What is Invisalign? An Alternative to Braces!
Invisalign is a popular, teeth-straightening alternative to traditional metal braces that uses a series of comfortable, nearly invisible plastic aligners to align your teeth. These aligners are removable, eliminating restrictions on what you can eat or drink, and even minimize hygienic concerns that can come with braces, which restrict brushing and flossing. Overall, Invisalign is typically less noticeable and more comfortable than braces, and requires fewer appointments. This method of orthodontic treatment is growing in its popularity for improving mild to moderate smile and bite issues for these reasons.
Invisalign is made out of a patented, high-quality, and flexible plastic, SmartTrack, that was created specifically for Invisalign. This thermoplastic material is FDA approved and is free of gluten, BPA, BPS, or latex. Using these plastic aligners is often considered more comfortable than braces, which can cause mouth abrasions from the brackets and wires. Since Invisalign has no wires, you’ll also be in for adjustments less, saving you time.
Because Invisalign is virtually invisible, it’s a great option for anyone, adults and teens alike, who are looking to improve their smiles and bites. It also excels in applications where braces can be prohibitive and even impossible to wear, and is a great alternative to traditional braces for patients who are good candidates.
Types of Invisalign Treatment
Invisalign offers two primary variations of their revolutionary clear alternative to braces: standard Invisalign and Invisalign Teen. In addition, at OoLi Orthodontics we have developed a third treatment variant for responsible adults with incredibly busy lifestyles: Invisalign LITE. This trimmed-down variant requires fewer office visits and can save a bit on the cost, although it requires even more discipline than standard Invisalign offerings.
Invisalign for Adults
Often referred to as just “Invisalign”, this is the standard offering, and the most popular choice for adult patients as it provides the most accurate outcome due to the most consistent supervision by your local orthodontist. This ensures your smile is as beautiful as possible when your treatment concludes.
Invisalign Teen takes all of the benefits for adults and improves it for teen lifestyles. Invisalign Teen includes built-in indicators that can help parents monitor their child’s use of their aligners. This Invisalign treatment method also comes with free replacements and can be used even when their adult teeth are coming in.
Invisalign LITE is an offering unique to OoLi Orthodontics and is our most affordable Invisalign treatment option. It is intended for patients who want to smile with confidence but who don’t have the time to come into our office for periodic visits. For this reason, it requires the most discipline of our Invisalign offerings for optimal results.
The Invisalign Treatment Process
Invisalign treatment tends to be less intensive than braces, requiring fewer and shorter office visits on average. However, the general treatment process is quite similar to braces, as explained briefly below, and in more detail in our dedicated article about Invisalign treatment.
Step 1: Get a Consultation with an Orthodontist
Everyone’s orthodontic needs are unique, and ensuring you are a good candidate for Invisalign is essential. Many orthodontic practices, including us here at OoLi Orthodontics, offer complimentary consultations. During your consultation, Dr. Park determines which orthodontic treatment options are a good fit for your smile, and then from there offers choices and pricing.
Step 2: Approve Your Treatment Plan
If you choose Invisalign, you will have the option to review and approve the treatment plan Dr. Park creates for you. This will include committing to the time-frame and number of aligners involved, and is the best time to raise concerns.
Step 3: Wear Your Aligners and Complete Treatment
Once your aligners come in, you’ll wear them for 1-2 weeks each, for a minimum of 22 hours per day, and get to watch as your smile transforms! Most patients can see a noticeable in a matter of weeks, after just a few aligners.
Although day-to-day life with Invisalign is quite comfortable, Invisalign treatment does have some notable changes and responsibilities you should be aware of. You can read more about in our dedicated article on living with Invisalign.
Step 4: Maintain and Keep Your New Smile
A retainer is crucial to ensuring your hard work and money invested into your Invisalign treatment doesn’t go to waste. Retainers keep your teeth in place once treatment is complete. These usually can be worn just at night, while you sleep.
How Much Does Invisalign Cost?
Invisalign usually costs between $4,000 to $6,000. When weighing different orthodontic solutions, Invisalign treatment is typically within the same price range as other options and is usually comparable to that of traditional braces, although it will tend to be on the higher end of your available options due to the additional lab fees associated with the creation of the aligners. Your final cost will be based on your unique case and number of aligners needed.
Many established orthodontic practices like OoLi Orthodontics also offer flexible and affordable monthly payment plans. This is beneficial if you cannot pay for your Invisalign treatment all at once or if your insurance doesn’t cover treatment.
Using your HSA or FSA to pay for your treatment is also an option patients use. During your consultation with your orthodontist, be sure to discuss payment options to determine what will work best for your situation.
Does Insurance Cover Invisalign?
