Common Invisalign Questions Answered

May 7, 2024

Are you considering straightening your teeth with Invisalign but have a lot of questions? You're not alone. Invisalign has revolutionized orthodontic treatment, offering a discreet and convenient alternative to traditional braces. 

These clear braces are becoming increasingly popular among adults and teens alike, seeking a nearly invisible method to improve their smile. But as with every life-changing decision, it is important to have all the facts so you know what you’re getting into. 

Our goal is to provide you with clear, straightforward answers to the majority of the questions we get from patients who want to get on the Invisalign train. This will help you make an informed decision about whether Invisalign is the right choice for your orthodontic needs.

1. How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign works using a custom-designed series of aligners created specifically for you. These aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic that won't irritate your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces often do.

The process starts with an orthodontist taking digital scans of your teeth to create a precise 3D model. Based on this model, each set of aligners is designed to make small adjustments to the alignment of your teeth. As you progress through the series of aligners, your teeth move closer to their final, optimal position.

2. How long does the treatment take?

The duration of Invisalign treatment varies depending on the complexity of the patient's dental issues and how frequently the aligners are worn. 

Typically, treatment lasts between 12 to 18 months, but some cases may require a shorter or longer period. It's important for patients to adhere to wearing their aligners for the recommended 20 to 22 hours per day to achieve the best results within the estimated time frame.

Adults often find their treatment duration aligns with the average range, whereas teens might experience a variation similar to traditional braces. 

Progress evaluations occur regularly, allowing orthodontists to estimate more accurately how much longer each patient's treatment will need based on their specific alignment progress.

Read More: How Long Does Invisalign Take? Answers From an Orthodontist

3. Can Invisalign fix overbite/underbite/crossbite?

Yes, Invisalign can effectively treat various types of dental bite issues, including overbites, underbites, and crossbites. 

These conditions involve misalignments of the jaws and teeth, which Invisalign can often correct through its custom-designed aligners.

4. How much does Invisalign cost?

The cost of Invisalign treatment can vary widely depending on several factors, including the complexity of the alignment issues, the duration of treatment, and the geographical location of the dental practice. 

Generally, the price range for Invisalign is typically between $3,000 and $8,000 in the United States.

For minor alignment corrections, costs may be at the lower end of the spectrum, while more complex cases requiring longer treatment times can reach or exceed the higher end. 

Additionally, some dental insurance plans may cover a portion of the cost of Invisalign, similar to traditional braces. It's important to consult with your insurance provider to understand what portion of the treatment they may cover.

5. Is Invisalign painful?

Invisalign typically causes less discomfort than traditional metal braces. The aligners are made from a smooth, flexible plastic material that is custom-fitted to snugly cover your teeth, reducing the incidence of irritation to the inside of your mouth. 

However, it's normal to experience some pressure and minor discomfort during the initial days of wearing a new set of aligners. This sensation is a sign that the Invisalign aligners are effectively moving your teeth into their new positions.

The discomfort usually subsides after a few days as your teeth adjust to the new aligners. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to alleviate any pain during this adjustment period if necessary.

6. Can I eat with Invisalign on?

It is recommended to remove your Invisalign aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water. Eating with the aligners on can lead to damage such as cracks or warping due to the pressure and heat from hot foods and beverages. 

Additionally, food particles can get trapped under the aligners, increasing the risk of cavities and compromising oral hygiene.

To maintain the integrity of your aligners and ensure effective treatment, always remove them during meals. This also allows you to enjoy a wider range of foods without restrictions that are typically necessary with traditional braces. 

After eating, it is important to brush your teeth before reinserting the aligners to prevent any food buildup and to maintain dental health.

7. How do I clean my Invisalign trays?

Keeping your Invisalign trays clean is crucial for maintaining oral hygiene and ensuring the effectiveness of your treatment. To clean your aligners, rinse them under lukewarm water (never hot, as it can warp the material) each time you remove them from your mouth. 

For a deeper clean, brush the trays gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a mild, non-abrasive toothpaste. Avoid colored or scented soaps, as these can leave residue and create an unpleasant taste.

8. Will Invisalign affect my speech?

It is common for Invisalign users to experience a temporary adjustment period where their speech might be slightly affected. This is typically due to the presence of the new aligners in your mouth, which can create a slight lisp. 

