How Invisalign Works
How does Invisalign Treatment Work?
Your Invisalign® clear aligners are custom-made for you. The aligners are virtually invisible and fit snugly over your teeth.
Each aligner shifts your teeth slightly, moving them horizontally and vertically and even rotating them when needed. Your aligners are engineered to use the right amount of force in the right place at the right time.
When you change to the next set of aligners (typically every week) your teeth gradually move into position, following a custom treatment plan mapped out by Dr Mansour.
Invisalign clear aligners are made of a proprietary, multilayer SmartTrack® material to gently shift your teeth into place.
The Advantages over Braces
While the results may appear the same—a confident, beautiful smile—when you stop and actually compare Invisalign® to other teeth-straightening options, the advantages become quite apparent. Knowing the pros and cons of each option ahead of time will help you make a more confident decision.
Invisalign vs Braces Comparison Chart
With regular braces, or even other invisible braces that still use brackets, you may experience some or all of the following: pain, discomfort, mouth sores or injuries caused by the brace wires, tooth decay (from inadequate brushing and flossing), plaque buildup, tooth discoloration, tooth/bracket breakage, or difficulty eating. As if that weren’t enough, there are also the personal sacrifices—popcorn, chips, bagels, hard-crusted bread, pizza crust, pretzels, nuts, certain candies…plus apples, carrots, corn on the cob, and more.
Veneers and Similar Treatments
Many patients have asked about the benefits of veneers as compared to Invisalign. While veneers are certainly an option for improving your smile, they only cover up certain dental imperfections, rather than correct them. This means that some existing periodontal problems could remain. Applied to the front side of the teeth only, veneers also require the removal of the surface enamel of each tooth—an irreversible procedure—and need to be replaced every five to 10 years. This can become very expensive... Coffee, tea and red wine need to be avoided to prevent discoloration, and care must be taken to prevent chipping or breaking the veneer. So while the surface look of the teeth may improve with veneers, the underlying tooth and gum problems could still exist.
Of course, there’s always the option of not seeking treatment at all. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but do keep in mind that, if left untreated, many orthodontic issues can often lead to more serious dental and health issues.
Choosing Invisalign treatment is an important dental and financial decision. At your initial consultation, your Dr. Mansour will discuss your needs and evaluate whether Invisalign treatment is right for you.
Your custom treatment plan
Dr. Mansour will use a scanner such as the iTero® digital scanning system to create fast, precise 3D digital images of your teeth. Then we will map out a precise treatment plan, including the exact movements of your teeth and how long your treatment will be. You’ll even get to see how your teeth will move and preview your new smile.
Your Invisalign clear aligners
Your custom-made aligners will be made of our proprietary SmartTrack® material. They’re virtually invisible, so most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them.
Wear your Invisalign clear aligners 20 to 22 hours a day for the best results, taking them out to eat and to brush and floss.
As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth will gently and gradually shift into place. We may recommend that you begin wearing a new set of aligners every week and schedule check-ups every six weeks or so.
At every stage, you’ll be able to see your progress and imagine how far your new smile will take you.
Taking care of your new smile
When your treatment is complete, ask us about a Vivera® retainer. Vivera retainers are custom-made using the same state-of-the-art technology as Invisalign clear aligners.
Is Invisalign® treatment appropriate for you? For the majority of cases, the answer is yes. Invisalign treatment is clinically proven to be effective for a broad range of teeth straightening cases, from mild to complex. And, we’re continuously innovating to expand that range and get even better results.
These are some common concerns we treat with Invisalign clear aligners:
Gaps between teeth can occur with abnormal continued growth of the jawbone. Missing teeth can also cause the surrounding teeth to shift due to the extra space, creating gaps in your teeth. Spacing issues and gaps between teeth can lead to gum problems (due to lack of protection by the teeth), periodontal pockets and increased risk of periodontal disease.
An overbite occurs when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. It's typically caused by genetics, bad oral habits, or overdevelopment of the bone that supports the teeth. This can lead to gum problems or irritation, and/or wear on the lower teeth, and can cause painful jaw and joint problems.
An underbite can occur when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth. It's usually caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or both. It can also be caused by missing upper teeth. This can prevent the normal function of front teeth or molars, which can lead to tooth wear. It can also cause painful jaw and joint problems.
Open bite often occurs when some teeth are unable to make physical contact with the opposing teeth for a proper bite. Most often caused by a genetic abnormal jaw structure or excessive thumb-sucking, an open bite can cause poor or painful chewing, and even speech impairment. It can also lead to greater issues like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Teeth crowding occurs when there is simply a lack of room within your jaw for all of your teeth to fit normally. When left untreated, overly crowded teeth can get worse over time, and result in severely crooked teeth. This crowding can lead to plaque accumulation, tooth decay and an increased chance of gum disease.
Crossbite can occur when the upper and lower jaws are both misaligned. It causes one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth and can happen on both the front and the sides of the mouth. This can cause wear of the teeth, gum disease and bone loss.
Living with Invisalign Aligners
One of the best things about Invisalign® treatment is the minimal impact it has on your everyday life. Since the aligners are so comfortable, you should be able to wear them for the recommended 20 to 22 hours a day without much effort. Here are some comments from people going through treatment:
Maintain Oral Hygiene
The aligners are easily removable, so you can continue to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would. Cleaning your aligners is just as easy with the Invisalign cleaning kit. Or you can simply brush and rinse them in lukewarm water. That's it! Achieving that great smile couldn't be easier!
You'll also remove the aligners each time you eat. This means you can continue to eat all the foods you love without any restrictions or worrying about food getting stuck in your wires and brackets. With other teeth-straightening methods, the simple act of eating can often be troublesome.
For those who are active in contact sports, Invisalign clear aligners let you play without the worry of sharp brackets cutting your mouth. If your sport requires wearing a protective mouthguard, simply remove your aligners and you're good to go!
Your bedtime routine can continue as before, with the simple addition of cleaning your aligners. You won't be struggling with trying to floss and brush in between brackets and wires, which can be time-consuming.
Your smile is an investment in yourself.
The cost of Invisalign® treatment is similar to braces, but that’s where the similarity ends. Invisalign clear aligners are removable and virtually invisible, so you can keep living your life and caring for your teeth throughout treatment the same way you always have.
And Invisalign treatment is now up to 50 percent faster with weekly aligner changes.*
Other clear aligners may attract attention with lower prices, but with Invisalign treatment you get the most advanced clear aligner system in the world. No other treatment system can offer:
- innovations based on 20 years of research,
- a track record of more than 4 million patients, and
- proprietary, multilayer SmartTrack® material, proven to fit better and more comfortably.**
What Determines Your Cost?
Talk with Dr. Mansour about the value of a professional fit and in-office visits to track your progress. And then ask about the cost of your Invisalign treatment (often $3,000 to $8,000 in the United States). This will be determined by:
- the complexity of your case,
- how long you are in treatment,
- your orthodontic insurance coverage.
Your Payment Options
Many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign treatment just as they would other orthodontic treatments and may cover up to $3,500 of your treatment cost. Ask your doctor about how to use your orthodontic insurance coverage to pay for Invisalign treatment.
Did you know you can apply your flexible spending account toward Invisalign treatment? You can set aside up to $2,550 of your pretax dollars through your FSA and use those funds to help cover the cost of Invisalign treatment.
Care Credit offers flexible and affordable monthly payment plans. If your insurance doesn’t cover all of your treatment costs or if cost is a concern for you, discuss your options with us.
Invisalign Treatment Cost Is Similar To That Of Braces
But that’s where the similarity ends.