What is Invisalign®?
The Invisalign® system is the virtually invisible way to straighten your teeth and achieve the smile you've always dreamed of. Using advanced 3-D computer-imaging technology, Invisalign depicts your complete treatment plan, from the initial position of your teeth to the final desired position. Then a series of clear aligners are custom-made for your teeth - and your teeth only - to move them little by little. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks before being replaced by the next in the series, until the final position of your teeth is achieved. Your Invisalign treatment time will be determined by your doctor, based on your specific needs.
What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are practically clear. No one may even notice that you're wearing these virtually invisible "braces," making Invisalign a seamless fit with your lifestyle and day-to-day interactions with others.
Invisalign is removable. Unlike braces, you have the flexibility to eat and drink what you want during treatment by simply removing the aligners. And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would for fresh breath and good oral hygiene.
Unlike braces, there are no metal brackets or wires with the Invisalign system that could cause irritation to your mouth. Plus since your office visits during treatment don't involve metal or wire adjustments, you'll likely spend less time in the doctor's chair.
And finally, Invisalign allows you to view your virtual results and treatment plan before you start so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete.
How many patients are being treated with Invisalign?
More than 1,000,000 patients worldwide have been treated with Invisalign. The number of Invisalign smiles grows daily.
How do I get started with Invisalign?
It's simple, just make an appointment with an Invisalign Preferred Provider for an initial consultation. Many doctors offer free initial consultations. For the best experience, take the time to find the "right" doctor -- one who you feel comfortable with and who has experience treating cases like yours. Like with other important dental decisions, sometimes it is worthwhile to seek out a second or even third opinion. Use our Find-A-Doctor feature to find the most experienced Invisalign-trained doctor near you. Doctors designated as Premier Providers have a greater levels of case experience. Those labeled Premier Provider Elite have the highest levels of case experience. Make sure you trust your smile to an experienced doctor who uses the latest techniques.
Can I go to any dentist to be treated with Invisalign?
All dentists interested in treating patients with Invisalign must attend and complete specialized instructional sessions to become trained Invisalign providers. In addition, doctors must maintain regular treatment submission and have complete ongoing clinical training classes to earn the designation "Preferred Provider." Use our Find-A-Doctor feature to find the most experienced Invisalign Preferred Provider near you.
How will Invisalign effectively move my teeth?
Like brackets and arch wires are to braces, Invisalign aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on your teeth. The main difference is that Invisalign not only controls forces, but also the timing of the force application. During each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move. These movements are determined by your doctor as he or she maps out your unique Invisalign treatment plan.
What are aligners made of, and what do they look like?
The virtually invisible aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to tooth-whitening trays. Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you and only you to move your teeth in the sequence determined by your doctor.
Do Invisalign aligners contain Bisphenol-A (BPA)?
No. Invisalign aligners and Vivera Retainers do not contain Bisphenol-A or phthalate plasticizers. These aligners and retainers are made with USP Class VI medical grade, high molecular weight, polyurethane resins. Tests have been conducted to determine the biocompatibility of these materials, and show that they are biocompatible and pass all applicable regulatory requirements and thresholds for human wear in the mouth. Of course, as with any medical device, you should consult with your health professional about your aligner or retainer treatment and any applicable risks of use.
Since having my braces removed, my teeth have shifted. Can Invisalign correct this?
A number of Invisalign patients have undergone a previous treatment involving braces at some point in their past, often during their youth. Invisalign can usually correct the shifting that occurs after braces, and do so without having to go through the trauma and social awkwardness of wearing metal braces.
I am currently wearing braces. Can I make the switch to Invisalign?
Doctors are treating a significant number of patients with a combination of braces and Invisalign. Consult your Invisalign doctor to determine the best treatment for you.
Will wearing Invisalign aligners affect my speech?
Similar to other orthodontic treatments, Invisalign aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp caused by the aligners should disappear.
Are there restrictions on what I can eat while in treatment?
No. Thanks to the removable nature of the aligners, you can eat and drink whatever you want while in treatment. In fact, you're required to remove your aligners to eat and drink. So, unlike undergoing traditional treatment using wires and brackets, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks unless instructed otherwise by your doctor. Also, it is important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain fresh breath and proper hygiene.
Will smoking stain the aligners?
We discourage smoking while wearing aligners because it is possible for the aligners to become discolored.
Can I chew gum while wearing aligners?
No, gum will stick to the aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks.
Will Invisalign treatment be painful?
While Invisalign moves your teeth without the pain and anxiety of metal braces, some people will experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It's also a sign that Invisalign is working, as it moves your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away in a couple of days.
What's the best way to clean my aligners?
The best way to clean your aligners is to use the Invisalign cleaning kit, available for order at www.invisalignstore.com. As a secondary method, however, your aligners can also be cleaned by brushing them and rinsing them in lukewarm water.
How often must I wear my aligners?
We find aligners are most effective if worn 20 to 22 hours per day - and removed only for eating, brushing, and flossing.
How often must I see the Invisalign doctor?
Your doctor will schedule regular appointments - usually about once every four to six weeks. The goal of these visits are to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned.
How old is the company?
Align Technology, Inc., the company that manufactures Invisalign, was founded in 1997.
Has the FDA cleared Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are classified as Class II medical devices by the FDA, and Align Technology, Inc.has held the necessary 510K clearance from the FDA since 1998 to be able to sell and market the Invisalign system.
What is the minimum age of a patient that a doctor can treat with Invisalign®?
Invisalign Teen is appropriate for patients who have shed all of their baby teeth and have second molars at least partially erupted - this includes most teens. Ask your orthodontist if you qualify to start treatment now.
How often will treatment take?
The length of treatment depends on the severity of your case and can only be determined by your doctor; however the average case takes about 12 months.*
What happens after treatment to prevent my teeth from moving again?
This varies person to person and depends on the outcome of the treatment. Some patients might need a positioner, or conventional retainer. Other patients might need a clear plastic retainer similar to the ones Invisalign makes, such as Align Technology's Vivera Retainer, (www.viveraretainer.com). Discuss this with your dentist. Every patient is different, and outcomes vary.
How much does Invisalign cost?
We know cost is a big question for anyone considering orthodontic work. Similar to other medical treatments, only your doctor can determine the cost based on your specific needs. Other factors could include what you want corrected or the difficulty of your case, how long you are in treatment, where you live, your orthodontic insurance coverage, and additional factors determined by your dentist or orthodontist. In most cases, Invisalign treatment is comparable to the cost of traditional braces. In the U.S., the cost of Invisalign treatment ranges from $3,500 to $8,000, with the national average at about $5,000.
Will my insurance cover Invisalign?
Because medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, you should review your personal coverage plan. However, in general, if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces.
What payment options are available for Invisalign?
Most doctors will help you find options to make your treatment affordable. Many offices offer flexible and affordable monthly payment plans, many with no down payment and no interest.
Many doctors also offer financing through ChaseHealthAdvance. Specifically designed for health-care expenses, ChaseHealthAdvance is a third-party patient-financing program that makes it easier for you to get the treatment or procedures you want and need. Visit chasehealthadvance.com for more information.