Things To Know Before Getting Invisalign

April 17, 2024

Invisalign is a modern way to fix your smile without the metal wires you see with braces. It's clear, which means most people won't even notice you're wearing it. A lot of people like it because you can take it out when you need to, like for eating or brushing your teeth. 

Before you decide to go for Invisalign, it's good to know a few important things. This will help you figure out if it's the right choice for you, how much it might cost, and what you need to do to take care of it. 

Just like any big decision, especially when it comes to your health, you want to make sure you have all the facts. We're here to help guide you through what to think about with Invisalign, so you can make the best choice for your smile.

1. Eligibility Criteria

One of the first things to know about Invisalign is whether you're a good fit for it. Invisalign works well for many, but it is not for everyone. 

It's great for straightening teeth and fixing minor to moderate dental issues, like crowded teeth, gaps, and some bite problems. However, if you have very complex dental needs, your dentist might suggest a different treatment.

Before deciding on Invisalign, you'll have a chat with your orthodontist. They will look at your teeth and might take some X-rays or digital scans. This helps them see if Invisalign can work for you. 

Age can also be a factor. Invisalign is often used by teenagers and adults, but kids whose teeth are still growing might need to wait or consider other options.

2. Cost and Insurance Coverage

Another crucial aspect among the things to know about Invisalign is its cost and how insurance plays into it. Generally, the price of Invisalign treatment can range widely, typically between $3,000 and $7,000. This variation depends on several factors, including the complexity of your dental issues and the duration of your treatment.

When considering Invisalign, it's vital to look into insurance options. Many dental insurance plans cover a part of orthodontic treatments, including Invisalign, similar to how they would cover traditional braces. The coverage can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket expenses, often covering up to a certain percentage or a fixed dollar amount of the total cost.

Besides insurance, there are other ways to manage the cost of Invisalign. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) or Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can often be used to pay for Invisalign using pre-tax dollars, providing additional savings. Some dental practices also offer payment plans, allowing you to spread the cost over several months or even years.

3. Duration of Treatment

Typically, Invisalign treatment spans between 12 to 18 months, but it can be shorter or longer depending on the individual's dental needs. Some people might see their desired results in as little as 6 months, while others with more complex issues might need up to 24 months.

The treatment time with Invisalign is influenced by several factors, including how often you wear the aligners and the nature of the corrections needed. For the quickest and most effective results, wearing the aligners for the recommended 20 to 22 hours a day is crucial.

Regular check-ins with your dentist or orthodontist will also impact the treatment's duration. These appointments are essential for monitoring progress and making any necessary adjustments to the aligners. Skipping these appointments can delay your treatment.

4. Maintenance and Care

Proper care is crucial to ensuring that your treatment is effective and your oral health remains top-notch. Here are key practices for keeping your aligners in the best shape:

  • Cleaning Your Aligners: It's important to clean your Invisalign trays daily. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear, gentle soap to avoid scratching them. Avoid using hot water, as it can warp the plastic.
  • Rinsing Aligners After Removal: Every time you take your aligners out, rinse them with cold water to prevent dry saliva and plaque from building up, which could lead to bad breath and bacterial growth.
  • Proper Storage: When not wearing your aligners, store them in their protective case. This prevents them from getting lost, damaged, or accidentally thrown away.
  • Oral Hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene is more crucial than ever during treatment. Brush and floss your teeth before reinserting your aligners to keep your mouth and the trays clean.
  • Avoiding Certain Foods and Drinks: While you can eat anything by removing your aligners, it's advisable to avoid overly sugary or colored drinks that can stain the aligners or your teeth.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Keep up with your dental appointments to ensure your treatment is progressing as planned and to receive new sets of aligners as needed.

By following these care tips, you can keep your Invisalign aligners clean and clear, contributing to the overall success of your treatment.

5. Lifestyle Adjustments

While on the invisalign treatment, it's apparent that some lifestyle adjustments are necessary to ensure the treatment's success. These changes are generally minor but important for getting the most out of your Invisalign experience.

Adherence to the recommended 20 to 22 hours per day wearing schedule is critical. This means aligners should only be removed for eating, drinking anything other than water, and oral hygiene practices.

