If you’ve got uneven teeth, teeth gaps, or other orthodontic issues that affect your appearance, until now the only option for treatment was traditional braces that took years to work fully and altered your appearance. While advances were made towards more attractive, less obvious braces, they still required an orthodontic commitment that took up several years for many teenagers. Those middle school memories can be a thing of the past thanks to Invisalign, a state-of-the-art new treatment offered at the Destin, Florida offices of M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics.
Invisalign works through a similar technique to the traditional post-braces retainer that keeps your teeth in their new shape, but it begins the process earlier with a series of custom-made aligners that are contoured to your teeth. These plates slowly push your teeth into their desired position and are switched out regularly to create a healthier smile. Invisalign is one of the many orthodontic treatments we offer at our offices, so read on to learn everything you need to know about this groundbreaking treatment and set up a consultation today.
Everything You Need to Know About Invisalign: Frequently Asked Questions Answered
Who Is a Good Candidate?
This is a good treatment choice for common orthodontic issues, including teeth gaps, teeth crowding, overbite, underbite, and crossbite in all but the most extreme cases. In serious orthodontic cases, treatments that shift the jaw are necessary, and this treatment is designed to shift the teeth more gently without extensive orthodontic work.
We recommend this treatment more for older teenagers and adults because their teeth are finished growing, and teenagers appreciate the hidden aligners that won’t affect their appearance.
The treatment requires more dedication and vigilance to your treatment than traditional braces because the aligners are removable and must be taken out for eating, drinking, and brushing teeth to keep them clean. This is part of why the treatment is most successful among older patients who are ready to take on the responsibility of care. Invisalign offers a free Smile Assessment Test that will help you discover if you’re an ideal candidate for the treatment.
What Is the First Step of Treatment?
If you’re considering this non-invasive orthodontic treatment, the first step is to schedule a consultation with a qualified orthodontist that offers this treatment. At your first assessment, your dentist will examine your teeth, smile, gums, and jaw to determine what treatment is best to give you the ideal smile you’re seeking.
If your smile issues are significant enough to require treatment, but not serious enough to require any treatments that affect the jaw, you’ll be deemed a good fit. The next step is to take a 3D scan of your teeth to create a comprehensive treatment plan we can send to our partners at the Invisalign laboratories, where they produce the aligners.
Our office uses the best 3D digital technology that creates custom aligners for each client, ensuring a perfect fit without lengthy orthodontic treatment.
What Is the Course of Treatment and How Long Does It Last?
Depending on the severity of the case, a course of treatment lasts between six and fifteen months, but longer and shorter cases are possible. You’ll get a custom set of aligners that fit your teeth comfortably but gradually move your teeth by millimeters each week, and you’ll keep them in day and night except when eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing.
You’ll receive a new set of aligners directly from the company every two weeks, with a total of eighteen and thirty aligners over the treatment. The only appointments with your orthodontist you’ll need are your initial consultations and smile mapping appointments, followed by a regular checkup every eight to ten weeks.
These consultations are to examine the progress of your smile and make sure the treatment is having positive results. The average treatment length is around a year, which is less than half the length of traditional braces.
How Does the Treatment Feel?
Anyone who’s had traditional braces knows the pain that comes with having their teeth shifted, and even the most attractive and high-tech braces haven’t eliminated that.
Those who have tried Invisalign say they can still feel the pressure of the teeth movement, but the aligners are designed to move the teeth in a focused and gradual way. This ends tooth pain and makes it easier to eat and drink during treatment, and the ability to remove the aligners briefly offers some respite you can never get with traditional braces.
Those who are sensitive to pain find the customizable nature of the treatment appealing, as they can easily pick a longer course of treatment that uses more gentle aligners and reduces the pain. Most clients report that any tooth pain vanishes within two days after beginning a new aligner and the overall course of treatment is far easier than braces.
What Are the Positives Compared to Braces?
Fans of this treatment point to many positives, starting with the minimal impact on appearance compared to braces, which makes it a popular choice for teenagers and adults. The tooth movement is more controlled than with braces, and clients are able to eat and drink whatever they want during treatment because the aligners are removed. The virtually invisible aligners let you continue normal brushing and flossing, and after a complete course of treatment your teeth will look the same color as they did before with no discoloration.
