Invisalign ® is a new orthodontic treatment system that works to straighten teeth through the use of a series of clear plastic molds (aligners). Invisalign® "invisible" braces eliminate the metallic smile that is characteristic of traditional orthodontic braces. View this page to learn more about invisalign®, including information about cost and the benefits of using the clear retainer system.
How Does Invisalign® Work?
To ensure the most precise outcome, your orthodontist will use computer imaging to create your invisalign® braces. After taking bite impressions of your mouth, the dentist will use the invisalign® three-dimensional computer imaging system to create a series of clear retainers. The first one will fit your current configuration of teeth. Each successive retainer will act like invisible braces, using gentle pressure to move your teeth to their target alignments.
The number of invisalign® trays used will depend on each individual case but the average is between 18 and 30. Each clear invisalign® retainer is removable and worn for two weeks (24 hours a day, except during meals) and then the next aligner is used. This process is repeated until the teeth are in the desired position. The entire invisalign® treatment takes the same amount of time as traditional orthodontic braces.
Benefits of Invisalign®
Perhaps the most apparent benefit of invisalign® is that patients can straighten their teeth without anyone knowing. Most adults would rather live with crooked teeth than spend two or more years with the metal braces that they remember from their teenage years. The clear invisalign® retainer was developed to introduce some much-needed aesthetics to the field of adult orthodontics.
The invisalign® system also boasts improved hygiene over traditional braces. Because the clear retainers are removable, patients can brush and floss as they normally would, reducing the chances of possible staining and decay that often occur with traditional braces. Food and drink choices are less restrictive, as well. If patients wish to eat sticky candy or drink soda, they may do so after removing their clear invisalign® retainer.
There are very few problems associated with the invisalign® system. People who fail to wear their clear invisalign® retainer at all times may find that their teeth don't change position as quickly as they would like. Some people with sensitive teeth and gums may feel some discomfort when they switch to a new aligner in the series. These problems with invisalign® are minor and most patients feel that the benefits far outweigh any problems.
The cost of Invisalign® depends on several factors. Nationwide, the average cost for Invisalign® is about $5,000. For moderate straightening of the teeth, Invisalign® generally costs about the same as traditional braces, starting at about $3,500. Where a more complicated correction of teeth is needed, Invisalign® can cost from 20 to 50 percent more than traditional metal braces. The exact figure will depend heavily on several factors, including the extent of treatment required and how many aligners need to be created. Geographic location of orthodontists also affects the average invisalign® cost. It is advisable to inquire about pricing when you are in the process of choosing an orthodontist.
Dental Insurance and Invisalign®
Your dental insurance may cover treatment with invisalign® braces. Most patients find that their coverage is the same for invisalign® as for other types of orthodontic treatment. You should inquire directly with your insurance company to determine whether the cost of invisalign® is fully or partially covered. Read more about the cost of orthodontics.
Orthodontics, including Invisalign® teeth-straightening systems, are among the most expensive cosmetic investments many people will ever make. Therefore, to ensure that more people are able to receive the revolutionary benefits of the Invisalign® system, most dentists offer convenient financing plans that allow low monthly payments to be spread out over the coming years. The use of a financing plan makes Invisalign® treatments much more affordable for many patients who would not be able to afford them otherwise.
While financing plans can vary widely depending on the dentist, the economy, and other important factors, generally speaking, a down payment amounting to between 10 and 50 percent of the total cost is made before Invisalign® treatment begins. Then, monthly payments are made by the patient until the total cost of Invisalign® is paid off.
Find a Dental Professional near You
If you have been considering orthodontic treatment with invisalign® rather than traditional braces, you should find an orthodontist to discuss invisalign® cost and to determine whether you are a candidate for the procedure.