If you aren’t familiar with orthodontics, you may not be sure what to expect when you learn that you need a little help to straighten your smile or improve your oral health. Many patients aren’t aware of all the orthodontic options available, and automatically assume that treatment means metal braces. Although traditional braces have undergone quite a transformation in recent years, lots of the teens and adults we treat are still on the fence about them. Fortunately, a number of alternatives to metal braces are now available!
Here at Van Vliet Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer clear braces and clear Invisalign aligners in addition to the more traditional metal braces. Invisalign is currently the most popular alternative we have to braces, particularly among our patients who are more image-conscious! In most cases, aligners are comparative in price to traditional metal braces. They can sometimes run slightly more, however, leading some patients to ask if Invisalign is worth the difference in cost. Our team believes Invisalign is an excellent investment in your smile, so keep reading below to find out why!
A subtle way to straighten your smile
Invisalign aligners are made of a clear, comfortable material that’s a big selling point for patients. If you’re anxious about treatment making you stand out, Invisalign could be a welcome alternative! Aligners can also be removed for short periods of time, making them perfect for any special event when you want your natural smile to shine through, like prom, weddings, or senior pictures.
Extra freedom and flexibility
Invisalign patients enjoy a bit more freedom than traditional treatment methods are able to offer! Take food restrictions, for example. Sticky and crunchy foods can wreak havoc on brackets and wires, so patients in braces must avoid them throughout the treatment process. This can eliminate several favorite foods and snacks, which can be frustrating. Invisalign means you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want to! Simply remove the aligner before eating, then put it back in when you’re done.
Easier oral hygiene
Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine with traditional braces can be difficult, particularly in the early days. It can be tricky to brush and floss around the brackets and wires, which also makes it harder to remove any lingering food particles or plaque. Invisalign aligners are simply removed before brushing and flossing as normal! Caring for the aligners themselves couldn’t be easier, either. There are special kits designed to clean them, or they can be gently brushed using toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
Potentially shorten treatment time
Every case is different and each patient responds to treatment in their own way, so there’s no “one size fits all” answer for how long a patient will need orthodontic treatment.
Patient compliance is an important part of any orthodontic process, but it’s especially important with the Invisalign system. For the aligners to be successful, they must be worn for 20-22 hours per day, throughout treatment. You’ll also be responsible for switching your aligners out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks. This allows them to keep up with the movements your teeth are making.
For patients who are fully compliant, treatment time with Invisalign can last anywhere from 6-18 months. This is actually slightly faster than the average time spent in braces!
Treat a wide range of orthodontic issues
In its earliest days, Invisalign was mostly used to correct simple spacing issues or very mild crowding. As the system began to grow in popularity, the design improved dramatically. Invisalign aligners can now be used to successfully treat:
- gaps between teeth
- deep overbite
- open bite
- excessive overjet
- and more!
Special features for teen patients
When it comes to the treatment benefits and underlying technology, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are the same. However, Invisalign Teen was developed with features that meet the unique needs of teenage patients, including:
As noted above, patient compliance is a critical component to success with Invisalign. The aligners must be worn as directed by Dr. Van Vliet in order for them to work properly. The compliance indicators incorporated into the Invisalign Teen aligners fades from blue to clear, providing parents and orthodontists with a visual approximation of wear. This lets them know if the patient is holding up their end of the treatment bargain!
This feature accommodates the growth of the second molars in young adults, helping to keep space open for unerupted teeth and making it possible to treat a wider range of conditions with Invisalign.
It is not uncommon for our teen patients to lose or break an aligner. Although teens should always treat their aligners with care, there’s no need to worry if this occurs! Invisalign Teen will provide up to six replacement aligners at no charge, just in case.
Trust your smile to the Invisalign experts at Van Vliet Orthodontics
Invisalign can be an excellent option for many patients, but it’s not for everyone. In general, the aligners tend to work best for adults and teens who have mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are particularly complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve.
When you schedule your free consultation with Dr. Van Vliet, he’ll be able to determine if Invisalign treatment is a good fit for your smile. If he feels that a different treatment option would be a better option, he’ll talk you through what’s available. You can trust our team to only recommend the treatment we believe is best for your unique smile!
During this first visit with us, we’ll also outline the investment needed for your new smile, and let you know about our payment options and insurance coverage. When you have all the right information, you’ll be able to weigh your treatment options more clearly. Knowing there’s a comfortable, flexible, and clear option available that’s just as effective as braces means any extra cost will be worth every cent!
If you’re in the Highland, Ramsey, or surrounding areas and want to learn more about how the Invisalign aligner system ]can transform your smile, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Van Vliet.