Invisalign: Before and After
Malocclusion, or misaligned teeth, is one of the most common dental issues we see at Rainier Ave Dental. In fact, nearly everyone in the world has some type of malocclusion, which can be solved with orthodontic treatment. Here is what you need to know about Invisalign before and after.
Most people live just fine with their malocclusion, but many others require treatment. For many years, the only option was traditional braces, but in the late 1990s, Invisalign clear aligners were introduced as an alternative. Aligners have become the treatment of choice among our patients for many reasons- primarily due to shorter treatment times and the fact that the aligners are virtually invisible.
The team at Rainier Ave Dental is committed to making sure that you have an understanding of your treatment before moving forward. Here’s what you need to know about Invisalign clear aligners.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign clear aligners were introduced as an alternative to traditional metal braces in the late 1990s. This treatment method is a series of clear aligners that gradually shift teeth into their appropriate position. It is best for treating mild to moderate malocclusion but may be effective for more severe cases when used in conjunction with attachments.
Attachments are tooth-colored devices that are attached to your teeth to hold the aligners in place.
Advantages of Invisalign Over Traditional Braces
Invisalign clear aligners offer several advantages over traditional braces, including:
- Removable- can be removed for eating/drinking and oral hygiene.
- Transparent- most people won’t even know that you are wearing them
- Shorter timeline- most cases are resolved within 18 months
- More comfortable- aligners are smooth plastic, so you don’t have to worry about brackets and wires poking and cutting your cheeks and lips
Things You Should Know
If you are considering Invisalign clear aligners for your malocclusion, but have some questions or concerns, the team at Rainier Ave Dental can help. Here are a few things you need to know prior to beginning treatment with Invisalign.
Invisalign treatment is for all ages
Invisalign clear aligners are appropriate for all patients who have all of their permanent teeth. We do not recommend it for pediatric patients because their jaws are still forming- plus, they do not always have the responsibility or maturity to wear their aligners as instructed.
You have to wear them for 22hrs
Invisalign clear aligners are removable- and should be removed prior to eating/drinking and taking care of oral hygiene. However, they should be worn for approximately 22 hours a day. If not worn as instructed, the aligners will not be effective.
This may also help with weight loss. This is because the aligners must be removed prior to eating/drinking and you’re limited to 2 to 4 hours a day that you can have them off. This makes you eat faster and possibly less.
Pre-treatment before Invisalign
Some of our patients have additional issues that require treatment before we can begin treating their malocclusion. If your teeth are overly crowded, we may recommend an interproximal reduction- which involves shaving teeth slightly, extractions, or an arch expansion. The method of treatment depends on the severity of the crowding. By doing these things, we create room for your teeth to move.
If you have cavities or tooth decay, we may need to do fillings or crowns before we move forward with Invisalign.
Oral hygiene and brushing changes
Traditional braces make it challenging to brush and floss your teeth because you have to work around the brackets and wires. You’ll need an interdental brush to make things easier. However, with Invisalign clear aligners, you don’t need to make any changes. Simply brush and floss your teeth as you did before you began treatment. You will need to brush your teeth and rinse your aligners after every meal or snack.
Invisalign may be uncomfortable at the beginning
Traditional braces can be uncomfortable as they shift the teeth into position. In addition, the brackets and wires can cause cuts to your cheeks and lips. Invisalign clear aligners are smooth, so you don’t have to be concerned about cuts- but you may have some minor discomfort when you first begin treatment and when you switch to a new set of aligners. However, this discomfort is short-lived and can be treated with OTC pain relievers.
There are several levels of Invisalign treatment, which allow us to customize your treatment to fit your needs and goals.
- Express: up to 5 or 7 aligners
- Lite: up to 14 aligners
- Moderate: up to 20 aligners
- Comprehensive: unlimited aligners
For patients with more severe malocclusions, we may recommend the use of rubber bands and/or buttons. These extras will help the aligners do their job.
When you choose Invisalign to resolve your malocclusion, you can still have your teeth whitened. If you have whitening done with traditional braces, you will have spots on your teeth when your braces are removed. Since Invisalign clear aligners are removable, you can have your teeth whitened without any problems.
Choose Rainier Ave Dental for Your Malocclusion Treatment
If you have a malocclusion that you think may benefit from treatment with Invisalign clear aligners, schedule your consultation with the team at Rainier Ave Dental today. Our dentists have the experience and expertise to help you get the picture-perfect smile you’ve always dreamed of.
We are located on Rainier Ave in Seattle, WA. Our office hours are Monday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Wednesday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Friday by appointment. We look forward to working with you to determine the best treatment for your malocclusion.
Invisalign clear aligners have been on the market for some time, but patients still have a lot of questions. We are more than happy to sit with you and discuss your questions and concerns. However, below are a few of the most common questions we get at Rainier Ave Dental.
How much is Invisalign?
The cost of traditional braces versus Invisalign clear aligners is similar. Invisalign ranges in price from $1,200 for up to 5 aligners to $8,000 for unlimited, depending on the type and severity of your malocclusion. Some dental insurance plans will cover a portion of treatment, while others consider this a cosmetic treatment. Our office staff will contact your insurance company to determine your coverage. We will also explain our options for payment and financing.
How long does Invisalign take?
On average, Invisalign takes 12 to 18 months to fully resolve most mild to moderate malocclusions. Patients with very mild malocclusion often see results within 6 months, while patients with more severe malocclusion may require up to 24 months.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign clear aligners are customized to each patient. They are made of transparent plastic that fits snugly against your teeth, applying even pressure. This pressure gradually forces teeth into their appropriate position.
How to clean Invisalign?
Every time you remove or put in your aligners; you should rinse them with clear, cool water. In addition, they should be brushed at least once daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. You might also want to consider getting a cleanser specifically formulated for aligners.