If the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word orthodontics is someone with a mouth full of metal, you’re not alone! This image is one that many people associate with orthodontic treatment, but metal braces aren’t the only option for straightening smiles anymore. Here at Jennings Orthodontics, we offer a variety of exciting treatment options, including Invisalign clear aligners. This innovative system uses a series of removable aligners to correct orthodontic issues and give patients a beautifully aligned smile.
Compared to braces, Invisalign is still a relative newcomer in orthodontics! There are still many people who don’t understand what the system is or how it works, which has led to a few misconceptions about it. If you’ve been exploring the idea of using clear aligners to improve your oral health, it’s important to have accurate information to base your decision on. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the truth about Invisalign!
What is Invisalign?
The Invisalign clear aligners we know and love have only been around for about twenty years, but similar trays were in use for decades before that as post-treatment retainers. Today, Invisalign’s unique software and technology allows us to move crooked and misaligned teeth in stages without the use of brackets, wires, or bands. At the end of each stage, patients will need to replace their current aligner with the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the movement of the teeth. Eventually, all that’s left behind is a straighter, healthier smile!
In its early days, Invisalign was mainly used for simple spacing issues or very mild crowding. As it became more popular, the design improved to the point where we can now use Invisalign to treat many of the most common orthodontic issues just as successfully as braces. You don’t have to take our word for it, though—there are over 8 million people all around the world who have the Invisalign smile to prove it.
How long does Invisalign treatment take?
All orthodontic treatment requires some level of commitment from the patient, but this is essential when it comes to Invisalign aligners. To understand why, it helps to know the difference between fixed and removable orthodontic appliances.
Traditional braces are a fixed appliance, which means the brackets are affixed to the actual surface of the teeth. They don’t require much work on the patient’s part, but Invisalign is a different story. Because the aligners are removable, it’s up to the patient to wear them the required 20-22 hours each day. Patients who neglect to do so may be left with disappointing results and could face longer treatment times as well.
As far as the length of treatment goes, there’s no “one size fits all” answer for that since every smile is different and each patient responds to aligners in their own way. In general, however, you can expect to wear Invisalign aligners for anywhere from 9–15 months, using about 18–30 aligners in that time. The good news? This is actually slightly faster than the average time spent in braces!
Does Invisalign cost more than braces?
There are several factors that go into determining the cost of any treatment, including the complexity of the case and the type of appliance used. At Jennings Orthodontics, we believe everyone should have access to high-quality care and affordable treatment options! We offer payment plans for every budget, and also accept the following forms of payment:
- Cash, check, and major credit cards
- Auto-draft (ACH or automated bank draft)
- Cash or check payment in full (discounted)
If you have insurance that covers orthodontic treatment, we’ll do our best to help you maximize the benefits. For your convenience, we’ll also file your benefit for you.
What are the benefits of Invisalign clear aligners?
Because they’re removable, Invisalign aligners give patients an extra measure of freedom. Take food restrictions, for example. For many patients, one of the toughest parts of treatment is having to give up some of their favorite foods to keep their brackets and wires safe. With Invisalign, you can still indulge in all the snacks you love! The aligners are designed to be removed before eating, then put back in when you’re done. Not having any food restrictions makes orthodontic treatment a lot more manageable, and a good deal more fun, too.
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 also a cinch! There are special kits you can use 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 can be a great option for athletes and musicians who play certain instruments. Since they can be removed for short periods, they’re also perfect for any special occasion when you want your natural smile to shine through, like weddings, prom, or senior portraits.
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
Whatever method of orthodontic treatment you choose, your teeth will always remember the spaces they used to occupy in your mouth. When the gentle pressure of braces or aligners is gone, they’ll naturally begin to drift back towards those positions if nothing is there to stop them. That’s why retainers are so important! We’ll provide you with your own retainer once you’ve finished your treatment. Wearing this retainer exactly as directed by Dr. Jennings will help keep your newly straightened smiles in place for years to come.
Invisalign is a clear winner at Jennings Orthodontics
When you choose Jennings Orthodontics, you’re putting your smile into the best hands in Louisville, Mt. Washington, and the surrounding communities. Dr. Jennings has years of experience using Invisalign to give patients a smile that looks great and feels fantastic, too! If you’d like to learn more about how this innovative system can transform your smile, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Jennings.