Misalignment of your teeth can cause you to feel self-conscious about your smile. Whether the issue is gapping, crowding, an overbite, or simply teeth that appear to be too crooked, these problems can seem insurmountable, at least without resorting to traditional orthodontics. The good news is that there is a treatment method called Invisalign® which can help restore your smile aesthetics, without the need for you to endure the discomfort of metal braces.
Dr. Eric Mee is one of the most trusted Invisalign dentists in the area. To learn more about your eligibility for Invisalign, schedule an appointment at State Street Dental.
What is Invisalign?
Simply put, Invisalign is a braces alternative, straightening your teeth and correcting your bite without requiring you to get metal orthodontia. Specifically, Invisalign treatments are made up of a series of clear plastic aligners that cover the teeth, gently pulling them into position over time. These aligners are transparent and may be taken off and put back in as needed, which means they are much less conspicuous than traditional braces.
Most patients prefer Invisalign to braces not only because they are more circumspect, but because they cause less discomfort. And, Invisalign can offer results in half the time required by traditional braces.
The Benefits of Invisalign
Indeed, there are a number of reasons why Invisalign is a better option than metal braces.
- Because Invisalign aligners are clear, very few people will notice you are wearing them.
- The aligners can be removed when you eat or when you go to special events (weddings, prom, family photos, etc.).
- It is easier to maintain proper oral hygiene. You may remove your aligners to brush and floss as normal.
- Without any metal brackets or wiring, Invisalign does not irritate the gums as metal braces do.
- Invisalign typically comes with a shorter treatment time and fewer appointments.
As you consider your options for straighter teeth and a more confident smile, Invisalign may be your best bet. To find out more about the benefits of Invisalign, we welcome you to contact State Street Dental at any time.
Am I a Good Candidate for Invisalign?
Invisalign can effectively treat many of the same conditions that you would treat with metal braces. For example, Invisalign can treat any of the following:
- Teeth that are crooked or misaligned
- Gaps between teeth
- Open bite
Note that Invisalign is not a good treatment for correcting extreme tooth rotation. For this, you may need intervention via a combination of braces and oral surgery.
The best way to determine whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mee. Following a physical evaluation of your teeth and gums, along with some imaging, Dr. Mee will confirm whether you are eligible for safe and successful treatment with clear aligners.
Additionally, be aware that the best candidates for Invisalign do not have any untreated gum disease or tooth decay. It will be important to address any of these underlying issues before pursuing treatment with Invisalign.
Invisalign: Understanding the Process
For those who are serious about straightening their teeth with Invisalign, it may be helpful to consider the different steps in the process. Here is a roadmap of what you can expect when you get Invisalign at State Street Dental.
The process always begins with a consultation. During this one-on-one appointment, you will have a chance to talk with Dr. Mee about your needs and goals, as well as to ask any questions you may have about how Invisalign works. Dr. Mee will perform a physical examination of your teeth and gums, take some X-rays and other images, and verify that you are a good candidate for treatment with Invisalign.
Making Your Aligners
If you decide to move forward with Invisalign, our lab will create 3-D impressions of your teeth. These models, combined with the X-ray images we obtain, will be sent to the Invisalign processing center, where a custom aligner will be made just for you. We will invite you to rejoin us at State Street Dental once the aligner arrives.
Once we receive your first aligner, we will ask you to come in for a fitting. During this brief appointment, we will ensure your Invisalign fits properly in your mouth, and we will make any small adjustments necessary to ensure your comfort.
You will wear your initial aligners for about two weeks, then switch to a new aligner. This process will continue over the course of a few months, with each new aligner further correcting your teeth and enhancing your smile. When you get a new aligner, it will feel rather tight for the first few days but will gradually become more comfortable. This is a sign that the aligners are working, gradually shifting your teeth into their proper positioning. You do not have to return to our office for each new aligner, though we recommend maintenance appointments every six weeks or so, allowing us to verify that the process is working the way it is supposed to.
Does Invisalign Hurt?
One of the most common questions we receive regarding Invisalign is whether the treatment causes pain.
Because Invisalign aligners are made with smooth plastic, they do not inflame the gums or the inside of the mouth the way metal braces might. You will feel some slight soreness or discomfort for the first few days with each new aligner. This is because your teeth are being pulled into the proper place. Most patients say that this discomfort is very mild and can be mediated with simple over-the-counter pain remedies. The pressure from each new aligner will fade within a few days; should it ever last longer, we welcome you to call our office.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
Another question that we hear frequently is how much time it takes for Invisalign to produce results.
The average duration of Invisalign treatment is about one year. However, the specific timeline can vary from patient to patient, depending on your age as well as your needs. When you join us for your initial consultation, Dr. Mee can provide you with a more individualized estimate.
How Much Does Invisalign Cost?
Patients understandably want to know how much Invisalign will cost them. Here again, there is no single answer, as every patient’s needs are different. We can provide a more personalized cost estimate during your initial consultation. Also, note that our practice is committed to making cosmetic dentistry as accessible as possible, and part of that means offering competitive pricing and flexible financing options.
Will Dental Insurance Cover Invisalign?
Dental coverage varies a great deal, and we would always recommend checking the specific language in your policy. Some dental insurance plans will cover Invisalign in the same way they cover metal braces, which is to say, they may cover up to a certain dollar amount. With any insurance-related questions, we welcome you to contact our office at any time.
How Long Will I Need to Wear My Aligners Each Day?
One of the things that attracts patients to Invisalign is the reality that they may remove their aligners as needed, whether to eat, brush and floss, or have a photo taken. This convenience is definitely nice, but it raises a question: in order to see results, how long will you need to leave your aligners in place each day?
It is generally recommended that you wear Invisalign for 22 hours each day, meaning you will want to leave your aligners in even when you sleep. Yes, this is the majority of the day, but it should still offer you the flexibility to eat, floss, and conduct the other activities you need to do without your aligners in place.
Is Invisalign Right for Me?
If you are dissatisfied with your smile, specifically because of alignment issues with your teeth, then we invite you to consider Invisalign. This is an effective treatment for most orthodontic issues, and for most patients will be much more convenient and comfortable than traditional orthodontic work. With any questions about your eligibility for Invisalign, contact State Street Dental to set up an appointment with Dr. Mee.
State Street Dental is a trusted cosmetic dentistry provider committed to helping patients regain total confidence in their smiles. We would love to get to know you, to understand your needs and expectations, and to tell you more about the benefits of Invisalign. To make a consultation appointment with us, contact our office whenever you are ready.