While there are no strict dietary restrictions with Invisalign, being mindful of what you eat and drink when wearing the aligners is wise. Avoiding overly sticky or hard foods can prevent damage to the aligners.

Invisalign treatment necessitates a rigorous oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing after each meal ensures that food particles do not get trapped between your teeth and the aligners, which could lead to dental issues.

Some users may initially experience a slight lisp when wearing their aligners. However, this typically diminishes as one becomes accustomed to the aligners.

For those engaged in contact sports or activities that require a mouthguard, removing the aligners and using a proper mouthguard during these activities is advised to prevent damage.

It's recommended to avoid smoking while wearing aligners, as it can stain them. Similarly, except for water, consuming beverages may require removal of the aligners to prevent staining and damage.

6. Effectiveness for Different Cases

Invisalign is really good at fixing simple issues as well as some harder ones. For people with teeth that are a bit crowded or have spaces between them, Invisalign is often a great choice. It can also fix certain bite problems like overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites. These are cases where your teeth don’t line up right when your mouth is closed.

Even for tougher problems, Invisalign has gotten better over time. It now has special features like SmartForce attachments and precise cuts in the aligners. These improvements mean Invisalign can handle more difficult teeth movements that before might have needed traditional metal braces.

However, there are still some limits to what Invisalign can do. If your teeth need to move a lot, especially in a vertical direction, or if they’re really twisted, the old-school braces might be the way to go.

What’s really important for Invisalign to work is that it’s made just for you. Your orthodontist will make a plan to move your teeth a little at a time.

7. Comfort and Pain Levels

One good thing about Invisalign is that it is more comfortable than the usual metal braces. But it's good to remember that how it feels can vary, and there might be some discomfort during the treatment.

  • Initial Adjustment: When you first start wearing Invisalign aligners, you may experience some discomfort. This is normal and typically fades as your mouth adjusts to the aligners. The discomfort is often described as pressure, which is a sign that the aligners are working to move your teeth.
  • Switching Aligners: Each time you switch to a new set of aligners, you might feel some tightness or discomfort for the first few days. This sensation is due to the new aligners applying pressure to shift your teeth to the next stage of alignment.
  • Less Irritation: Unlike metal braces, Invisalign does not have brackets or wires that can cause irritation to your cheeks and gums. The smooth, plastic aligners are custom-made to fit snugly over your teeth, reducing the risk of irritation.
  • Pain Management: For most people, any pain or discomfort with Invisalign is manageable. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to alleviate discomfort, as recommended by your dentist. Also, wearing the aligners consistently helps your mouth adjust more quickly, reducing discomfort.
  • Overall Comfort: Despite the initial adjustment period and the sensation of pressure with new aligners, Invisalign is generally considered comfortable. Many users appreciate the absence of metal components and the custom fit of the aligners.

In summary, while there may be some discomfort associated with Invisalign, especially at the beginning of treatment or when switching to new aligners, the overall comfort level is typically high. The absence of metal brackets and wires and the custom fit of the aligners contribute to a more comfortable orthodontic experience.

Best Invisalign Treatment in Somerville, MA

At Somerville Ortho, we take pride in offering the best Invisalign treatment to adults, teens, and children alike. Understanding that each smile is unique, we provide personalized care tailored to meet your specific needs and goals. We believe everyone deserves a smile they're proud to share, and with Invisalign's innovative technology, achieving that smile has never been easier or more comfortable.

We also understand that financial considerations are a significant part of deciding on dental treatment. That's why we offer insurance and financing options designed to accommodate any budget. Whether you're looking to spread the cost over time or make use of your existing dental coverage, we've got you covered. 

Somerville Ortho accepts most major insurances, including MassHealth, Delta Dental, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health Care, MetLife, Aetna, Cigna, Guardian, and Altus. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), we can work with that too.

Choosing Somerville Ortho means opting for a team dedicated to providing the highest level of care and service. Our commitment to excellence and patient satisfaction sets us apart as the premier provider of Invisalign treatment in Somerville, MA. 

Schedule your assessment today and let us help you achieve the beautiful, straight smile you've always wanted. Contact us today to learn more about how we can make your dream smile a reality.

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