What is Invisalign® and Is It Right for Me?
When it comes to straightening your teeth, there seem to be endless options now – traditional braces, mail-order aligners, and Invisalign®, to name a few. Invisalign® is a refreshing departure from the metal brackets, rubber bands, headgear, and tooth molds of yesteryear. Instead, your doctor will use advanced technology to map your current smile and use 3D imagery to show you what your results will be. Then your individual aligners will be made using state of the art thermoplastic material for a truly customized smile.
You might think that Invisalign® is only available for simple cases of mildly misaligned teeth, but it’s not! It can be used to treat crowded teeth, underbite, overbite, crossbite, tooth gaps, and baby teeth. For smiles requiring more complex tooth movements, your doctor can even add SmartForce® attachments which help the aligners properly apply force. These are small, barely noticeable, tooth-colored shapes attached directly to your teeth that work like handles for the aligners to grip. They ensure your aligners apply the perfect amount of pressure in the right direction to specific teeth.
Additionally, for tweens and teens requiring adjustment to their bite, Invisalign® offers a mandibular advancement feature. These precision wings are added to the structure of the aligners and push the jaw forward. These replace uncomfortable and bulky headgear and can aid in the correction of class II malocclusions like overbites, and generally improve the appearance of the chin.
So, what is Invisalign® made of? How do I know if it’s right for my child or me? What are the benefits and costs?
We’re glad you asked!
Invisalign® is made of flexible plastic – a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack®. It is FDA approved and free of BPA, BPS, latex, and gluten. The aligners are incredibly thin and nearly invisible, so you can continue to feel confident about your smile as it is straightened.
While not every smile can be straightened with aligners, most can. Over 6 million people have already achieved straighter teeth with Invisalign®, including over 1.4 million teens.
Children as young as six can benefit from what’s called Phase I treatment with Invisalign® First aligners. At this stage, your doctor might recommend early treatment of issues like crowding, spacing, and narrow arches to prevent them from becoming more significant problems in the future.
Tweens and teens are also great candidates for Invisalign®, as this is a very common age group for braces in general. To ensure teens are wearing their aligners enough, Invisalign® Teen includes discreet blue dots on the inside of the rear of the aligners to ensure compliance with the treatment. Aligners need to be worn for at least 22 hours per day to be effective. The blue dot(s) fade with proper wear, thus letting your doctor know if they aren’t being worn frequently enough.
Adults of all ages have also found their perfect smiles with Invisalign®. We don’t believe braces are just for teens, and we also think that you should be comfortable with your appearance as your smile is straightened. Many adults are self-conscious about having braces, but with Invisalign®, you can work on your smile, and no one will be the wiser. Due to the thin, transparent nature of the aligners, many find them to be unnoticeable in most day-to-day interactions.
The most significant benefits people find with Invisalign® is how much quicker they see results and reach their perfect smile. On average, these aligners straighten teeth 50% faster than traditional braces. This is due primarily to Invisalign’s® patented material and the frequency with which aligners are switched out. The combination of these two things dramatically reduces the amount of time needed to reach your desired results. Another significant benefit of Invisalign® is that the aligners can be removed to brush and floss your teeth as you usually would.
The cost of Invisalign® is similar to that of braces. Many insurances cover these aligners the same way they would for traditional braces – either by a percentage of the total treatment cost or in a specific dollar amount towards the total cost. If you have dental insurance, check with your insurer to find out whether your plan covers Invisalign®. Any remaining balance would be due to Dr. Keith Schwartz. Please call us at (954) 42-SMILE/ 427-6453 to discuss payment plans, treatment costs, or to schedule an appointment!