In the past, there weren’t many options for orthodontic treatment. If you wanted to straighten your smile, it might mean months or even years of uncomfortable, obvious braces. Thankfully, modern braces have undergone a major makeover in recent years! With smaller brackets, a more aesthetically pleasing appearance, and more efficient movement of the teeth, traditional braces are better than ever. But even with all these exciting improvements, we still speak to many patients who just aren’t sure about using braces to improve their oral health, including Invisalign clear aligner therapy. With so many misconceptions out there, Szymanowski Orthodontics is here to tell you the truth about Invisalign!
Thanks to Invisalign, we’re able to give patients the same beautiful results as braces, but without using any brackets, wires, or bands. While traditional braces have a long history of success, Invisalign is relatively new to the orthodontics scene. Since it’s only been around for about twenty years, many people aren’t sure what Invisalign actually is, or what the system can do to correct orthodontic issues. Keep reading for more information on the truth about Invisalign clear aligners!
What is Invisalign?
Although Invisalign clear aligners were developed in the late 1990s, similar trays had already been in use for years as post-treatment retainers. Invisalign was originally used for simple spacing issues or very mild crowding. Once orthodontists began to take notice of its potential, the aligners were redesigned to more efficiently move teeth in cases ranging from mild to moderately severe.
The Invisalign system utilizes unique software and technology to move crooked and misaligned teeth in stages with 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 will usually be every one to two weeks, depending on the specific treatment plan. When used as directed by an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Szymanowski, Invisalign aligners are just as effective as traditional braces.
Does Invisalign treatment take longer than braces?
It’s important to follow your orthodontist’s recommendations regardless of the treatment method, but this is absolutely essential for patients who choose Invisalign. Traditional braces are fixed to the actual surface of the teeth, so most of the hard work is done without too much on the patient’s part. But Invisalign aligners are removable, so it’s up to the patient to wear them 20-22 hours a day throughout the course of treatment. Those who neglect to do so won’t see the results they desire and may face longer treatment times in general.
We’re often asked how long a patient will need orthodontic treatment. The truth is, there’s no “one size fits all” answer. Every case is different and each patient will respond to treatment in their own way. In general, however, the total treatment time averages 12-15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is 36-48. For comparison, this is actually slightly faster than the average time spent in braces!
Does Invisalign cost more than braces?
There are several factors associated with the overall cost of any treatment, but if all things are considered equally, Invisalign tends to cost the same as traditional braces.
Our team is committed to providing high-quality orthodontic care to meet every budget and we’ll work with you to achieve a confident smile you love! Financial considerations shouldn’t stand in the way of excellent oral health, so we offer patients the following financial options:
- Interest-free monthly payments
- No down payment, third-party financing through CareCredit
- Automatic credit card or bank drafts through OrthoBanc
- Convenient online credit card payment
- Payment by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and CareCredit
A beautiful smile is always in the budget with Szymanowski Orthodontics!
What advantages does Invisalign have over traditional braces?
Invisalign gives patients more freedom and flexibility than traditional treatment methods. Food restrictions are an excellent example of this. For many patients, one of the biggest adjustments during their treatment is having to give up some of their favorite foods to protect their braces. They must avoid anything crunchy or chewy, which eliminates several popular foods and snacks. With Invisalign, you’ll never have to worry about what you eat! The aligners are simply taken out before eating, then put back in when the patient is done. Not having any food restrictions makes the treatment process a lot more fun!
Removable aligners also make it easier to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing around wires, brackets, and bands can be frustrating and time-consuming; but Invisalign aligners are removed before brushing and flossing as normal. Caring for the aligners themselves is a breeze, too! There are special kits designed to clean them, or they can be gently brushed using toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
Without any wires or brackets to get in the way, Invisalign’s removable aligners are great for athletes and musicians who play certain instruments. And since they can be removed for short periods of time, they’re also perfect for any special event when a patient wants their natural smile to shine through, such as prom, weddings, or even senior pictures.
Is Invisalign an option for every smile?
Most patients in our office will be eligible for Invisalign. However, the system is most effective for correcting mild to moderately difficult orthodontic issues, since complex or severe cases may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner can achieve.
When you schedule a complimentary consultation with our practice, our doctors will be able to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you or if a more traditional method of treatment would be better. In many cases, patients are able to choose between braces and Invisalign aligners!
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
Whatever method of orthodontic treatment a patient chooses, the teeth will always remember their previous places in the mouth. Over time, they will naturally begin to drift back towards those positions if nothing is there to stop them. That’s why retainers are an essential part of achieving long-lasting results! Our office will provide you with a retainer once your treatment is complete. Wearing this retainer exactly as directed will help keep your beautiful new smile in place for years to come.
Discover the smile of your dreams with Invisalign by Szymanowski Orthodontics
Invisalign is our most popular alternative to traditional braces, and it’s no secret why! This innovative aligner system continues to change the way people view orthodontic treatment and we’d love to discuss it with you. Not all dentists or orthodontists using Invisalign have the same skills and experience, but our own Dr. Szymanowski is a certified expert.
To learn more about the incredible things our expert team can do for your smile with Invisalign, get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE consultation!