However, most people adapt quickly to the aligners, and any speech impediments caused by them are usually temporary and resolve within a few days to a week.

9. Is Invisalign noticeable?

One of the major advantages of Invisalign is its discreet nature. Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign aligners are made from a clear, flexible plastic material that is designed to be virtually invisible when worn. This makes them a popular choice for adults and teens who are concerned about the aesthetic impact of orthodontic treatment.

While the aligners are not completely undetectable, they are far less noticeable than metal braces. The clarity of the aligners ensures that they blend in with your natural teeth, making it difficult for others to notice unless they are very close.

10. How often do I need check-ups during treatment?

Regular check-ups are an essential part of the Invisalign treatment process. Typically, you will need to visit your orthodontist every six to eight weeks. These visits allow your orthodontist to monitor the progress of your teeth alignment and ensure that the treatment is proceeding as planned.

11. What happens after Invisalign treatment?

Upon completing your Invisalign treatment, the next step is to maintain the beautiful results. Your orthodontist will typically provide you with a retainer, which is crucial to ensure that your teeth do not shift back to their original positions. Wearing your retainer as directed is key to preserving the alignment achieved with Invisalign.

12. What if I lose an aligner?

If you lose an Invisalign aligner, it's important to contact your orthodontist immediately. Quick action is necessary to prevent any disruption to your treatment progress. In many cases, your orthodontist may advise you to start wearing the next set of aligners if you are close to the end of the two-week period for the current set. Otherwise, they might recommend reverting to the previous set of aligners to maintain your teeth's position while a replacement is being prepared.

13. How do I know if I am a candidate for Invisalign?

Determining whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign involves a consultation with a qualified orthodontist. During this consultation, the orthodontist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth and jaw alignment to assess if Invisalign is suitable for your specific orthodontic needs. This assessment typically includes digital scans or impressions of your teeth to create a detailed 3D model.

14. Can I switch from braces to Invisalign?

Switching from traditional metal braces to Invisalign is a possibility for many patients, depending on the specific circumstances of their orthodontic treatment. If you are considering making this switch, the first step is to consult with your orthodontist. They will assess the progress made with the braces and determine if transitioning to Invisalign aligners would be effective for continuing your treatment.

The decision to switch can depend on factors such as how much of your treatment has been completed with braces, the complexity of the remaining alignment issues, and the specific goals you aim to achieve. Invisalign might be recommended if you are nearing the end of your treatment and only require minor adjustments, or if you are looking for a more aesthetic and comfortable option.

15. How do Invisalign results compare to braces?

Invisalign and traditional braces are both effective treatments for straightening teeth and correcting various dental alignment issues. However, the results and experiences of these two methods can differ based on several factors.

Functionally, Invisalign can achieve results similar to traditional braces for most common alignment and bite issues. However, braces might still be the better option for more complex or severe misalignments.

16. Are there age restrictions for Invisalign?

Invisalign is a flexible treatment option suitable for both adults and teenagers. There are no strict age restrictions for starting Invisalign treatment.

17. What should I do in case of discomfort?

When experiencing discomfort with Invisalign aligners, applying a cold compress to your mouth or using over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can provide relief. 

You can also use oral anesthetic gels for localized pain or engage in gentle chewing exercises with aligner chewies to help adjust to the new aligners. If the discomfort continues or worsens, it’s crucial to consult your orthodontist to ensure the aligners fit properly and no adjustments are needed to your treatment plan.

Read More: How to Manage Invisalign Pain

18. How to find a good Invisalign provider?

Start by searching for certified Invisalign providers in your area. It's important to look for providers who have a high ranking, such as "Elite" or "Top 1%" status, as these designations indicate significant expertise and experience with Invisalign treatments.

The Best Invisalign Provider in Sandy Springs and Decatur, GA

At Quest Orthodontics, we are proud to be recognized as a top provider of Invisalign in Sandy Springs and Decatur, GA. Led by Dr. Arjun Patel, a board-certified orthodontist, our team is dedicated to offering the highest standard of care, utilizing advanced technology and personalized treatment plans. 

We are also distinguished as a "Top 1%" Invisalign provider, reflecting our extensive experience and success in treating a wide range of orthodontic cases. If you are considering Invisalign, choose Quest Orthodontics for a provider committed to excellence and patient satisfaction.


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