When you first learn that you or your child needs orthodontic treatment, you may be picturing a mouth full of metal braces. Today’s braces are smaller, more aesthetically pleasing, and more efficient than ever before. Although traditional metal braces and aligners have gone through quite the transformation in recent years, many people are unsure about using them to straighten their smile. While there are some misconceptions out there about clear aligners, we’re here to tell you the truth about Invisalign!
At RiverView Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer Invisalign clear aligner therapy as an alternative to traditional braces. This innovative system helps patients to achieve the same beautiful results as braces without using any brackets, wires, or bands. Because Invisalign is a relatively new option for orthodontic treatment, not everyone is aware of what it is and what it can do. There are a few misconceptions out there about Invisalign, so keep reading as we clear them up and let you know just what to expect from the Invisalign system.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign clear aligners came onto the scene in the late 1990s, but similar trays were used for decades before that as post-treatment retainers. Invisalign technology allows trained orthodontists like Dr. Upton to move crooked and misaligned teeth in gradual stages, using nothing more than a series of customized aligners. At the end of each stage, patients replace their current aligner with the next in the series to keep up with the movement of the teeth. This usually happens every 1-2 weeks, but the exact time frame will differ slightly based on the individual.
When it was originally developed, Invisalign was used for simple spacing issues or very mild crowding. As orthodontists began to realize the potential, however, the design improved and they became more efficient in moving teeth in most mild to moderate cases. With patient compliance, Invisalign aligners can be just as effective as traditional braces. Just ask the 7 million patients who have completed Invisalign treatment all over the world!
Does Invisalign treatment take longer than braces?
In order to achieve the desired results, any kind of orthodontic treatment relies on patient compliance. This commitment is particularly important with Invisalign. Traditional braces are fixed to the surface of the patient’s teeth. That means most of the hard work is done without much effort from the patient. However, Invisalign aligners are removable and must be worn 20-22 hours a day in order to be fully effective. Patients who neglect to do so won’t see the results they desire and may deal with longer treatment times.
Because every person’s case is different, there is no “one size fits all” answer as to how long treatment will take. Every patient responds to treatment in their own way, however, most people will wear their Invisalign aligners for anywhere from 4-15 months, with 7-30 aligners typically used over the course of treatment. This is slightly faster than the average time spent in braces!
Is Invisalign more expensive than braces?
There are several factors associated with the overall cost of any type of orthodontic treatment. That’s why we offer different financing options that make Invisalign treatment affordable for our patients. At RiverView Orthodontics, we want to ensure that you’re able to choose a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle at a price you can afford.
Dr. Upton and the RiverView Orthodontics team are committed to providing excellent orthodontic care to patients of all ages in Tuscaloosa, Demopolis, and the surrounding communities. We’re proud to offer a variety of treatments, including affordable payment plans and convenient online payment services. We also take most major insurance plans. Our team will work with you to find a plan that works for you.
Does Invisalign have any advantages over traditional braces?
Invisalign clear aligners give patients freedom and flexibility that traditional metal braces just can’t beat! Food restrictions are a great example. For many of our patients, the hardest part of treatment is giving up some of their favorite foods to protect their braces. They have to avoid anything crunchy or chewy, which eliminates several foods and snacks. With Invisalign, you don’t have to worry about that! Since they can be removed, you can simply take them out before eating, and put them back when you’re done. Not having to worry about food restrictions makes orthodontic treatment much more manageable (and a lot more fun!)
Removable aligners also make maintaining your oral hygiene routine much easier. Brushing and flossing around the extra wires, brackets, and bands can be frustrating and time-consuming. With Invisalign, you remove your aligners and brush and floss as usual. Caring for the aligners is also simple! There are special cleaning kids designed for them, or you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste to gently brush them clean.
With no wires or brackets to get in the way, Invisalign is also a great choice for athletes and musicians who play certain instruments. Since they can be removed for short periods of time, they’re also great for special occasions when a patient wants their natural smile to shine through, such as weddings, prom, or family photos.
Will Invisalign work for everyone?
Invisalign clear aligner therapy tends to work best for teen and adult patients who have all of their permanent teeth. With Dr. Upton’s extensive training and experience with Invisalign treatment, we can confidently treat a multitude of orthodontic issues. When you schedule your FREE initial consultation with Dr. Upton, he’ll be able to determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign treatment, or if another option would better serve you. In many cases patients are able to choose which treatment they prefer!
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
Whatever treatment option a patient chooses, the teeth will always remember their previous places in your mouth. Over time, they’ll naturally begin to drift back to their former positions if there’s nothing in place to prevent it. This is why retainers are an essential component for long-lasting results! Our office will provide you with a retainer once you complete your treatment. It’s important to wear your retainer exactly as directed by Dr. Upton in order to keep your newly straightened teeth in place for years to come.
Trust your smile to the Invisalign experts at RiverView Orthodontics
At RiverView Orthodontics, you can expect nothing less than the best from our expert team. We’re committed to giving you a smile that looks and feels great! As our most popular alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign’s innovative aligner system continues to change the way people approach orthodontic treatment. To find out more about the amazing things Invisalign can do for your smile, contact our office to schedule your FREE consultation!