Working with an orthodontist can be a great way to fix many alignment issues, such as crooked or misaligned teeth, crossbite, overbite, and underbite. However, many patients are reluctant to pursue treatment out of a desire to avoid the aesthetic and functional limitations associated with traditional braces.
Invisalign clear aligners are a revolutionary orthodontic option for individuals looking for a more discreet method of tooth and bite alignment. Alexandria cosmetic dentist Dr. Mojgan Mazhari has specialized in Invisalign treatments for years, and the advanced technology available in our office allows her to treat you with the skill and accuracy your smile deserves.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Using a series of clear, flexible, and removable aligners, Invisalign can help give you the straighter, more uniform smile you want without the discomfort and hassle of wires and brackets.
The Invisalign system uses proprietary CAD/CAM software to assist Dr. Mazhari in creating highly accurate, individualized treatment plans based on digital impressions of your mouth. These impressions are used to design a series of clear aligners that gently and progressively reposition your teeth in approximately 12–18 months. The number of aligners in the sequence and the exact treatment time depend on the severity of your dental concerns and your desired outcome.
The clear aligners are designed to be comfortable and removable for daily oral hygiene, routine dental care, and during mealtimes. For most candidates, straightening the teeth will improve both smile aesthetics and overall dental health. Crooked teeth can be difficult to clean effectively and can be the underlying cause of bite problems.
What Are the Advantages of Invisalign Over Traditional Braces?
Many patients are wary of the aesthetic concerns, discomfort, and restrictions associated with traditional metal braces. As a clear, removable, and non-metal alternative, Invisalign has numerous advantages over traditional metal braces, including:
- No dietary restrictions
- Easy removal for cleaning and routine dental care
- Discreet, nearly invisible treatment
- No risk of tooth enamel staining from permanently attached brackets
What Is the Invisalign Treatment Process Like?
Should you decide that Invisalign is the right treatment option for you, Dr. Mazhari will begin by taking digital impressions of your mouth in order to create high-resolution, 3-D images of your teeth. The impressions are used to fabricate a series of clear aligners, each worn for specified increments of time—typically about two weeks before advancing to the next set of aligners in the series—in order to gently shift your teeth into the desired formation.
Dr. Mazhari provides you with detailed instructions regarding how to care for your aligners. For optimal results, patients typically wear their aligners for 20-22 hours out of the day, removing them only during routine oral hygiene activities and mealtimes.
The number of aligners and the overall length of your Invisalign treatment depends on the problems being addressed and your desired result. Your final aligner is a retainer, which should be worn as directed each day to keep in order to maintain your results and prevent your teeth from shifting out of formation.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
Every case is different, but for many adults, Invisalign treatment—when used correctly—takes 12–18 months to be effective. You’ll meet in the office for occasional follow-up appointments to ensure progress is happening in a timely fashion. For teenagers, the amount of time for Invisalign to take effect varies, as their teeth are often more susceptible to shifting. A more accurate timeline can be determined after a consultation with our dentist.
Compliance is an important part of the Invisalign treatment process. In order to ensure both effective results and the most efficient treatment process, patients should carefully adhere to our dental team’s instructions and wear their appliances as directed.
View Your Potential Invisalign Results
At Alexandria Dental Health & Smile Studio, we know deciding on the right form of treatment for your smile is important. If you’re considering Invisalign for either you or your teenager, you can actually preview your results with our in-office digital iTero® scanning technology. iTero is a digital scanner that receives images from a camera and then rapidly transfers the images onto a computer screen. This enables you to explore simulated images that showcase how Invisalign can impact your smile.
Once you see how your teeth can look with our Invisalign outcome simulator through iTero technology, you can better decide if Invisalign is the right treatment option for you.
How Much Does Invisalign Cost?
The precise cost of Invisalign varies based on factors such as the extent of the treatment and the number of aligners needed. Most treatments cost between $3,500–$5,500. If you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign but are concerned about cost, Dr. Mazhari offers free Invisalign consultations. This allows you to get a better sense of both what outcomes Invisalign can achieve as well as what it would likely cost in your specific circumstance. Additionally, our studio frequently offers specials on Invisalign treatments—simply call our office to learn more.
