Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that hit the market more than two decades ago.  Since then, it has grown rapidly in popularity. If you are like many others that may be considering the Invisalign treatment, you might share some of these common questions.

What exactly is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a treatment that involves wearing clear plastic aligners to gradually straighten your teeth.  They are FDA-approved and made from a patented thermoplastic. The adjusters are flexible and free from BPA, BPS, latex, and gluten.  They are removable and don’t require brackets or wires so they don’t carry the same restrictions and limitations that traditional braces do.  

Is Invisalign available for everyone?

Invisalign aligners are able to correct most bite and straightening issues.  They are custom made for each patient and can even be given a special marker so parents can make sure their children are wearing them as they should.  Those with crowns or veneers would need to discuss their individual cases with their dental provider as to whether Invisalign is right for them. Since Invisalign works by helping move individual teeth, those with bridges containing multiple teeth would probably not benefit from the treatment.

Do I have to go to an orthodontist?

The Invisalign treatment program is available through orthodontists and dentists alike.  To help find an Invisalign trained provider that is right for you, Invisalign offers an online locater.  Many offer free consultations and it is important to find a caregiver that you are comfortable with.  If your dentist or orthodontist doesn’t already offer Invisalign, there is specialized training available.

How much does Invisalign cost?

The cost of the Invisalign treatment program is about the same as traditional braces.  Each case is determined on an individual basis. The cost depends on how long the aligners will have to be worn and many other factors.  There are many financing options available to help handle the cost of treatment. Some insurance policies cover the cost of the treatment much like they would braces.  Other options include healthcare credit accounts such as Care Credit or using your FSA or HSA.

How long will I have to wear Invisalign?

As previously stated, each individual case is different.  The total length of time you will wear the aligners depends on the severity of adjustment and the desired result.  On average, the Invisalign treatment takes 12 to 18 months. On a daily basis, the aligners are worn 20 to 22 hours a day.  They recommend only taking the aligners out to brush, drink, eat, and floss.

Will I have to wear a retainer when I am finished?

Retainers are generally recommended for anyone who has undergone dental adjustments. It keeps teeth from wanting to gradually shift back to their original position.  Again, this is determined on a case by case basis and will be determined by your provider.

So what makes Invisalign so popular?

The Invisalign treatment program isn’t much different in its cost or length of treatment than traditional braces.  The main difference, and most popular feature is the ability to take the aligners out. It removes the restrictions that come with traditional orthodontics making Invisalign much more convenient.  Another benefit is the lack of time you will spend in appointments not having to have wires or brackets adjusted. Typically, your provider will schedule appointments every six weeks or so to make sure your aligners are doing their job and you are making progress.  Another popular feature is that the aligners are clear. They are virtually invisible and as a result, more people feel comfortable wearing them over the traditional bracket and wire braces.