The braces that have been developed in the last decade are dramatically different than those from years past. They have smaller brackets, a sleeker appearance, and best of all, they’re much more comfortable. Even so, many teens and adults are hesitant to straighten their teeth with braces. Fortunately, there’s an alternative available, one that offers patients the chance to achieve a beautiful smile without any brackets, wires, or bands! Keep reading to learn the truth about Invisalign
Invisalign clear aligner therapy is an exciting way to give you the same incredible results as braces but with a lot more freedom and flexibility. Braces have a long track record of proven results, but Invisalign aligners are still relatively new in the world of orthodontics. That means there are a few misconceptions floating around out there about how they work, how effective they can be, and how much they cost compared to braces.
What is Invisalign?
The Invisalign clear aligners that we know and love today were developed by Align Technology in the late 90’s. However, similar trays have been used for decades as retainers after treatment. The Invisalign system is unique because it uses specialized software and technology so orthodontists like Dr. Hamer and Dr. Glassick can effectively use customized aligners to move crooked and misaligned teeth. At the end of each stage, the current aligner is switched out for the next in the series. This will usually happen every week, allowing the aligners to stay fresh while effectively moving your teeth.
At first, Invisalign was only used for cases with simple spacing issues and or mild crowding. As the system became more popular and more orthodontists started using it, the design of the aligners evolved and improved. In the hands of the experienced orthodontists at Hamer and Glassick Orthodontics, Invisalign aligners can now be just as effective as traditional braces for most orthodontic issues.
Does Invisalign treatment take longer than braces?
Any kind of orthodontic treatment requires commitment from the patient. However, the flexibility of Invisalign comes with some extra responsibility. Since traditional braces are attached to the surface of your teeth, the appliance does most of the hard work of keeping your teeth moving. Aligners are a different story. They are a removable orthodontic appliance, and as such, they must be worn for 20-22 hours a day for treatment to succeed. Failure to do so can result in longer treatment times or inferior results.
Because compliance is such an important factor in treatment success and length, there’s no “one size fits all” answer to how long treatment with braces or aligners will take. Additionally, every case is different, and each patient responds to treatment in their own way. In general, however, the average number of aligners used with Invisalign will be somewhere between 10 and 48, with the total treatment time averaging anywhere from 6 to 18 months. The good news? This is actually slightly faster than the average time spent in braces!
Does Invisalign treatment cost more than braces?
Just like any new and innovative product, Invisalign was an expensive treatment option. The good news is that as the popularity of Invisalign goes up, the price continues to go down. While there are several factors associated with the overall cost of orthodontic treatment in general, Invisalign aligners tend to cost just about the same as traditional braces these days.
Here at Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics, we’re committed to providing high-quality orthodontic care for every budget and work with you to find a payment plan that meets your family’s financial needs as well as your treatment needs. We’ll make sure you understand everything the total cost includes before proceeding with the active phase of treatment. We have a variety of payment options available for your convenience, and also accept many major insurance plans. Our team will be happy to verify your orthodontic benefits, and will even process your insurance forms for you.
What advantages does Invisalign offer over braces?
Invisalign gives patients flexibility that other treatment options can’t, because the aligners can be removed. Take food restrictions, for example. Crunchy and chewy foods can cause problems with brackets and wires, so patients in braces must avoid these items throughout their orthodontic journey. This can eliminate several popular foods and snacks from the menu, but with Invisalign, you can still eat all your favorite foods any time you want! Simply take the aligners out whenever you’re ready to eat, then put them back in when you’re done.
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. 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.
Athletes and musicians also love Invisalign because there are no wires or brackets to get in the way, and the trays can be removed easily if needed. 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 shining through, like a wedding, prom, or senior pictures.
Does the Invisalign system work for everyone?
Invisalign can treat a wide range of orthodontic issues, but work best for teens and adults with mild to moderate problems. Complex and severe cases often require very precise tooth control, and traditional braces are better equipped to provide this. When you schedule your free consultation with Dr. Hamer or Dr. Glassick, we’ll be able to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you, or if a different treatment method would be better. Hamer and Glassick Orthodontics will only recommend the treatment best suited for your unique smile!
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
Your teeth will always remember where they used to be, even after successful orthodontic treatment. If there’s nothing stopping them, they’ll eventually start drifting back towards those positions. This is why retainers are so important when it comes to achieving lasting results! Once your treatment is complete, our office will provide you with a set of retainers. In order to keep your newly straightened smile in place, you should always wear it exactly as directed by our doctors.
Find your best smile with Invisalign from Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics
The truth about the innovative Invisalign system is that it’s one of the most popular alternatives to traditional braces. This exciting option continues to change the way people view orthodontic treatment, and we’re proud to offer it to our patients in Crozet, Charlottesville, and the surrounding communities.
If you’d like to learn more about the wonderful things Invisalign can do for you and your smile, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation in one of our two conveniently located offices. We’re here to help you achieve a healthy, confident smile!