Straighten Teeth in Less Time
with Removable, Nearly Invisible Braces
Braces are not just for teens anymore. Our adult and teen patients have had success with Invisalign braces and enjoy the benefits. Invisalign uses clear aligners that are nearly invisible, more comfortable than metal braces and are removable. They also take less time to straighten teeth (12 months on average).
Are you considering Invisalign? Read our guide below, and then make an appointment to find out if Invisalign is right for you. Sign up now and get free at-home teeth whitening that you can control after your Invisalign treatment.
What is Invisalign?
The Invisalign system is “the clear alternative to braces.” Using a series of clear, and nearly invisible, removable tooth aligners, the Invisalign system straightens teeth gradually through the controlled force of each aligner. Each aligner is custom made for you and worn for about two weeks before being replaced by the next aligner in the series. Your dentist will monitor your progress with Invisalign approximately every 6 weeks until the final position of your teeth is achieved.
What types of problems does Invisalign Correct?
Invisalign aligners work to correct the following problems of tooth alignment: spaces between teeth; crowded teeth; open bite; overbite (deep bite); underbite; anterior crossbite and narrow arches.
Invisalign Advantages vs. Braces
- Invisalign aligners are clear and virtually invisible.
- Aligners apply less force per week to your teeth than braces and are more comfortable.
- Aligners are smooth. There is no discomfort from metal braces on your lips and cheeks.
- Invisalign allows you to eat the food you want, without worries of tooth decay around braces that aren’t cleaned carefully.
- Brushing and flossing your teeth is faster and easier with Invisalign.
- Aligners can be removed when you need to for special events, etc.
- The average treatment time for Invisalign is 12 months, as opposed to 18 – 24 months for braces.
- You will see a computerized simulation of your planned tooth movement, and expected results, showing every step.
Disadvantages of Invisalign vs. Braces
- Certain corrections are problematic or not possible with Invisalign, as opposed to braces.
- Since Invisalign aligners are removed when eating, you must take care not to lose them.
- Tooth grinding and clenching can damage aligners. (Aligners are changed about every two weeks, so this is not usually a serious problem.)
- Lost or damaged aligners may be replaced at additional cost.
- Failure to wear the aligners as directed can cause treatment to go “off track,” requiring a mid-course correction via fabrication of new aligners at additional cost.
How Do You Get Started with Invisalign Treatment?
Schedule a new patient examination to discuss your treatment goals and find out if Invisalign is appropriate for you. If you decide to proceed, dental impressions, x-rays and photographs of you and your teeth will be taken to produce a 3-D computerized model of your teeth which will be used to plan your treatment. Once your dentist completes a plan that matches your stated goals, your dentist will review the plan with you and your anticipated treatment time. Once you approve the plan, your Invisalign aligners will be custom made using a clear thermoplastic material (USP Class IV medical grade, high molecular weight, polyurethane resin which does not contain Bisphenol-A or phthalate plasticizers).
How Does Invisalign Treatment Progress?
At your first appointment, you will receive your first set of three aligners. Clear Invisalign aligners are to be worn for 20 – 22 hours daily. They are to be removed for eating and drinking anything other than water and for brushing and flossing your teeth. You will visit your dentist approximately every six weeks to check your progress and receive the next set of aligners in your series. You will need to clean your aligners by brushing and rinsing them using lukewarm water. Smoking will discolor your clear aligners and is discouraged if you intend to keep them virtually invisible during use. If your plan requires them, tooth-colored “attachments” and reshaping of the enamel “interproximal reduction” between the teeth may be performed to reach your treatment goal.
What Care is Required to Maintain Treatment Results?
In general a retainer must be worn in order to maintain the results of any orthodontic treatment. The amount of time required varies for each person.
How Much Does Invisalign Cost and is it Covered by Insurance?
In general, the cost of Invisalign is comparable to that of braces. It varies depending upon your current condition, your treatment goals, the treatment you need and the length of your treatment. Your specific cost will be quoted by us, but to give you a general idea:
Cost typically ranges from $4,500 to $5,500. Very simple cases (up to 5 aligner sets) can cost less.
If you have orthodontic coverage on your insurance policy, Invisalign treatment is usually covered to the same extent as conventional, metal braces. We will contact your insurance company to confirm this for you. In addition, many employers offer Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) which allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars for qualified healthcare expenses. After incurring eligible costs, you may submit your receipt to your employer for reimbursement from your FSA. Consult your employer’s benefits department about FSAs.
Another financing option available to help make the cost of Invisalign treatment affordable is CareCredit. CareCredit is a third-party financing company we work with to offer 6 and 12 month, no interest payment options. You may apply for instant CareCredit financing approval in our office or online at www.carecredit.com/apply.
Make an appointment today to find out if Invisalign is appropriate for you.
Dr Sharon Albright, Certified Invisalign Dentist Berkeley / Oakland, CA. Also serving Emeryville, Alameda, San Leandro, Piedmont, the Rockridge and Montclair Districts and the surrounding San Francisco East Bay, CA areas.