If you’ve recently learned that you or your child need treatment to correct orthodontic issues, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. Taking the first step towards the smile you’ve always wanted can be exciting, but you may also be unsure about what lies ahead. Fortunately, today’s orthodontic technology means that patients have more choices than ever before when it comes to treatment options!
Here at Shaw Orthodontics, these options include traditional metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign clear aligners. Invisalign is currently the most popular alternative to braces available, and it’s not hard to see why! The cost of Invisalign is usually comparative to more traditional braces. On occasion, however, they may be slightly more expensive. This leads some patients to wonder if the Invisalign system is worth the difference in cost.
Our team is confident that Invisalign aligners are a rewarding investment for almost any smile! To learn more about the benefits of Invisalign, keep reading below.
Invisalign makes treatment nearly invisible
Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest reasons for Invisalign’s popularity is the flexibility of clear aligners. These are barely noticeable to most people, which is exciting for patients who have been anxious about treatment making their smile stand out! Since they can be removed for short periods of time, clear aligners are also perfect for any special event when a patient wants their natural smile to shine through, such as proms, weddings, or senior pictures.
Invisalign makes it easier to keep your smile healthy during treatment
Oral hygiene is important for everyone, but orthodontic patients in particular need to maintain good dental hygiene during treatment. This can be a major adjustment with traditional braces, though, especially in the early days. Brushing and flossing around the brackets and bands can be time-consuming, and they also make it harder to remove any lingering food particles or plaque. Invisalign aligners are simply removed before brushing and flossing as normal, making it easier to carry on your typical oral care routine! Caring for the aligners themselves couldn’t be easier, either. There are cleaning kits designed specifically for Invisalign aligners, or they can be gently brushed using toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
The flexibility you need with Invisalign
Because they can be removed for short periods of time, Invisalign aligners offer patients much more freedom than what traditional treatment methods can offer! Food restrictions are just one example of this. Sticky and crunchy foods can wreak havoc on brackets, bands, and wires, so patients in braces must avoid them throughout the treatment process. This often eliminates several of your favorite snacks and foods. With Invisalign, you can still eat anything you want, any time you want! Simply remove the aligner before eating, then replace it when you’re done.
Invisalign may work more quickly than braces in some cases
Every case is different and each patient will respond to treatment in their own way, so, unfortunately, there’s never a “one size fits all” answer as to how long a patient will need orthodontic treatment.
Patient compliance is an important part of any orthodontic treatment, but it’s essential with Invisalign. For the system to work correctly, you’ll need to wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day, throughout the treatment process. You’ll also be responsible for switching your aligners out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks, allowing them to keep up with the movements of your teeth. If you don’t do this, your treatment may take longer and not provide the lasting results you’re looking for.
For patients who are fully compliant and stay on track, the average treatment time with Invisalign can be anywhere from about 6 to 18 months. This is actually slightly faster than the average time spent in traditional braces!
Invisalign can successfully treat a wide range of orthodontic issues
In their earlier days, Invisalign aligners were really only used to correct simple spacing issues or mild crowding. As orthodontists began to realize the potential of the system, however, the design of the aligners was greatly improved. Invisalign can now be used to treat the following conditions just as effectively as traditional braces:
- gaps between teeth
- deep overbite
- open bite
- excessive overjet
Special features for teens
When it comes to the treatment benefits and underlying technology, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are the same. However, Invisalign Teen was developed with features that meet the unique needs of teenage patients, including:
As we already mention, patient compliance is critical to success with Invisalign treatment. You must wear your aligners as directed by Dr. Shaw for them to work properly. The compliance indicators incorporated into the Invisalign Teen aligners fades from blue to clear, providing a visual approximation of wear to help teenage patients stay consistent in wearing their aligners. This also helps parents and orthodontists know the teen is holding up their end of the bargain!
This feature accommodates the growth of the second molars in young adults, helping to keep space open for unerupted teeth and making it possible to treat a wider range of conditions with Invisalign. This is perfect for younger patients who are still growing!
It is not uncommon for our teen patients to lose or break an aligner. While teens should always treat their aligners with care, at Shaw Orthodontics we know accidents happen, so there’s no need to worry if this occurs! Invisalign Teen will provide up to six replacement aligners at no charge, just in case.
Get the smile you deserve with Invisalign and Shaw Orthodontics
While Invisalign is an exciting option for many patients, it may not work for everyone. Generally speaking, the aligners tend to be most successful for teen and adult patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are particularly complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve.
When you schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Shaw in our Rockwall or Watauga office, he’ll examine your smile and determine if treatment with Invisalign would be a good fit for your smile. You can trust Shaw Orthodontics to only recommend the treatment we believe will be the best fit for your unique smile!
During your first visit with us, we’ll also outline what you’ll be investing in your smile. You’ll learn more about our payment options and insurance coverage. When you have all the right information, you’ll be able to weigh your treatment options more effectively. When you know there’s a subtle alternative to braces available that’s comfortable, flexible, and incredibly efficient, any added cost can feel worth it!