Dr. Mazhari and all of us at Alexandria Dental Health & Smile Studio believe that high-quality dental care should be affordable, which is why we partner with several trusted health care lenders. By setting up a payment plan with one of our financing partners, qualified applicants can often fit Invisalign into just about any budget.
Additional Invisalign FAQs
Can teenagers get Invisalign?
One of the most frequent questions we get is whether teenagers can receive Invisalign treatment rather than traditional metal braces. Studies show that teens are twice as likely to have higher self-esteem with Invisalign Teen treatment compared to metal braces.
Invisalign essentially works for people of any age—as long as they have their permanent teeth. Once your child or teen has all of their permanent teeth in place, our dentist can meet with them to determine whether Invisalign Teen is the right treatment for their orthodontic concerns.
Is Invisalign more expensive than metal braces?
Many people considering Invisalign worry that it will be much more expensive than traditional orthodontic treatments. However, Invisalign treatments are actually very comparable in price to regular braces, especially considering how much more convenient and efficient Invisalign can be for certain orthodontic corrections.
Is Invisalign really “invisible”?
Invisalign clear aligners are made from a transparent plastic material, but they’re not entirely invisible. That said, they’re custom-fitted and fabricated from specialized materials in order to be as minimally noticeable as possible, and most patients find that wearing the aligners has no significant negative impact on their appearance. Especially when compared to the more prominent wires and brackets of traditional braces, Invisalign is a much more discreet and barely—if at all—noticeable approach to orthodontics.
Will Invisalign change the way I talk?
Since Invisalign aligners are custom-fitted, they shouldn’t have any significant impact on the way you speak. Some patients may experience a slight lisp when they first begin wearing the aligners, but this typically goes away relatively quickly once patients have adjusted to the feeling of wearing the appliance.
Why should I get Invisalign?
Most people opt for Invisalign to help improve the look of their smile. Within a year or so, your smile could be straighter, giving you additional confidence and radiance. If you’ve ever hidden your smile or felt self-conscious about it, this might be an excellent treatment to help you obtain the look you’ve wanted.
There can also be some improvements to both the comfort and overall function of your teeth with Invisalign. If misaligned teeth are causing problems—such as making you have to adjust how you speak or eat—Invisalign could make a huge difference.
As an additional reason for getting Invisalign, proper teeth alignment can alleviate a multitude of other health problems. In some instances, improper teeth alignment can cause headaches or a TMJ disorder. Orthodontics could potentially address these issues or prevent them from occurring.
Will I need to wear a retainer after Invisalign treatment?
Yes, patients are often directed to wear a retainer after they finish wearing their Invisalign aligners. Fortunately, this post-treatment appliance is typically only worn at night. The reasoning behind utilizing a retainer after Invisalign treatment is to complement the entire process and ensure the results produced from the aligners are kept. Patients who don’t wear a retainer after their treatment may experience an orthodontic relapse where the teeth slip back to the original position before Invisalign. The use of a retainer prevents this from happening and keeps the teeth in their new position as intended.
Does Invisalign hurt?
Most patients report that their Invisalign aligners don’t cause pain. However, there may be discomfort among those with Invisalign as they become accustomed to their aligner in the initial stages of their treatment. Patients are instructed to practice speaking with their aligners to reduce the length of this adjustment period.
How do I clean my Invisalign aligners?
Patients who receive Invisalign are prescribed a specialized solution that the aligners are to sit in when not in use in order to clean and maintain them. Letting the aligners soak in the prescribed solution helps reduce the risk of them becoming yellow or dried out. Patients should also brush and floss their teeth before using their aligners. Rinsing out the aligners and scrubbing them with a soft bristle toothbrush is also recommended.
Can I eat with Invisalign?
Patients remove their Invisalign aligners when they eat. Unlike traditional braces, there are no restrictions on one’s diet or limitations on what they can eat. Patients should, however, remove their aligners before eating and then properly clean their teeth before putting their aligners back on to avoid wedging food particles between their teeth and their dental appliance.
Can you get Invisalign with crowns?
Yes, patients who have previously received dental crowns should still be able to utilize the Invisalign treatment. The physical Invisalign aligners are custom-made to fit each patient’s mouth. If a patient has crowns, the aligners can be designed to cover them, as well, without any issues.