Many dental insurance plans also cover Invisalign treatment the same as they would cover traditional braces. It is also recommended to check with your insurance provider to see how much of your Invisalign treatment will be covered. At OoLi Orthodontics, we’re happy to check with your insurance for you, if you’re unsure if Invisalign is covered by your plan.
Comparing Invisalign and Braces: The Pros and Cons
All things equal, if you’re an adult or responsible teen and your smile is a good candidate for it, we usually will recommend Invisalign. By nature, Invisalign offers a better quality of life while undergoing treatment in many ways, as explained in more detail in our dedicated article comparing Invisalign and braces.
However, there are limitations and downsides to Invisalign. As previously mentioned, it requires much more discipline and responsibility, and is not suitable for children for this reason. It also cannot correct some severe bite issues, which only braces can address.
Have additional questions about whether Invisalign or braces are right for you? We invite you to book a free consultation with us, and come learn which orthodontic treatments are a good fit for you!
Living with Invisalign: Daily Life with Your Clear Aligners
Invisalign’s popularity stems from both the invisible nature of the treatment, but also its minimal impact on daily life. Invisalign still has some minor drawbacks though, and we won’t sugarcoat the expectations. There will be some small adjustments you should expect, which we briefly touch on here, and explain in more detail in our in-depth article on living with Invisalign.
Especially at first, similar to braces, you may notice that the small displacement from the aligners causes a slight lisp. Speech may sound a bit odd. Most patients overcome this quickly, but a small percentage still have some sounds that are odd to say with the aligners in.
You will be required to wear your aligners constantly with no breaks except when you remove them to eat and drink. You will also need to rinse and clean the aligners often, and brush your teeth more than usual before each insertion.
Again like braces, Invisalign also will cause some minor discomfort, as your teeth are intentionally moved around through constant pressure. This tends to be less intense than braces, but still should be expected – no pain, no gain!
Why Go To an Orthodontist for Invisalign
The number of online-only smile improvement services are growing, and they usually are cheaper than going through a local orthodontist. However, you will get what you pay for, and there are various important benefits you will miss out on by utilizing these cheaper alternatives. We briefly explain some of the benefits here, but we strongly recommend you educate yourself further in our dedicated article on the benefits of using an orthodontist for Invisalign.
By not seeing an orthodontist in-person, your bite and other dental health considerations cannot be accounted for, an important factor of orthodontics. Failing to account for these can negate the treatment once it’s completed, causing your teeth to shift back uncontrollably in some cases. Starting from the moment you begin your free consultation, the benefits of seeing a local orthodontist begin.
The impression process requires extreme precision and should never be conducted by anyone other than an orthodontist or one of their trained assistants. Taking impressions incorrectly will lead to improper treatment plans, and is arguably the biggest risk of online smile services.
Meeting with an orthodontist in-person will always lead to more accuracy and higher quality treatment, and you will be able to properly address any specific concerns as well, and have your treatment custom-tailored to your needs. At OoLi, we also insist on only using authentic Invisalign, which is more effective, more accurate and more durable than its knock-off competitors.
Using a board certified orthodontist like Dr. Park also gives you the assurance that your orthodontist has undergone more than a decade of schooling and training as well as ongoing reeducation, and will take only the best care of you, as a patient.
Lastly, when concerns or issues arise mid-treatment, being able to see someone quickly and in-person is invaluable. This sort of attention can only be had with a local practice like OoLi Orthodontics.
Ask Us a Question About Invisalign
Have a question about Invisalign that we didn’t answer in this guide to Invisalign? We’d love to hear from you. So please, use our form here to ask away, and either one of our staff or Dr. Park himself will get back to you with a comprehensive answer.
Get a Free Consultation for Invisalign in Phoenix with Dr. Park
If you happen to be a resident of Arizona and are interested in getting Invisalign, Dr. Park would be happy to offer you a free consultation to see if some form of Invisalign is possible for you and your smile.
During your consultation Dr. Park will discuss your orthodontic concerns, goals, do a quick examination, and then discuss any treatment options that are a good fit for your smile, including Invisalign if applicable.
Although most of our patients reside in the Phoenix area, we do have some patients that are farther away, across the state of Arizona in places like Tucson and Prescott, who come into Phoenix every 6-8 weeks for their appointments. We consider it a huge compliment when patients move away but continue to use OoLi for their treatment, but we can also transfer your patient info to another orthodontist, should you happen to move away mid-treatment.
OoLi currently has Invisalign patients in Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Gilbert, Peoria, Surprise, Avondale, Goodyear, Buckeye, Apache Junction, Fountain Hills, Casa Grande, Maricopa, Tucson, Prescott and Prescott Valley – so no matter where you live, we will still happily provide you the best orthodontic treatment possible!