Even though traditional braces have undergone an impressive transformation in recent years, many of our teen and adult patients are still hesitant about using them to straighten their smiles and improve oral health. Here at Grubaugh Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer patients the chance to achieve a confident smile without any brackets, wires, and bands thanks to Invisalign! With so much information out there, we’re here to tell you the truth about Invisalign.
Invisalign clear aligner therapy is an exciting alternative to traditional braces. It offers the same exceptional results, but allows patients a bit more freedom and flexibility! Compared to braces, which have long been the standard when it comes to treatment methods, Invisalign aligners are relatively new on the orthodontics scene. We’ve found that because of this, there are a few misconceptions out there about how they work, how effective they really are, and how much they cost. To learn more about the truth behind Invisalign, keep reading below!
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign clear aligners as we know them were developed by a company called Align Technology in 1998. However, similar trays had been in use for decades before that as post-treatment retainers. The Invisalign system developed software and technology that gave orthodontists like Dr. Grubaugh the opportunity to move crooked and misaligned teeth in stages using customized aligners. To keep up with the movements the teeth are making, patients are responsible for switching their current aligner out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks on average.
In the early days, Invisalign was really only used to treat simple spacing issues or very mild crowding. Once orthodontists became aware of its potential and the system began to grow in popularity, the design improved dramatically. When used as directed, Invisalign can now be just as effective as traditional braces at successfully treating many mild to moderate cases.
Does Invisalign treatment take longer than treatment with braces?
Orthodontic treatment of any kind relies upon patient compliance, but this is especially important with Invisalign aligners! Since braces are affixed to the surface of the teeth, much of the hard work is done without too much effort on the part of the patient. Aligners are a removable appliance, however, so it’s up to patients to wear them for the recommended 20-22 hours a day for the treatment to be successful. Failure to do so can result in longer treatment times or inferior results.
Because every case is different and each patient will respond to treatment in their own way, there’s no “one size fits all” answer as to how long a patient will need to be in braces or aligners. In general, the total treatment time for compliant Invisalign patients is anywhere from 6 to 18 months. That’s actually slightly faster than the average time spent in braces!
Is Invisalign more expensive than braces?
Like many things, Invisalign was considered quite pricey when it first entered the orthodontic market. As aligners have become more popular and more easily accessible over the years, that cost has decreased. While there are several factors associated with the overall cost of orthodontic treatment, on average aligners tend to cost just about the same as traditional braces these days.
Grubaugh Orthodontics is committed to providing affordable, high-quality orthodontic care for any budget! We offer a variety of payment options for your convenience and accept many major insurance plans as well. Our team will even verify your orthodontic benefits and process your insurance forms to help you have the most positive, stress-free orthodontic experience possible.
What advantages does Invisalign offer over traditional braces?
Because they can be removed for short periods of time, Invisalign aligners give patients flexibility that more traditional treatment methods just can’t match! Take food restrictions, for example. Crunchy and chewy foods can damage brackets and wires, so patients in braces must avoid these items throughout the treatment process. This can eliminate several popular foods and snacks, which can be frustrating. That’s never an issue with Invisalign! You can still eat all your favorite foods! You simply take the aligners out any time you want to eat, then put them back in when you’re done.
Removable aligners also make it easier to keep your teeth and gums clean throughout the treatment process. Brushing and flossing around wires, brackets, and bands can come with a learning curve, especially in the beginning. Invisalign aligners are removed before brushing and flossing as you normally would! Caring for the aligners themselves is a simple task, too. There are special kits designed to clean them, or you can gently brush them using toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
Removable aligners can be a great choice for athletes and musicians who play certain instruments. They’re also perfect for those special events where you only want your natural smile shining through, like a wedding, prom, or senior pictures!
Will Invisalign work for everyone?
While we love all the benefits Invisalign has to offer, it’s not necessarily the best fit for every patient. Generally speaking, aligners tend to work best for teens and adults who have mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are more complex or severe may require precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve.
When you schedule your free consultation with Dr. Grubaugh, he’ll be able to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you or if you’d be better served by a different treatment method. Our practice will always recommend only the treatment method that will be best for your unique smile!
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
Whatever orthodontic treatment you choose, your teeth will always remember their previous place in your mouth. If there’s nothing there to stop them, they will begin to drift back towards those positions over time. That’s why retainers are essential for long-term success and lasting results! Once your treatment is complete, our office will provide you with a retainer. In order to keep your newly straightened smile in place, you should always wear it exactly as directed by Dr. Grubaugh.
Trust your smile to the Invisalign experts at Grubaugh Orthodontics
It’s easy to see why Invisalign’s exciting system is the most popular alternative we currently have to traditional braces! This innovative option continues to change the way people view orthodontic treatment, and we’re proud to offer it to our patients in Dewitt, Lansing, and the surrounding communities.
If you’d like to learn more about how Invisalign can transform your smile, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Grubaugh. We’re here to help you achieve a healthy, confident smile!