The patient’s guide to Invisalign

Invisalign is a common procedure we do in our office to straighten and align teeth for both cosmetic and functional purposes. Our patients love the quick treatment and excellent outcomes they are getting with this procedure. We often get a lot of questions about this treatment and have compiled a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” here to help you get informed and see if this treatment may be right for you!

If you’d like to see more before and after photos of Invisalign treatment done in our office, click here.

What type of case is most commonly treated in our office?

In our office we usually treat patients with mild to moderate crowding or spacing.  These patients usually have had braces in the past and didn’t wear their retainers and now need some revisions.  We usually aren’t looking to make major adjustments to the bite. If the patient does need major bite adjustments or if the case is more complex, we refer to one of our amazing local Orthodontists for treatment!

How do you decide how long the treatment is? 

We start with a digital scan of your teeth (no more goopy impressions) and a set of photos.  That information is submitted to Invisalign and a treatment plan is designed according to the patient goals.  This treatment plan determines the length of the treatment. From there we order a series of aligners and they ship to our office all at once!

How do I know if I will like the outcome?  

With our digital scanner we are able to simulate the outcome of your specific teeth before we begin.  We can design your ideal smile together using this software!

How long do I wear the aligners? 

Aligner wear is 20-22 hours per day.  You only take them out to eat, and you wear them at night.

What happens at the end of treatment? 

At the end of the series of aligners that move the teeth we move on to retainers.  Initially the retainers need to be worn full time, just like the aligners were.  This is because when we move teeth, we need to break down the bone around the tooth.  It takes about 3 months for the bone to heal around the new position of the tooth and create a stabile new position.  After this you can taper down the wear of the retainers until you are just wearing them at night.  Retainers are FOR LIFE! They will always need to be worn at night.

Attachments and IPR:

These are two tools we use to help create successful movements with Invisalign. The attachments are small clear “bumps” that we apply to the tooth with clear filling material.  These act like a bracket to help move the tooth properly.  IPR (Interproximal reduction) uses a sandpaper strip to remove tiny bits of enamel between the teeth to create space for patients that has moderate crowding especially of the lower front teeth.  This process is painless and invisible.

How much does it cost?

The cases in our office as of this posting range from $2000-$5500.  This pricing depends on the length and difficulty of the case. 

Does insurance cover it? 

This depends on your specific Insurance plan.  If you have an adult Ortho Benefit, you’ll see an amount that they will cover will range between $1000-$2500.

How long are the cases? 

Most cases are between 14-20 weeks, but they can range from 5 weeks to a year or two.  In our office we usually don’t treat cases that are longer than 6 months.

How often are my appointments? 

The first appointment is for a scan (about 30 minutes).  About 2 weeks later we get the case back from Invisalign and can start the treatment.  At that initial appointment we apply any attachments that we need for the case and do some IPR if needed.  This appointment is about 30-40 minutes.  The patient usually takes home about 6 weeks of aligners on this day and changes them at home weekly.  We usually get our patients back every 4-6 weeks after that to check the progress and give them more aligners.  The final appointment includes removal of any attachments and delivery of the retainers.

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