Will Invisalign Work For Me?
Until recently, our adult patients were more reluctant to consider orthodontic corrections despite the fact that, in most cases, they hold the potential to radically improve both dental health and appearance. Over the past few years, we've seen those attitudes gradually start to shift with the introduction of Invisalign, a modern alternative to the infinitely more complex and equally involved protocol associated with traditional braces.
What Is Invisalign?
Unlike braces that rely on a system of fixed brackets and wires, Invisalign is a series of custom-fitted aligners made of a smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic that won't irritate your cheeks and gums like the metal alternative. The removable implement resembles a bite guard and is generally replaced every two weeks or so, in keeping with the desired transition of your teeth and bite. The best part is that, as the name suggests, the transparent appliances are invisible during the course of treatment. Not all dentists have the necessary credentials to offer Invisalign as a treatment option to their patients, but Dr. Caven has completed the additional training necessary for this certification.
Is It Right For Me?
Treatment starts with a consultation in which Dr. Caven will review the procedure in full detail to help you determine if you're a good candidate for Invisalign. Some of the corrections which Invisalign may help with include: overbite, underbite, open bite, crossbite, spacing, and crowding, in addition to overall straightening. Even if you wore braces as a child, you could still benefit from Invisalign as an adult.
What Should I Expect?
Once in agreement, Dr. Caven will provide a customized treatment plan around your specific needs, letting you know just what you should expect at every stage. As a rule of thumb, adults should expect to see results within a year, while treatment takes about the same length of time as braces in teens. Like braces, costs can vary from as little as $2,000 or less to between $3,500-8,000, or $5,000 on average. These expenses can be further offset by orthodontic insurance, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and in-house payment plans.
How Does It Work?
After taking a series of x-rays, pictures, and impressions, Dr. Caven will create a 3-D image of your teeth along with a virtual depiction of what kind of movement to expect at each stage of treatment from beginning to end. Using the same three-dimensional technology, he'll make a series of aligners - generally between 18 to 30 depending on your needs - that are usually worn in two week increments to match the gradual, predicted shifts. For best results, these aligners are meant to be worn an average of 20 to 22 hours per day, removed only when eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. During this time, you should expect to see Dr. Caven about once every six weeks to ensure treatment is progressing as planned.
Want To Know More?
Having removed virtually every barrier to success, discomfort and esthetics chief among them, corrective orthodontics can now be reasonably pursued at any point in time. If you'd like more information about Invisalign, schedule some time to come in and talk to Dr. Caven about how this progressive alternative to a healthier, more attractive smile can potentially work for you.
January 17, 2014 | by Richard Caven