What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an alternative method for moving teeth, compared to traditional braces and brackets. It's important to note that Invisalign is a brand name and while we don't use Invisalign specifically at Integrity Dental, we utilize a similar product that we refer to as clear aligners.

How does clear aligners work?

The first step in the process of implementing clear aligners is an examination to determine if this method is a suitable fit for the patient's needs and desires for their teeth. Next, we take scans and photographs of your teeth, eliminating the need for old-fashioned impressions. We then collaborate with an orthodontist to digitally create the case and establish how many trays or clear aligners will be required. The entire process, including the estimated time for completion and any necessary adjustments to your teeth, such as slenderizing them to make room for movement, will be discussed with you in advance. Occasionally, we affix clear buttons to the teeth to aid the trays in gripping and moving the teeth throughout the treatment. This method is typically simpler and more comfortable for patients than traditional braces.

Invisalign compared to traditional braces

Despite the convenience of aligners, traditional braces are still viewed as the gold standard, especially for more complicated orthodontic cases. However, for simpler cases where the goal is to straighten teeth or close gaps, clear aligners can be an excellent choice. Unlike traditional braces, which involve cementing metal or porcelain brackets onto the teeth and using wires to apply pressure and move the teeth, clear aligners use trays. These trays are placed over your teeth and exert pressure at the appropriate angles and positions to gradually move the teeth.

How long do you use each tray for clear aligners?

You use the tray typically about two weeks and then the next tray goes in and it kind of inches the teeth a little bit by a little bit to the position that we want them to be. So the big difference is instead of brackets and wires you're using clear aligners. You wear them all day. The only time they come out is when you're eating. Most people can't even tell that they're in. It doesn't affect speech and generally speaking it's a lot more comfortable than traditional braces.

Is Invisalign or clear aligner therapy faster than traditional braces?

Not necessarily. The traditional braces technique is going to give the orthodontist or the treating dentist the most control over the case and can often get the case done a little quicker. So clear aligners is comparable but in some cases a little longer but still in a very reasonable period of time.

Why is Invisalign considered more comfortable than traditional braces?

Well Invisalign or clear aligners are exactly that. They're a clear tray that will slide over your teeth very thin clear. You almost can't even tell they're there. It sits on your teeth and will subtly put pressure on the teeth to move them to where we want them to go. It's not all done in one tray. One tray goes in moves them a little bit. Within a couple weeks we put in the next tray moves them a little bit more. So it's generally very comfortable. You don't have to have that feeling of the brackets or the wires against the teeth that can sometimes be uncomfortable in traditional therapy. So for that reason typically speaking clear aligners are more comfortable than traditional braces.

How long does Invisalign or clear aligner therapy take to straighten teeth?

Unfortunately, there's not a straight answer because it very much depends on your individual case. It can be anywhere from 6 to 12 months on a real simple case or sometimes a year and a half two years. So it's very case specific but before beginning the case the dentist would be able to tell you how long to expect.

Do you sleep with Invisalign or clear aligners?

Yes, you do. The therapy needs to be as close to 24 hours a day as possible. So just like traditional braces that are cemented on your teeth that are in all the time clear aligners need to be the same. We'd put them in you'd wear them all day. The only time you take them out is to eat. You brush them clean them and they go right back in and you do sleep with them.

Is there anything that can disqualify you from being a good candidate for Invisalign or clear aligner therapy?

Yes. Traditional braces with the brackets and the wires on your teeth are still considered the gold standard for more advanced more complicated orthodontics.

Do I need to work with an orthodontist or can I use clear aligners?

In certain cases, you may need to work with an orthodontist and use traditional braces technique, which involves brackets and wires. Clear aligners can address the vast majority of cases and most patients are good candidates for them. However, the more simplistic the case, the more appropriate it is for clear aligners. To determine the complexity of your case and decide which technique is right for you, it is best to seek an exam with your dentist.

Can Invisalign or clear aligner therapy fix crossbite?

In many cases, Invisalign or clear aligner therapy can fix crossbite. However, some crossbites are very complicated and require specific treatment best suited for traditional orthodontic therapy. So, while clear aligner therapy can address crossbite, it may not always be the best solution. The most effective way to determine the best therapy for you is to schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss your case.

Is Invisalign or clear aligner therapy painful?

No, Invisalign or clear aligner therapy is not painful, but it can be uncomfortable at certain times just like traditional braces. When the brackets and wires are put on, it can make your gums and lips a little sore as it's something new in your mouth that you're not accustomed to. However, this discomfort typically goes away quickly. Most patients do not describe the experience as painful. Every time you have a new tray put in, it applies pressure on the teeth which can be uncomfortable, but this discomfort usually lasts only for a few hours and can be managed with ibuprofen or Tylenol.

Insurances for Invisalign or clear aligner 

Some dental insurance plans do cover Invisalign or clear aligner therapy, but not all. To determine if your specific insurance plan covers this treatment, schedule an exam with your dentist, develop a treatment plan, and then your dentist's office can check your insurance coverage before beginning treatment.

The cost for Invisalign or clear aligner therapy without dental insurance

The cost of Invisalign or clear aligner therapy is determined by the number of trays you need and the length of the case. The best way to understand the cost is to schedule an exam with your dentist, work up a treatment plan, and then determine the length of the case.

Cost of Invisalign therapy or clear aligner therapy at Integrity Dental

The cost of Invisalign or clear aligner therapy at Integrity Dental typically ranges between $2,500 and $3,500. However, costs can vary as they are often case specific. The number of trays you use, which you change out roughly every two weeks, can impact the duration of your therapy and subsequently, the cost.

Getting started with Invisalign therapy or clear aligner therapy

The best way to get started with Invisalign therapy or clear aligner therapy is to call our office and set up an appointment. Let us know that you're interested in this type of therapy. The initial appointment, where we assess your teeth and determine if you're a good candidate for Invisalign or clear aligner therapy, typically lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Pre-treatment examination 

The pre-treatment examination involves a thorough assessment of your dental health. We check for other concerns that need to be addressed before starting the therapy. This exam allows us to make appropriate recommendations and design a treatment plan which includes costs, length of therapy, and insurance coverage information.

Unique feature of clear aligner therapy

One unique feature of clear aligner therapy is that it is digitally designed. This allows patients to see three-dimensional images of their teeth at every step of the therapy. Patients can view these images on their phone or laptop and see how their teeth are moving over time. This gives patients a chance to provide input before starting the therapy to ensure they will be pleased with the outcome.

How can one express their interest or ask further questions about Invisalign therapy or clear aligner therapy?

If you are interested in changing the position of your teeth, straightening teeth, closing gaps, improving your bite, or have any queries about the therapy, please call our office to set up an appointment. Invisalign therapy or clear aligner therapy could be a viable option for you. But if it isn't, we collaborate with orthodontists who can help with traditional braces. Our phone number is 719-545-2468.