Invisalign is often billed as “the clear alternative to braces.” Although it has been around since the 1990s, many people are just now becoming aware of this thoroughly modern approach to straightening teeth. Here are the top 10 questions about Invisalign.
1. How does Invisalign work?
Treatment begins with a 3-D digital image of your current smile. Your dentist will use this image to create a detailed treatment plan, and show you what your teeth will look like at each phase. Then, a custom-made series of clear plastic aligners are created. On average, Invisalign aligners changes are done weekly.
2. What are the benefits of Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible, and are removable. You need to wear them for 20 to 22 hours per day, but you can remove them for eating, drinking, and oral hygiene. In addition, you will see the orthodontist less frequently than you would with braces, since there are no adjustments to be made. Invisalign is also far more comfortable, since there is no scratchy metal in your mouth.
3. Why should I choose an orthodontist who is an Invisalign Elite Provider?
Although many dentists are trained to provide Invisalign, only those who undergo continuing education courses and regularly submit treatment results for review can become Preferred Providers or Elite Providers. Elite Providers have the most experience, with a minimum of 300 previous patients treated with Invisalign and a minimum of 50 Invisalign treatments every 6 months.
4. I had braces, but my teeth have now shifted again. Can Invisalign help?
Many current Invisalign patients had braces as teens or young adults, but their teeth shifted afterwards. Invisalign is an excellent way to correct this shifting without the social awkwardness that metal braces can cause.
5. Can I use Invisalign with dental veneers?
It depends. We will carefully evaluate your current dental situation, including the location of your veneers, and make a determination as to whether Invisalign will work for you.
6. I have dental bridgework. Can I use Invisalign?
Invisalign can be used on patients with bridgework. We will discuss your individual situation and determine the best course of action to meet your needs.
7. Can I eat, drink, smoke, and chew gum with Invisalign?
Because Invisalign is removable, you do not have dietary restrictions during treatment as you would with traditional braces. However, you need to be careful about what you consume when wearing aligners. It is generally okay to consume a moderate amount of either alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, as well as snacks that are not sticky or hard, without removing the aligner. If you do so, be sure to thoroughly clean your teeth and the aligners soon afterward. If you are eating a meal, or consuming anything sticky or hard to chew, including gum, be sure to take your aligner out first. Smoking can discolor the aligners.
8. How Much Does Invisalign Cost?
The exact price of Invisalign varies depending on many variables, from geographic location to the current state of your teeth. It is generally in the same range as braces, though. If Invisalign is a good option for you, we will provide a total cost breakdown, including office visits as well as all aligners, before we ever begin work.
9. Is Invisalign covered by dental insurance?
It depends on your contract. In most cases, if your plan covers braces, it will likely cover part of the cost of Invisalign. Our highly skilled office staff will be happy to go over your insurance information with you and let you know how much of the cost is covered.
10. How can I pay for Invisalign?
We offer a couple of different options to help you pay for Invisalign. If you have good credit, you may qualify for our zero-interest, in-house financing. Otherwise, we accept CareCredit, an instant-approval healthcare financing service with several different payment options. Speak with our office staff to determine the best financing option for you.
Dr. Jennifer Stachel is a New York City dental specialist who has completed an advance post-doctoral course, accredited by the American Dental Association, in the specialty of orthodontics. Dr. Stachel is currently a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, American Dental Association and the New York State Dental Association. If you are ready for an orthodontics evaluation from a caring and trusted professional, call Stachel Orthodontics today at (212) 877-7177.