What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign uses a series of clear, custom-made aligners to shift crowded or mispositioned teeth into a straighter position. This revolutionary system, available here at Cuozzo Orthodontic Specialists, allows you to incrementally improve the look of your smile with discretion and comfort. Invisalign® has helped patients all over the world straighten their teeth effectively – without the need for metal braces and wires.

What Concerns Can Invisalign Treat?

The Invisalign system is designed to help patients:

  • Shift misaligned teeth into a more desirable position
  • Close gaps and/or spaces between teeth
  • Resolve orthodontic issues such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites

For qualified candidates, Invisalign can address all of these concerns without the use of wires or brackets. To determine if this innovative treatment can help correct your orthodontic issues, contact our office for a consultation with our orthodontist.

What Are the Benefits of Invisalign?

There are many benefits associated with this innovative orthodontic treatment. Invisalign® aligners can be easily taken out at your convenience so you can eat, drink, brush, and floss. The treatment is popular with many of our patients because the aligners are almost invisible to other people due to their clear, plastic composition. Plus, the aligners are known to be much more comfortable than braces, and the length of time necessary for treatment is often less when compared with other orthodontic techniques.

How Invisalign Works: The Treatment Process

These five steps will walk you through our Invisalign® treatment process from beginning to end.

  1. Our experienced orthodontist will discuss your treatment options during your initial consultation. If it is decided that the Invisalign® system is the best option for your needs, you are encouraged to ask any questions you may have about the treatment and our doctor will address all of your concerns.
  2. Next, we will take a digital scan of your teeth and send the images to Invisalign®. These images will be used to design a customized series of trays. Each tray in the series is slightly modified from the one before it, allowing for progressive movement of your teeth into a more desirable position.
  3. You can begin your orthodontic treatment after Invisalign® delivers your series of personalized aligners to our office. The total treatment length and number of aligners will vary depending on your specific needs. Every week, you will change to the next set of aligners in the series. We recommend you wear the aligners every day for at least 22 hours, only removing them to eat, drink or take care of your oral hygiene.
  4. We will arrange office visits periodically to analyze your results.
  5. At the end of your treatment, our doctor will give you retainers to wear at night so your teeth will stay in their new position.

How Long Does Invisalign Take?

Once your Invisalign treatment plan has been created, our orthodontics team will go over it with you and answer any questions you may have. The plan will include the projected length of time Invisalign may take to produce optimal results. Since every individual has different needs and goals, the total treatment time varies from patient to patient. In order to ensure treatment is completed on time, we offer guidelines which typically include wearing the aligners at least 22 hours per day, changing out the aligners as recommended by our orthodontist, and returning for check-in visits at our office.

Does Invisalign Hurt?

Invisalign is known for its ability to improve orthodontic issues in a more comfortable way when compared to other types of treatment. With that in mind, most patients can expect a bit of pressure or soreness in the first few days. This typically occurs because the mouth is simply adjusting to the aligners. Over-the-counter pain medication is usually more than enough to relieve these temporary symptoms.

How Do I Clean My Invisalign Aligners?

Cleaning your aligners is a quick and easy process. Scrubbing them with a soft toothbrush, toothpaste, and cool water is usually all that’s necessary to get them clean. Soaking them once a week in denture cleaner and cool water for an hour is a great way to refresh your aligners.

What Are Some Alternatives to Invisalign?

Invisalign can be an excellent treatment option for the right patient, but the fact is that this procedure is not always an ideal choice for everyone. Patients who have orthodontic concerns that are more severe in nature, as well as those who are simply considering other treatment options, can select from an array of alternatives that may be better suited to their needs. Our practice offers many different types of braces that can benefit patients with teeth misalignment and bite irregularities ranging from mild to severe. Options include traditional metal braces and clear braces. Our orthodontist can talk with you about your needs and goals during the initial consultation and explain all of the options. Together, we can find the treatment that can address your concerns and bring you a beautiful new smile!

How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

The cost of Invisalign is based on a number of variables. Our doctor will review what could affect the ultimate cost of your procedure at the time of your consultation so you are well-informed. Following your conversation with our orthodontist, one of our team members can provide you with an overall estimate for the cost of your treatment plan. If you have an insurance policy, we would be happy to contact your provider to see what they will cover. We can also help formulate a payment plan that works with your specific budget, if desired.

Invisalign® vs. Braces

The differences between Invisalign and metal braces are numerous. Metal braces are the most traditional way of aligning crooked teeth. They are comprised of wires and brackets designed to guide teeth into a straighter position over time. Since metal braces are noticeably apparent, clear braces were developed to accomplish the same goal more discreetly. Invisalign is a removable teeth straightening system that can address mild to moderate orthodontic concerns. By using a series of customized plastic trays, patients are able to straighten their teeth while still having the flexibility to remove their Invisalign aligners as they wish. This feature can make eating, drinking, and cleaning the teeth much easier throughout the treatment process.

Both Invisalign and metal braces have unique benefits, and the most ideal option will ultimately depend on your particular needs. Once you meet with our orthodontist to discuss your orthodontic concerns, he will steer you toward the system that can achieve your smile goals in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

Invisalign® Teen

Invisalign Teen is designed to help our adolescent and teenage patients straighten common misalignment issues discreetly and comfortably. We often find they gravitate toward this system for their orthodontic needs because there are no wires or brackets, the aligners are virtually invisible, and the plastic trays can be removed with ease when necessary. Overall, this technique is very much like Invisalign for adults, but it was created to address adolescent patients’ unique orthodontic needs and lifestyle. If you think your teenager could benefit from Invisalign Teen, please schedule a consultation here at Cuozzo Orthodontic Specialists.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign®

What is Invisalign® made of?

The Invisalign aligners are made of a clear and flexible thermoplastic material called SmartTrack®. This advanced form of plastic is designed to be very thin and pliable, allowing it to fit comfortably and discreetly over your teeth.

How noticeable is Invisalign®?

Invisalign is specifically designed to be virtually unnoticeable. The aligners do not contain metal or mechanical parts that can be easily visible. Invisalign’s use of clear plastic aligners make it one of the more popular orthodontic options available since they are practically undetectable to others while they are on the teeth.

Is Invisalign® covered by insurance?

If your insurance policy offers coverage for orthodontics, there is a good chance that at least partial coverage for Invisalign® is available under your plan. A member of our staff can assist you with any questions you may have about whether Invisalign® is covered by your insurance policy.

What can I eat and drink with Invisalign®?

Since the Invisalign aligners can be easily removed for eating and drinking, there are typically no food or beverage restrictions while undergoing treatment. With this in mind, it’s often recommended that you remember to take the aligners out at mealtimes, and particularly when drinking hot beverages—excessive heat can warp the aligners. Just be sure to brush your teeth (or at least give your mouth a thorough rinse) after eating and drinking, particularly if you’ve consumed items such as berries, wine, tea, or others that may stain the aligners once they are back on your teeth.

Do I need to wear a retainer after Invisalign®?

Wearing your retainer as directed is very important after the Invisalign treatment is complete.

This will help the teeth literally “retain” their new position. The length of time the retainer will need to be worn following Invisalign varies among patients; however, in many cases, individuals are able to scale back the use of the retainer after several months to the point that wearing it only while sleeping is all that’s required. Our orthodontist can provide you with more specific information once your teeth have been evaluated.

For more information on how Invisalign® can discreetly and effectively straighten your teeth, contact Cuozzo Orthodontic Specialists.