• Dr. Tanner

Myth or Reality? The Truth About Invisalign Treatment

Updated: Aug 29

There is much information and some disinformation circulating about Invisalign treatment. Unfortunately, the disinformation or false truths can lead patients away from making sound decisions regarding their orthodontic care. The purpose of this blog is to shed light on the truth about Invisalign treatment.

Here are some commonly heard statements regarding Invisalign treatment:

  • Invisalign costs more than braces

  • Insurance will not cover Invisalign

  • Invisalign moves teeth faster than braces

  • Invisalign does not work or does not work for me

  • Invisalign needs to be worn 20 to 22 hours per day

Let's dig in to each one of these statements and separate Fact from Fiction!

Invisalign costs more than braces – Fiction: When Invisalign first came to the market in the late 1990’s, many orthodontists were inclined to add a “surcharge” for the product to help cover the cost of the high lab bill. As time went on, practitioners modified their approach and most no longer upcharge for Invisalign treatment. There are now some clinicians who even charge less for Invisalign aligners than traditional braces! The bottom line, as a consumer, is that you should not go to an office that charges more for Invisalign than braces for your orthodontic treatment.

Insurance will not cover Invisalign - Fiction: Insurance companies do not distinguish what appliance system is used to straighten teeth. For example, there is an insurance code D8090, which covers adult comprehensive orthodontic care. There are also codes for teen and pre-teen orthodontic treatment cases. This is the only piece of information insurance companies request in addition to the treatment fee and length of treatment. Insurance companies do not distinguish if the orthodontist chooses a particular brand of brackets (braces) or clear aligners (Invisalign) to accomplish the outcome. This also holds true for reimbursements from Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s).

Invisalign moves teeth faster than braces – Fact: Most experienced orthodontic clinicians would agree that Invisalign is more efficient at moving teeth than traditional braces. There are a number of reasons for this fact: the upper and lower teeth are unlocked from each other, light continual pressure is being applied on a weekly basis (with weekly aligner changes), there are less missteps with tooth movements as these movements are pre-programmed into each new aligner and all teeth move simultaneously. A typical case treated with Invisalign will finish about 6 months faster than the same case with braces.

Invisalign does not work or does not work for me – Fiction: Invisalign will work and has been proven successful over and over again with many different case types. The key for an effective and efficient result starts with choosing an orthodontist who has treated many Invisalign patients. Experience is invaluable – especially on more challenging cases. With any tooth moving system, whether it be with traditional braces, lingual braces, or clear aligners, there are a lot of nuances and tricks that need to be mastered to achieve an excellent outcome. Once you have chosen a reputable and experienced orthodontist, then the key to success is to closely follow the doctor’s recommendations and consistently wear the aligners.

Invisalign needs to be worn 20 to 22 hours per day – Fact: Research has shown that the most predictable and efficient tooth movement occurs when teeth feel light continuous pressure. A good analogy about tooth movement is the example of pushing a ball up a gradual slope. As soon as you stop applying pressure or force, the ball begins to slowly roll back down the hill. Even worse, whatever progress made is lost if you completely let go of the ball. The same is true for your teeth. As soon as teeth no longer feel force from the aligners, they begin to drift back to their original position. Thus, if you keep 20 to 22 hours of pressure on the teeth each day, your teeth will move in the proper direction and ultimately you will get the desired result!

If you have questions about the benefits of Invisalign treatment, please call Visage Orthodontics at 505-670-6145 or visit our appointment page to schedule a complimentary consultation with me, Dr. Tanner, your Santa Fe Invisalign specialist. I will review everything in detail and develop a customized treatment plan to fit your lifestyle and budget.

A confident and beautiful smile is right around the corner!