challenges of problems like crooked teeth – he underwent extensive orthodontic treatment himself at a young age to correct genetic issues. Call (949) 569-5253 or Contact Us Online to schedule a consultation to find out whether Invisalign is the best teeth straightening option for you or your youngsters.