Traditional metal braces have undergone a pretty incredible transformation in recent years, including changes to their design, shape, size, and even color! Modern braces are smaller, more aesthetically pleasing, and more effective at correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues. These exciting developments offer patients an efficient method of achieving a healthy, beautiful smile they love, but some patients are still unsure about using them. The good news is there’s an alternative available! Lincoln Orthodontics is here to tell you the “Truth about Invisalign”!
Dr. Emily Willett is an expert in treating patients with the Invisalign clear aligner system with hundreds of successful smiles treated with the technology. Invisalign is an innovative system that offers patients the same beautiful results as braces without the use of brackets, wires, or bands. Because Invisalign is relatively new in the 100+ year old world of orthodontics, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about what aligners can do, how effective they are, and how much they cost. Let’s take a closer look at Invisalign clear aligner therapy below!
What is Invisalign?
Although Invisalign clear aligners were developed by Align Technology in 1998, similar thermoplastic vacuum-formed trays had been in use for decades as post-treatment retainers. The Invisalign system developed software and technology that allows orthodontists like Dr. Willett to successfully straighten crooked and misaligned teeth in progressive stages using customized aligners. At the end of each stage, patients will replace their current aligner with the next in the series. This generally occurs every 1-2 weeks, as outlined in their personalized treatment plan.
In the early days of Invisalign, it was most commonly used for simple spacing issues or very mild crowding. As orthodontists became aware of its potential and it began to grow in popularity, the design was improved to move teeth more efficiently. Over 7 million patients around the world have now successfully straightened their smiles using the Invisalign system! When used as directed by Dr. Willett, Invisalign can be just as effective as traditional braces and offers a great deal more freedom and flexibility. Part of the personalized treatment plan that Dr. Willett provides with the complimentary consultation includes a honest dialogue about how braces and Invisalign will work, comparing and contrasting the two, making the right choice easy for you!
Will Invisalign treatment take longer than braces?
While any type of orthodontic treatment requires a certain level of commitment from patients in order to be successful, compliance is especially important for Invisalign patients. Braces are a fixed appliance—meaning they are affixed to the surface of the teeth—so most of the hard work is done without too much effort on the part of the patient. Aligners are a removable appliance, however. In order for the system to work properly, aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours a day throughout the course of treatment.
There’s no “one size fits all” answer as to how long a patient will need to be in braces or aligners since every case is unique and each patient will respond to treatment in their own way. On average, the number of aligners used with aligner treatment from Lincoln Orthodontics is somewhere between 10 and 48, with the total treatment time averaging anywhere from 6 to 18 months. This can actually be slightly faster than the average time spent in braces! The total time ends up to be about equal when factoring in the couple week “lag” to have the personalized aligner plan constructed and the plastic to be manufactured.
Is Invisalign treatment more expensive than braces?
Like any brand new technology, treatment with Invisalign was considered quite expensive when it first hit the orthodontic market. Over the years, however, that cost has decreased as the system has gained popularity. There are several factors associated with the overall cost of treatment, but comparatively speaking, aligners tend to cost just about the same as traditional braces.
At Lincoln Orthodontics, it’s our top priority to provide affordable, high-quality orthodontic care for any budget. We want our patients to choose the right treatment, not just the most expensive. Therefore, we are proud to offer the various treatments (braces and Invisalign) as one fee, with very few exceptions. We have a variety of payment options available and accept many major insurance plans as well. Our team will even verify your orthodontic benefits and process your insurance forms for you!
What advantages does Invisalign offer over braces?
Invisalign aligners are completely removable, giving patients the kind of flexibility that more traditional treatment methods just can’t compare to. Take food restrictions, for example. To protect their appliance and their teeth, braces patients must avoid any foods that are crunchy or chewy, which can eliminate several of your favorite foods and snacks. This is never a problem for Invisalign patients! You simply take the aligners out when you want to eat, then put them back in when you’re done. No food restrictions make orthodontic treatment a lot easier (and a lot more fun!)
Removable aligners also make it easier to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing around wires, brackets, and bands can often be frustrating and time-consuming, especially in the beginning. Invisalign aligners are removed before brushing and flossing as you normally would! Caring for the aligners themselves is a simple task, too. There are special kits designed to clean them, or you can gently brush them using toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
Because they’re removable and don’t have any wires or brackets to get in the way, Invisalign aligners are great for athletes and musicians who play certain instruments. Since they can be removed for short periods of time, they’re also perfect for those special events where you only want your natural smile to shine through, like a wedding, prom, or senior pictures.
Will Invisalign aligners work for everyone?
Generally speaking, aligners tend to be most effective for adult and teen patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are particularly complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve. When you schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Willett, she will be able to determine if clear aligner treatment is a good fit for you or if your smile would be better served by a different treatment method. At Lincoln Orthodontics, you can trust that we will only ever recommend the treatment we believe is best for your smile!
What happens once treatment with Invisalign is complete?
Whatever orthodontic treatment you choose, your teeth will always remember their previous place in your mouth. They will begin to drift back towards those positions over time if there’s nothing there to stop them, which is why retainers are so important for lasting results! Once your treatment is complete, our office will provide you with a retainer. In order to keep your newly straightened smile in place, you should always wear it exactly as directed by Dr. Willett.
Trust your smile to Invisalign treatment from Lincoln Orthodontics
It’s easy to see why Invisalign clear aligner therapy is the most popular alternative to traditional metal braces! This exciting aligner system continues to change the way people view orthodontic treatment, and we’re proud to offer it to our patients in Lincoln and the surrounding communities.
If you’d like to learn more about the incredible things Invisalign can do for you and your smile, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Emily Willett! We can help you achieve the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve.