When Invisalign appeared on the dental scene in the late 1990s, it forever changed the way people straighten their teeth. This innovation offered a way to avoid a mouth full of metal and painful wires and still achieve similar results to braces.
Now, 20 years later, more than 2 million people around the world have used Invisalign, according to the manufacturer, Align Technology Inc. This method for straightening teeth continues to be a popular choice among teens and adults. Why? Because no one has to know that you’re straightening your teeth!
What is Invisalign, exactly, and how does it compare to wearing braces? Invisalign is a good option for fixing such issues as gaps, overbites, underbites and overcrowded teeth. The treatment consists of a set of clear, plastic aligners that gradually move your teeth into position. They are custom-made for each individual patient and fit snugly over the teeth. You replace the aligners as your teeth shift (about every week to two weeks) until your smile transformation is complete.
“Invisalign is a good option for fixing such issues as gaps, overbites,
underbites and overcrowded teeth.”
One great benefit of Invisalign is that the aligners can be removed anytime. Patients take them out for eating (no food restrictions!), brushing their teeth, and flossing, but are encouraged to wear them at all other times. Braces, however, can only be removed by a dental professional and stay in place for the duration of the treatment.
Oral hygiene can be more of an issue with traditional braces. It is difficult and time-consuming to clean your teeth and floss when wearing braces, so those patients are at a greater risk of getting cavities if they do not brush and floss thoroughly. Invisalign patients, however, can brush and floss as usual.
Cost, length of treatment and suitability vary — sometimes substantially — from patient to patient. But, in general, braces and Invisalign are comparable in those areas. Both methods require follow-up visits every four to six weeks. Average treatment time is about a year for Invisalign and one to three years for braces. The average cost for Invisalign is around $5,000; metal braces typically cost $1,800 to $5,500.
“Average treatment time is about a year for Invisalign and one to three years for braces.”
To be sure, Invisalign is not without its drawbacks. Patients might be tempted to remove the aligners more often or for longer than recommended, which will slow down or stop the straightening process. There is also a chance that the aligners could get lost. Furthermore, some complicated bite issues cannot be corrected with Invisalign alone.
We at Enamel Dental are proud to offer Invisalign as a treatment option. If you are interested in learning more about this innovative procedure, click here or call our office for a consultation.