7 Things to Know Before Starting Invisalign Treatment
Straightening teeth is serious business even though it is all about making beautiful smiles. As with any medical or dental procedure, it is important to get as much information as possible so that you can make the best informed decision. Here are some things to consider when looking into treatment with Invisalign clear aligners.
There is a big difference between DIY orthodontic aligner treatment and Invisalign treatment: Some online DIY orthodontic companies make their treatment sound so easy. Perhaps you take a selfie and/or an impression of your teeth or get your teeth scanned. Next, you receive aligners in the mail and after so many months - straight teeth! Right? What else is there to think about? Well, there is a lot to think about. Moving teeth orthodontically is challenging and involves many factors to achieve a healthy, aesthetic, and functional smile. Unmonitored treatment can lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage such as tooth and gum loss, changed bites and other issues.
Consider this question:
What transforming medical treatment would you undergo without an in-person, pre-treatment evaluation or ongoing in-person supervision from a medical professional?
Invisalign is the leader in clear aligner therapy with over 20 years of experience, industry leading research and development, plus successful treatment of over 6 million cases. Invisalign invests a significant amount of time and money to continually enhance their system in order to achieve the best clinical outcomes. Why choose the rest when you can have the best – your smile is worth it!
1 - Your teeth and mouth should be in optimal health prior to starting Invisalign treatment.
Moving teeth orthodontically puts strain and stress on the gums and bone that support your teeth. It is critical that the overall health of your mouth is optimal - potential problems should be addressed and corrected before starting your Invisalign treatment. In addition, you should advise your dentist and hygienist that you are interested in pursuing Invisalign. They may recommend completing certain restorative procedures such as crowns or fillings in advance. The Invisalign aligners are designed and manufactured to custom fit to your teeth. If there are any changes to the anatomy of your teeth during your treatment (such as a new crown), the aligners may not fit and a new scan will need to be made. This can create a delay in the overall length of treatment.
2 - One other thought on caring for your teeth during Invisalign treatment.
Your dentist or hygienist may advise that you come more frequently for teeth cleanings to closely monitor the health of your gums. Consequently, it may be advisable to have three to four dental checkups per year. Remember the goal is to not only give you the best smile but also maintain the health of your mouth!
3 - Don’t rule yourself out as an Invisalign candidate.
Many patients have been told that they are not good candidates for Invisalign treatment or that Invisalign is not appropriate for their type of bite. This is simply not true! With advances in the Invisalign system, almost every type of malocclusion can now be treated with Invisalign aligners. And in many cases, the final result will be superior to what can be achieved with traditional braces. The critical factor is the experience of the Invisalign provider. Moving teeth with plastic is a lot different from moving teeth with braces. Orthodontists have 2 to 3 years of advanced training in moving teeth and typically the more cases an orthodontist has completed with Invisalign, the better the results. So keep on looking until you find a provider that says “Yes” for your Invisalign treatment!
4 - Age is not a factor in moving teeth.
Teeth are designed to biologically move and adjust throughout your lifetime. Teeth can be straightened whether you are 8 or 80! Don’t let age be a factor in determining whether you want to improve the fit and alignment of your teeth. If your current bite is causing damage or making it difficult to clean your teeth, don’t wait. Every dentist will tell you that the best oral health comes from having your own natural teeth intact and present. Fillings, veneers, crowns, bridges, and/or implants have their place, but they are not the same as your real teeth. Be proactive and fix small problems before they become big problems. It is never too late!
5 - Invisalign costs the same as traditional braces.
For most people, cost is a concern. A common misconception is that Invisalign, which is perceived as a superior or more “advanced” treatment, is going to be more expensive than traditional forms of orthodontic care. This is not the case! Most practices charge the same for Invisalign as they do for braces. The goal is to provide the right treatment for you and to make sure that cost is not a barrier to getting Invisalign treatment.
6 - Invisalign cases typically treat out faster than traditional braces cases.
One of the great advantages is that Invisalign cases can typically be treated in a shorter time frame than similar cases treated with braces. You may wonder how this can be possible. It has to do with a couple of key factors:
First, the forces applied by Invisalign aligners are more gentle but continuous in nature. This allows the supporting bone and gums to respond to tooth movements in a healthier and natural biological manner. This results in less inflammation and more rapid tooth movement.
Second, the design of the Invisalign system is such that all tooth movements are programmed for simultaneous and predictable positioning of the teeth with each set of aligners. This is a different process than with traditional braces where adjustments are made at one appointment and each subsequent appointment is a response to the prior tooth adjustments.
A good analogy is that Invisalign is like taking a straight path from point A to point B. With traditional braces, it is like taking a path with small zigzags to get to the same destination. What path would you rather walk?
7 - Invisalign is more comfortable than traditional braces.
Whatever you have heard about moving teeth – throw out with yesterday’s spoiled trash. Invisalign is by far and away more comfortable than traditional braces. Most patients experience less discomfort with Invisalign and typically the soreness lasts for less than a day. In addition, the aligners feel smooth in the mouth and rarely cause any type of irritation to the inside of the lips and cheeks. Furthermore, when starting treatment, the adjustment time to adapting to the first set of aligners is short (1 to 2 days) versus weeks of adjustment to traditional braces. Last, there are no emergencies with Invisalign. No poking wires, broken brackets, cuts to the lips from an inadvertent bump to the mouth etc. All the more reasons to choose Invisalign to move your teeth!
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!