Everything You Need to Know About Invisalign

What you should know about Invisalign

Invisalign is more than just invisible—it’s effective.

A few decades ago, the very idea of invisible braces sounded like science fiction. Today, however, Invisalign clear aligners are one of the best ways to straighten your teeth. Invisalign has the popularity to match, with over 8 million people using the aligner system to straighten their teeth. Despite its wide-ranging success, Invisalign sometimes seems too good to be true, especially if you don’t know much about it. You may find yourself wondering if the aligners are really as discreet as everyone says or if they compromise effectiveness for the sake of appearance or convenience.

Every treatment has its downsides, but with Invisalign, there are more than a few reasons it’s so sought-after. Not only are the aligners effective, but they resolve several of the difficulties of traditional braces. We want you to be confident in the orthodontic treatment you choose and to love your results, so we’ve provided a rundown of everything you need to know about Invisalign.

Invisalign has been around longer than you might think.

Invisalign uses cutting-edge technology in the creation of its clear aligners, so it’s almost shocking to realize that they have been in use for over 20 years now. The first Invisalign aligners were approved by the FDA in 1998 and went on the market in 1999, so the company has had plenty of time to improve the aligners and the technology used to create them. They’ve taken this task very seriously over the years, improving the materials used to make the aligners, making use of technologies like digital scanning and 3D printing, and improving the software that finds and maps out the best way to move your teeth. These changes have helped Invisalign continue to be increasingly effective and comfortable, allowing them to remain popular even after their original patent ran out and they gained new competition.

They work similarly to braces.

Traditional braces and Invisalign both correct bites and straighten teeth over time by exerting gentle, gradually increasing pressure on them. Invisalign accomplishes this using a series of clear aligners, each of which shifts your teeth a little more in the direction they need to go. Switching to a new set of aligners, which you’ll do every one or two weeks, is the equivalent of having an orthodontist adjust your braces. Invisalign is capable of treating nearly any orthodontic issue that traditional braces can, from crooked teeth and gap-toothed grins to misaligned bites. There are some very severe cases that Invisalign can’t treat, but the vast majority of patients are excellent candidates for it.

Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you using cutting-edge technology.

Everyone’s teeth are unique, so your aligners need to be just as customized as your treatment plan In order to be effective. When you choose Invisalign, Dr. Wohlers will use a digital scanner to create a 3D digital model of your teeth and bite. This model is then used to determine how your teeth need to move, design your treatment plan, and create your customized aligners.

Invisalign aligners are designed with comfort in mind.

The smooth plastic surface of Invisalign is much more comfortable than the metal wires and brackets of traditional braces, which can sometimes cut or scrape the delicate skin inside your mouth. While wearing your aligners will still take some adjustment, they feel less noticeable on your teeth. However, your teeth will feel sore for a day or two after you switch to a new pair of aligners—just like they would be after getting your braces tightened.

It’s just as discreet as its name makes it sound.

True to its name, Invisalign is virtually invisible on your teeth due to its clear plastic material and customized fit. Invisalign aligners won’t show up in pictures or video, so you can enjoy taking photos or even performing a job that requires you to be in front of cameras without worrying about how your teeth look.

While braces may leave you feeling self-conscious of your smile or worried that you’ll be taken less seriously at work, Invisalign is discreet enough that most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them. If you’re a parent considering getting Invisalign for your teen, however, don’t worry—Invisalign’s line of aligners for teens includes a discrete blue dot in one corner so that you can easily check that your child is wearing them.

Invisalign aligners require proper care to stay clear.

One thing to be aware of is that the plastic aligners stain easily and can warp from heat. If you want your aligners to stay clear and to continue functioning correctly, you need to commit to caring for them properly. Never eat or drink anything other than water with your aligners in and brush your teeth after every meal—before putting your aligners back in. The aligners themselves need to be gently cleaned once a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, toothpaste, and cool water. Scrubbing the aligners too roughly, using an abrasive cleaner, or using hot water can damage your aligners, so it’s important to follow Dr. Wohlers’ care instructions closely.

Invisalign’s removability avoids a few of braces’ downsides.

Aside from their appearance, braces have two major downsides. The first is that sticky, crunchy, and hard foods are off-limits throughout the entire course of treatment. The second downside is that it’s often difficult to clean between and underneath braces’ metal wires and brackets. In some cases, this can lead to stains on your teeth when your braces are taken off. As long as you take your aligners out before you eat, you can keep enjoying all of your favorite foods. Plus, removing your aligners also allows you to brush and floss your teeth just as easily as you did before starting Invisalign. Don’t take your aligners out too often, though, as they need to be worn for at least 22 hours a day to straighten your teeth the way they’re meant to.

It does more than just straighten your teeth.

Crooked teeth are harder to clean thoroughly, so they actually increase your risk of getting tooth decay or gum disease. Straightening your teeth evens them out and makes them more uniform, protecting your oral health by making oral hygiene easier. Additionally, misaligned bites can cause issues with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) over time. TMJ disorders can make eating and speaking painful and can spark symptoms like dizziness or neck and back pain. Using Invisalign to straighten and align your bite can prevent future TMJ issues and may relieve your symptoms if you’re already suffering from a TMJ disorder.

It provides quick results.

Straightening your teeth with traditional braces takes an average of two years, while treatment with Invisalign averages out at 6 to 18 months. Invisalign’s slight edge when it comes to how quickly you can expect to complete your treatment is helped by the fact that, without braces blocking your view of your teeth, you can start to see and enjoy results in a matter of weeks. You’ll begin benefitting from the increased self-confidence and self-esteem that comes from a straighter smile before your treatment is even complete.

Invisalign costs about the same as braces.

When Invisalign first arrived on the scene, it was more expensive than braces—and, unfortunately, it’s held on to that reputation. Thankfully, the truth is much better for your wallet: Invisalign usually costs about the same as braces. The cost of any orthodontic treatment depends heavily upon the severity of your case and the estimated length of your treatment. Generally, however, the two treatments cost about the same and are both covered by insurance. During your consultation, Dr. Wohlers can give you an estimate for what your Invisalign treatment will cost and how much your insurance plan is likely to cover.

For a long time, enduring the extra self-consciousness and dietary changes that come with traditional braces was the price you had to pay for a straight, even smile. Thankfully, Invisalign’s convenience and discreet appearance avoid several pitfalls of traditional braces and allows you to start feeling more confident in your smile even during your treatment.

Where do you find a provider for Invisalign in Marietta?

Dr. Wohlers recommends Invisalign for many of her patients who need orthodontic treatment. She monitors her patients throughout their treatment plan, seeing patients to check their progress every three to six weeks. If you’re looking for straighter, more even teeth, feel free to call our office and book a consultation to discover how Invisalign can transform your smile.

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