Invisalign braces are an effective way to straighten teeth without the aesthetic and functional drawbacks of traditional braces. They’re a great option for adults who don’t want to spend years dealing with unsightly metal brackets. The custom-made clear plastic alignment trays are barely noticeable, and they can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing. Invisalign braces can be used for kids as well, although they do require daily diligence to work properly.
Invisalign braces might be revolutionary in the world of orthodontics, but the cost is not actually that much more than traditional braces. The cost for Invisalign treatment in San Diego ranges from $3,000-$7,000, although dental insurance might pay for a portion of it. In comparison, the cost for traditional braces is usually around $2,000-$6,000. The cost varies mostly on the specific misalignment issues that need to be addressed.
Like traditional braces, Invisalign braces gradually shift your teeth over time into straighter alignment. The Invisalign trays are made from smooth, comfortable BPA-free plastic. For each patient, we use 3D computer imaging technology to create a complete customized treatment plan.
Every two weeks, you will receive a new set of alignment trays that will put just enough pressure on your teeth to move them into a perfect fit with the tray until you’re ready for a new one. The entire process takes about 12-18 months on average, although some misalignment issues may take longer.
Alignment trays can be removed to eat, brush and floss, but they must be worn diligently for the rest of the day and overnight, ideally for 22 out of the 24 hours in a day. If the trays are not worn for long enough and the teeth don’t match the alignment tray by the end of the two-week period, the next set of aligners won’t work effectively.
When it comes to orthodontic treatment, everyone wants the same thing: straight teeth and a bright, healthy smile. But because everyone is different, there is no single answer to the question of which type of treatment is best. If you’re a person who likes the idea of following strict instructions regarding the use and care of Invisalign trays, and you fully trust in your own commitment to the process, then there’s high likelihood that you’ll enjoy the freedom you get with using Invisalign vs. traditional braces. If, on the other hand, you think maybe you’ll get too relaxed with the removable aligners, or you tend to lose things easily, then you may not find them worth the daily hassle.
Yes, invisalign trays do need to be worn all day - except when eating or drinking. The removability of the trays is a wonderful feature that allows you to continue eating the foods you love and makes cleaning your teeth much easier than with braces. And while almost everyone loves the idea of avoiding the food restrictions associated with traditional orthodontics, the removability of Invisalign trays can backfire if you’re not consistent. Before moving forward with Invisalign, it’s important to think it through carefully and be honest with yourself regarding your commitment to the extra responsibility involved. If the aligner trays are not worn consistently for at least 22 hours a day, it can compromise the outcome, extending the duration of your treatment and stretching your finances.
One of the downsides of Invisalign is that it can increase your risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay. Having the plastic trays snug against your teeth makes it difficult for saliva to reach your teeth and gums, where it helps to harden enamel and wash away plaque and bacteria. Some people who wear Invisalign do experience enamel erosion, but the main reason for this is poor oral hygiene. With Invisalign, keeping your teeth and aligners clean is an important factor in preventing enamel erosion. Your orthodontist will give you a clear set of instructions to follow, and it’s important to adhere to them as best you can. Some key strategies your orthodontist may recommend during your Invisalign treatment include:
● Brush and floss your teeth after every meal
● Rinse your mouth vigorously after eating if you do not have a toothbrush or floss handy
● Always rinse your mouth before replacing your aligner tray
● Never eat or drink anything but water while wearing your aligner trays
● Avoid acidic foods and beverages as much as possible
● Use fluoride toothpaste or other orthodontist-recommended products
● Visit your dentist and orthodontist regularly
While it’s true that enamel erosion can happen with Invisalign treatment, it’s also preventable—as long as you’re consistent and thorough with your oral hygiene routine.
The short answer: Invisalign is generally more expensive than traditional braces. The long answer: Cost shouldn’t be the only factor considered when weighing treatment options. Every treatment method has its pros and cons. Invisalign treatment, for example, is invisible and removable but it does tend to cost more than traditional braces. And traditional braces, though less expensive, are more noticeable and require significant food restrictions that can be difficult to commit to for the duration of treatment. If you’re someone who values the freedom to eat what you want, or you prefer to maintain a more professional appearance, then the extra expense associated with Invisalign treatment may be worth it to you. Weighing all the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment option before committing to one increases your chances of making a decision you’re happy with.
The first step in planning your Invisalign treatment is visiting an orthodontist for an exam. Once it is determined the exact issue or condition that plagues your teeth, Invisalign treatment can begin. First, our dentist Dr.Hage will scan your teeth to create an accurate 3D model of your teeth. Once the model is made, Dr.Hage can plan the needed shifts in your teeth in order to get the desired results. Once all the plans are made, a customized Invisalign aligner will be produced so that you can start getting perfectly aligned teeth. Then, all you need to do is wear your Invisalign braces and start seeing amazing results.
Invisalign braces can be used to treat many of the orthodontic issues that traditional braces address, although extreme misalignment, large gaps, and severely crowded teeth might require permanent brackets or other advanced orthodontic treatment. Issues that Invisalign can treat include:
Misalignment and bite issues are more than aesthetically problematic—they can lead to difficulty with chewing and biting, chipped and worn-down teeth, receding gums, and excess plaque and tartar, which can result in gum disease if left untreated. Invisalign braces help promote optimal oral health.
Invisalign braces have many advantages compared to traditional braces. The ability to remove the trays for eating, brushing, and flossing is an enormous plus, and the nearly invisible look of Invisalign can boost your confidence during treatment. Invisalign braces also require fewer maintenance visits to the dentist, and because the movement is more gradual than with traditional braces, the discomfort is minimal.
However, Invisalign might not be for everyone, especially children who might have trouble resisting the temptation to remove the trays for more than two hours a day. Also, the removable aspect of Invisalign means the trays can be lost or broken, which could result in more money and time spent on treatment.
If you want a straighter smile but you don’t want to call attention to your mouth with traditional braces, Invisalign braces might be right for you. Call Smile Designers at (619) 222-6000 to set up a consultation.