According to Align Technology Inc.’s website, over 3,000,000 patients have been treated with Invisalign® since the company went to market with the product in 1999. To help you determine whether you want to be one of the ever-growing number of satisfied Invisalign® patients, we’ve compiled this list of frequently asked questions (and their answers, of course).
What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® aligners are orthodontic devices that look much like tooth-whitening trays. The removable aligners are made of a clear (nearly invisible, in fact), BPA-free plastic and are worn over the teeth to correct a variety of orthodontic issues including overbite, underbite, crowding, and gapped teeth.
How does Invisalign® work?
Invisalign® works by using a series of custom-designed aligners that gradually and gently move the teeth into place. Typically, the patient will advance to a new aligner in the series every two weeks until treatment is complete.
How long does Invisalign® treatment take?
Treatment can last anywhere from 6-18 months or longer, depending on the degree of movement needed and the complexity of the case. In some situations, a patient will wear traditional braces for a short time initially and then move on to Invisalign® for the remainder of their treatment.
Is Invisalign® treatment painful?
You may feel some slight pressure and discomfort for a day or two after starting a new aligner. Starting a new aligner before bed allows your teeth to adjust while you’re sleeping, which will minimize the discomfort you feel the next day.
Are there any eating restrictions with Invisalign® treatment?
No! Because the aligners are removable, you do not have the eating restrictions associated with traditional braces.
Can I smoke while wearing Invisalign®?
The aligners may stain if you smoke while wearing them, so it is not recommended.
Can I chew gum while wearing Invisalign®?
Gum will stick to the aligners so you should remove them prior to gum chewing.
How often do I wear the Invisalign® aligners?
For best results, you should wear Invisalign® 22 hours a day. The aligners can be removed for eating, drinking (other than water), and oral hygiene.
How often do I visit the office during Invisalign® treatment?
Typically, you will only need to stop by for a quick visit every six weeks; however, you may need to come in more frequently or for a longer visit depending on your progress and if any issues should arise during treatment.
How do I clean my aligners?
Cleaning your aligners is quick and easy. You can use the Invisalign® cleaning system or simply brush and rinse them in lukewarm (not hot!) water.
Will wearing Invisalign® affect my speech?
Speech impediments caused by wearing the aligners are typically minor and short-lived. You may have a slight lisp while your tongue is adjusting to your new aligners, but this should clear up within a day or two.
Will I need to wear retainers after my Invisalign® treatment?
Retention is often recommended to ensure long lasting results after Invisalign® treatment is complete; Dr. Irwin will advise you as to what is appropriate for your own unique post-treatment maintenance needs.
Does Invisalign® work for children?
Children can start Invisalign®Teen as soon as they have lost all baby teeth and their second molars have started to erupt, which usually occurs by age 13. Although there are cases where the teeth are ready at a younger age, maturity and responsibility are equally important factors to consider when pursuing Invisalign® treatment for your child or teen.
How much does Invisalign® cost?
The cost of Invisalign® will depend on the length of treatment and the complexity of your unique case. If your insurance covers orthodontic treatment it will likely cover Invisalign®, but check with your provider to be sure. Here at Vancouver Orthodontic Specialists, PLLC, we accept most insurances, offer military and union discounts, and offer a variety of payment plans to help make Invisalign® an affordable option for everyone.
We hope this FAQ answers your questions regarding Invisalign® treatment. If you have any questions that weren’t answered here, or you’re simply ready to get started with your orthodontic treatment, contact us today to schedule your free Invisalign® consultation and exam where we will go over your treatment options and associated costs, and we will answer any further questions that you may have.