Common questions about Invisalign
What is Invisalign and how does it work?
Invisalign is a series of aligners that are made with computer modeling and computer-assisted manufacturing. It works like braces by putting gentle but very accurate forces on the teeth. The force is transmitted to the bone. The bone around the roots of the teeth is very responsive to light forces. The bone remodels, letting the teeth move in the direction of the force.
How often must I wear my aligners?
We find that aligners are most effective when worn 20 to 22 hours per day and removed only for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing.
How often do I need a check-up?
We schedule regular appointments usually about once every 12 weeks. The goal of these visits is to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. We will also provide you with your next few sets of aligners.
How old do you have to be to have Invisalign?
As a Super Elite Provider of Invisalign, Dr. Hickory has the breadth and depth of experience needed to treat all orthodontic cases. We are delighted to offer Invisalign to children, teenagers, and adults of all ages.
Is Invisalign treatment painful?
While Invisalign moves your teeth without the pain and anxiety metal braces can cause, some people experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It’s also a sign that Invisalign is working as it moves your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away in a couple of days.
How long does Invisalign treatment take?
The length of treatment depends on the severity of your case and can only be determined by your doctor; however, the average case takes about 12 months for adults. The length of time necessary for a teen patient may vary and can be determined by your doctor.
What can/can’t I eat and drink while wearing Invisalign aligners?
Thanks to the removable nature of the aligners, you can eat and drink whatever you want while in treatment. There is therefore no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks unless you are instructed otherwise by your doctor. Also, it is important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to reinserting your aligners to maintain fresh breath and proper hygiene.
How do I clean my aligners?
The best way to clean your aligners is to use the Invisalign Cleaning system, available for order at www.invisalignstore.com. As a secondary method, however, your aligners can also be cleaned by brushing them and rinsing them in lukewarm water.
How much does Invisalign cost?
For more than 10 years we have charged the same for Invisalign as braces. Insurance covers Invisalign the same as braces. However, in some plans participating doctors may give an added discount for metal braces.
With any orthodontic treatment, the fee is based on the difficulty of the individual case. We give complimentary consultations, so you can get an exact quotation of the cost as well as an estimate of treatment time. We offer payment plans so the fee can be paid monthly over the treatment time. We also will help coordinate any insurance benefits.
We know cost is a big question for anyone considering orthodontic work. In most cases, Invisalign treatment is comparable to the cost of traditional braces. However, as with other medical treatments, only your Invisalign-trained doctor can determine the cost, based on your specific needs. Other factors may include your treatment goals, the difficulty of your case, how long you are in treatment, where you live, and additional factors determined by your dentist or orthodontist. Also, check your dental insurance plan—Invisalign treatment is covered by many dental insurance policies. And many doctors can offer flexible and affordable monthly payment plans as well.
Can treatment be accelerated?
As a practice that prides itself on having cutting-edge orthodontic treatment options, we offer a few different techniques to accelerate tooth movement: AcceleDent and Propel.
AcceleDent: By inserting a mouthpiece and turning on the Activator for 20 minutes a day, AcceleDent will generate small vibrations, called micropulses, to stimulate bone movement. This in turn may reduce your treatment time by up to 50%.
Propel: Frequently described as “dental acupuncture,” Propel stimulates the bone around specific teeth with micro-punctures to release stubborn tooth movements and fast-track treatment.
What are attachments and what are their purpose?
Depending on your specific treatment, some of the movements may require either “attachments” or “ridges” to help the aligner grip the teeth. These bumps, or wells, are where the aligner grips the attachment the doctor places on your teeth. The attachments are actually small pieces of enamel-colored composite the doctor affixes to your teeth that are then gripped by bumps on your aligners. The ridges are slim indentations in your aligners. Your doctor will use one or both of these features to attempt to achieve the desired tooth movement.
What is Interproximal reduction (IPR)?
Interproximal reduction (IPR) is a quick and easy procedure during which your orthodontist uses some very precise tools to change the shape and size of your teeth, primarily on the sides where they touch each other. This is done for three reasons. First, the upper or lower sets of teeth may be naturally the wrong size and don’t fit together well. Second, the shape of individual teeth may not allow them to lay next to each other ideally. This can adversely affect the appearance of a smile even though the bite may fit perfectly. Third, IPR is used in cases of mild crowding so that the removal of teeth can be avoided.