Imagine having a beautiful smile with straight, even teeth. That sounds ideal to most patients. However, the thought of straightening the teeth with metal brackets and wires is less appealing. Thankfully, Invisalign is an option to help patients get beautiful smiles without a mouth full of metal.
Continue reading as we explain how Invisalign works, the cost, and general patient expectations with clear aligners.
Clear aligners for straighter teeth
Orthodontic treatments have come a long way. Patients now have various options, including metal or ceramic brackets, lingual braces, clear aligners, and retainer systems. The range of treatments allows dentists and orthodontists to customize treatment plans. They take into account a patient’s oral health needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, have become a popular, effective alternative to conventional braces.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a brand name that has become a gold standard in aligner tray systems. Since its FDA approval in 1998, Invisalign has improved over 11 million smiles worldwide!
As the original clear aligner system, Invisalign uses clear, BPA-free plastic trays to gently shift the teeth into place. With improvements in technology, Invisalign can now treat a wider range of orthodontic problems from mild to moderate needs.
When it comes to straightening on enhancing your smile, you need to know the basics. Understanding the benefits, how it works, the treatment time, and cost will help you make an informed decision about your treatment.
How does Invisalign work?
Conventional braces require changing and tightening the metal wires to force the teeth to move. Although traditional orthodontics treatments are effective, they often cause tightness, discomfort, and sores.
Invisalign relies on gentle pressure to gradually shift the teeth. This system uses a series of soft plastic trays, which are designed using the patient’s dental impressions. Each set of trays is worn for a couple of weeks before a new set replaces the old. The placement of pressure is different in the new trays to promote continuous movement of the teeth.
How long is the treatment?
Invisalign treatments vary and are customized based on the patient’s needs. More severe problems may require additional treatment time. Patients who need mild orthodontic correction may achieve their desired results in just six months. However, the average treatment time is 18-24 months, with most patients finishing their treatment course in less than two years.
It is important to remember that while treatment times vary, patient compliance is crucial.
Since the aligners are removable, patients control the effectiveness of the treatment. Trays should be worn for 20-22 hours per day for maximum effectiveness. If the dentist’s recommendations are not followed, additional treatment time may be necessary.
How much is Invisalign?
One of the perks of clear aligners is the personalized treatment. That also means the overall cost of Invisalign treatment varies from patient to patient. According to the Consumer Guide for Dentistry, the average cost of Invisalign in the United States is $3,000 to $5,000. Factors that affect the price include:
- Dentist’s experience and cost
- Severity of orthodontic needs
- Patient adherence to using the aligners as directed
While the cost may be a concern, there are payment options.
First, be sure to check your dental plan. Some insurance plans cover Invisalign and orthodontic treatments in part or in full. Contact your insurance company to understand your benefits or ask about adding orthodontic coverage to help cover the cost.
HSA or FSA
Additionally, you may be able to use your health savings account (HSA) or a flexible spending account (FSA). HSA and FSA plans allow you to set aside funds for dental and medical needs. Orthodontic treatment is often an approved expense. This allows you to use money that has already been set aside rather than money out of your own pocket.
Dental savings plan
If you do not have insurance or your plan does not cover orthodontics, ask your dentist about a dental savings program. At Radiant Smiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, our dental savings plan allows patients to receive dental care at an affordable cost. For a low monthly fee, patients have access to preventative and restorative treatments to keep their smiles healthy. Our plan gives patients $500 off their Invisalign treatment!
Apply for CareCredit to cover the cost of your aligner treatment. CareCredit allows patients to get the dental care they need at a cost that suits their budgets. This program is essentially a credit card for medical or dental needs. The treatment cost is broken down into affordable monthly payments.
What are the benefits?
Invisalign treatments offer a number of benefits.
- Discreet – The clear trays allow patients to straighten their teeth without the glint of metal brackets. The trays fit snugly around the teeth, so they are not obvious to the general public.
- Comfortable – Aligner trays are soft and flexible. They do not scratch or harm the soft tissues of the mouth. Also, patients do not have to stress about the discomfort caused by tightening wires and adjusting brackets.
- Safe – Invisalign is metal and BPA-free making it safe for patient use.
- Removable – The trays can be taken out as needed! This simple fact allows patients to enjoy their favorite foods and drinks without worrying about damaging the appliance.
- Customized – Treatments are fully personalized! The dentist takes digital impressions of your teeth. The impressions help develop a custom plan for gradually moving your teeth into their appropriate positions. Each set of trays is created based on this plan.
- Easy-to-clean – You can clean your trays with mild soap and water or rinse them out to avoid stains. Avoid using abrasive products which may cause tiny scratches.
Get a straighter smile with Radiant Smiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
Ready to take control of your oral health? Let the professionals at Radiant Smiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry customize your smile. We offer Invisalign treatment in Pineville to help patients get the straight, even smiles they desire.