All Your Invisalign Questions Answered

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Invisalign is the wildly popular orthodontic treatment method that people ask for by name. Dr. Nima, an Alpharetta Invisalign provider, is asked about the treatment every day, so we’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions about Invisalign in one blog post for you. Feel free to bookmark this page and use it as your go-to resource as you research Invisalign and orthodontic treatment options.

What is the procedure for getting Invisalign?
It begins with a comprehensive examination, complete with X-rays, photographs and impressions of your teeth. We upload your information into the computer and show you a 3D image of how your teeth will shift into ideal position over time, as well as what your final result will look like. Then we send this information to the Invisalign lab so your aligners can be made.

How does Invisalign move teeth?
Invisalign uses a series of aligners to gradually move teeth over time. Each aligner is worn in a progression and applies prescribed forces to close gaps, create space and shift teeth to give you an ideal bite. The aligners are made from clear, durable, medical-grade plastic.

Is Invisalign more comfortable than regular braces?
Because the aligners are made from smooth plastic, Invisalign patients don’t experience the irritation to cheeks and gums that patients who have conventional brackets and arch wires often experience.

Which hurts more- metal braces or Invisalign?
Most patients experience a bit of discomfort for a few days after starting orthodontic treatment, but Tylenol provides relief, and your teeth quickly adjust to the forces being applied to achieve proper tooth movement. We find that our Invisalign patients comment less about experiencing discomfort during treatment.

What is Invisalign Teen, and how is it different from Invisalign?
As its name suggests, Invisalign Teen is a product geared toward the teen market and addresses teens’ unique needs. Invisalign Teen includes blue compliance indicators, and specially engineered aligner features to address the natural eruption of key teeth and root control issues common in patients ages 13 to 19. Invisalign Teen also includes up to six free replacement aligners during active treatment in the event of loss or damage.

What are the blue indicators on Invisalign Teens?
They are called compliance indicators, and they fade with wear. This is a way for the patient, parents and your orthodontist to monitor the wear. Invisalign doesn’t work when you don’t wear the aligners. The indicators help keep you accountable.

What types of problems can Invisalign treat?
Invisalign has proved to be helpful in treating a variety of malocclusions including spaces between teeth, overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite and crowded teeth.

How long is Invisalign treatment compared to braces?
The average Invisalign case is 12 months. The average conventional braces treatment is 18 months.

What is the cost of Invisalign compared to metal braces?
Orthodontic treatment costs are similar for Invisalign and conventional braces. They both range from $4,500 to $5,900. We offer flexible payment options to make the cost of treatment affordable to as many people as possible.

What is the appointment length and frequency compared to regular braces?
Appointments tend to go faster with Invisalign than with metal braces because there are no adjustments to make, loose brackets to re-bond, or broken wires to replace. After your initial appointment, follow-up appointments are scheduled about every six weeks.

How many Invisalign trays does each patient get?
It depends on each individual case, but on average patients will progress through 18-30 aligners on the upper and lower teeth to achieve ideal tooth alignment.

Is refinement needed with Invisalign?
Occasionally, orthodontic cases need a refinement phase of additional aligners during the final few stages of treatment to achieve additional tooth movement to meet the original treatment goals.

Do dental insurance plans cover Invisalign?
Yes, many dental insurance benefits include coverage for orthodontic treatment. We file all necessary paperwork to help you get the most out of your dental benefits. You also can set aside up to $2,550 of your pretax dollars through your flexible spending account toward Invisalign treatment.

Is Invisalign made in China?
No. Invisalign aligners are manufactured in a facility located about 7 miles from El Paso, Texas, in Jaurez, Mexico.

How do I clean my Invisalign trays?
You can brush them gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You also can soak them in denture cleaner or a 50/50 hydrogen peroxide/water solution. It’s also important to make sure to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth when putting on your Invisalign trays after eating.

Is there an age restriction with Invisalign?
There is no upper age limit for Invisalign. We treat patients in their early teens, up to people in their 60s and 70s.

Does Invisalign require wisdom teeth removal?
No. Wisdom teeth don’t affect orthodontic treatment. However, they can affect other aspects of your oral health, and for those reasons, your orthodontist or family dentist may recommend their removal.

Why should I go to an orthodontist to get Invisalign instead of my dentist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who, upon graduating from dental school, went on to complete an additional two to three years of specialized education in jaw alignment and teeth straightening. Orthodontists possess expert knowledge of treatment and related technologies. All orthodontists are dentists, but only 6 percent of dentists are orthodontists, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.

What is a regular visit like for Invisalign, compared to regular braces?
Your orthodontic visits are quicker with Invisalign because we only need to inspect your teeth to make sure they are moving as prescribed, and give you your next series of aligners. Checkups for patients with braces require adjustments, arch wire changes, and sometimes the addition of other appliances to achieve the desired result.

What are attachments and why they are needed with Invisalign?
These are small dots the color of your teeth that are bonded to tooth surfaces at prescribed locations to achieve more challenging tooth movements. They also are used when the size, shape or angle of a tooth makes it difficult for the aligner to apply the proper force to it.

How visible are attachments?
Attachments are bonded onto your tooth surface, so those who look at your mouth closely may notice them. However, because they are the shade of your natural teeth, they are far less noticeable than conventional brackets.

Will attachments create white spots on my teeth after removal?
No. Maintain a good oral hygiene regimen throughout treatment and after treatment, you no one will notice that you had attachments. Lots of patients like to do a teeth whitening treatment as a finishing touch when they complete treatment. Doing this will make doubly sure there is no trace of where an attachment once was.

Learn More
We hope this article answers all of your Invisalign questions, but if not, feel free to call for a consultation. We can evaluate you to determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign treatment and answer additional questions.

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