If you wear your aligners consistently and correctly, you’ll have fewer and shorter dental appointments at longer intervals, making this an ideal choice for those with a busy lifestyle. The period of discomfort is much shorter than common braces, and the risk of lip injury from metal braces is eliminated, although both have some impact on ease of speaking.
How Do I Clean My Teeth and the Aligners?
One of the big positives of this treatment is the ability to clean your teeth regularly without interference from orthodontic implements. Instead of having to clean around your braces, you remove your aligners and brush and floss normally. It’s important to be gentle with your gums while wearing your aligners to prevent irritation, but otherwise you maintain your normal oral hygiene routine.
The other part of your cleaning routine during your treatment is cleaning your aligners, since each set lasts roughly two weeks and should be kept clean during its lifespan. Your aligners should be soaked in common dental cleaner materials like denture cleaner, Retainer Brite, or the company’s branded cleaning crystals to sanitize them. Before putting them back in, make sure both your mouth and teeth, and the aligners are clean.
What Is the Post-Treatment Plan?
After your course of treatment, you’ll have an appointment with your orthodontist to ensure the treatment has resolved all your orthodontic issues and your new smile is stable. The next step is very similar to post-braces treatment without the need to remove the braces and clean your teeth. Your orthodontist will map your smile again and prepare a retainer that you should wear regularly to preserve your new smile and keep your teeth from shifting back.
Users of this treatment report that they find post-treatment maintenance easier than those who have had braces, because the routine of retainer use is so similar to using the aligners. Regular appointments with your orthodontist should be scheduled, at similar intervals as during the treatment to ensure the retainer is having the correct effect. The post-treatment routine is easier and of a similar length to the routine following braces, but with fewer orthodontic treatments needed.
What Are the Long-Term Effects?
Clients who consistently wore their aligners for an average of twenty-two hours a day, kept their regular orthodontic appointments, and maintained their smile with a retainer reported similar long-term effects to braces. While the effects of the treatment are less dramatic than braces on severe cases, for moderate and minor smile alteration the treatment delivers long-term change through gradual movement without many of the drawbacks of traditional braces.
The main difference to braces is that this treatment requires a higher level of vigilance and maintenance independent from your orthodontist that makes it ideal for older patients.
After your initial course of treatment and use of a retainer, your orthodontist may still want to schedule occasional appointments once or twice a year for long-term maintenance. The long-term benefits of the treatment include a healthier bite, a more attractive smile, and a boost in social confidence that provides societal benefits.
What Is the Average Treatment Cost?
All orthodontic treatments come with a price tag that reflects a combination of the hours in the dental chair and the equipment needed, but this treatment fixes teeth without requiring extensive time in the chair. The price tag varies based on the length of the treatment and the number of aligners required, but the average treatment costs an average of half what traditional braces in a non-severe case do. The company has an in-house insurance company that works with clients to make the treatment affordable, saving time and money for orthodontic patients.
Is the Treatment Available Only for Top or Bottom Teeth?
Yes, as some clients have distinct orthodontic issues on either their top or bottom teeth, the company offers aligners designed for only one part of the mouth. The treatment is similar, but clients only have to take care of a single aligner and the cost is overall lower.
Why Should I Choose This Treatment Over Cheaper Alternatives?
Many companies boast of offering the same benefits of the treatment at a fraction of the cost, but these offerings are lacking the custom-designed 3D printed aligners perfectly contoured to your teeth. The money is saved in precision, and the effect on your teeth won’t be as precise as a treatment done in partnership with a qualified orthodontist using custom-designed aligners.
Invisalign Is the Easiest Path to Straighter Teeth
If you’re ready to get rid of your tooth gap, crooked teeth, overbite, underbite, or crossbite, it doesn’t mean committing to a years-long course of treatment including braces and time in the orthodontist’s chair. With Invisalign, you can take charge of your orthodontic health with a series of custom-designed aligners contoured to your smile and designed with state of the art 3D printing. You’ll be free to eat, drink, and brush your teeth normally with few of the drawbacks of traditional braces.
Invisalign is a non-invasive orthodontic treatment that will correct minor to moderate cases of crooked smiles through a series of aligners that move your teeth by millimeters each week and let you control your course of treatment. Contact M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics in Destin, FL for more information or to set up a consultation today.