WHAT IS INVISALIGN?
Your Invisalign treatment will consist of a series of clear, practically invisible aligners that you switch out about every two weeks. Each aligner is individually manufactured with exact calculations to gradually shift your teeth into place. And since your Invisalign system is custom-made for your teeth and your teeth only, with a plan devised by you and Dr. Cross, you know you'll end up with a smile that truly fits.
If you're ready for a smile that transforms your appearance, Invisalign is your answer. Although there are many choices out there, no other works as effortlessly as the Invisalign system.
Invisalign is the best way to transform your smile without interfering with your day-to-day life. Check out the benefits below:
SOME ADVANTAGES OF INVISALIGN:
1. Virtually invisible so no one can tell you're straightening your teeth.
2. Much more comfortable; No wires or brackets; No need for wax to prevent wires from poking gums and cheeks and causing ulcers.
3. Aligners are removable so you can eat without worrying about how much food is getting caught in your metal braces.
4. You can eat anything you want, unlike metal braces.
5. You can brush and floss normally.
6. Because you can keep your teeth cleaner, you do not have the problem of swollen gums and decalcified or decayed teeth as is so often seen with metal braces.
Will Invisalign work for me?
Not only is Invisalign versatile, helping to correct a broad range of dental and orthodontic issues, but it really works. And there are over half a million smiles to back that up. But a confident smile isn't the only benefit of correcting your dental issues with custom-made Invisalign aligners—your health can be positively impacted as well. Learn more about several common issues below that Dr. Cross can work with you to correct.
Overly crowded teeth: This occurs when there is simply a lack of room within your jaw for all of your teeth to fit normally. When left untreated, overly crowded teeth can cause dental decay, an increase in chances of gum disease, and can prevent the normal function of teeth.
Widely spaced teeth: This occurs with abnormal continued growth of the jaw bone. When teeth are missing, this issue can also be caused by the other teeth shifting due to extra space. Spacing issues in teeth can cause some periodontal diseases.
Crossbite: This occurs when the upper and lower jaws are both misaligned. It causes one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth, and can happen on both the front and/or the sides of the mouth. This issue can cause wear of the teeth, gum disease, and bone loss.
Overbite: What people commonly refer to as an "overbite" is known to dental professionals as "overjet." It occurs when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. It's typically caused by either genetics, bad oral habits, or over development of the bone that supports the teeth. This issue can lead to gum problems or irritation, and/or wear on the lower teeth and can cause painful jaw and joint problems.
Underbite: This occurs when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth. It's usually caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or both. It can also be caused by missing upper teeth. This issue can prevent the normal function of front teeth or molars which can lead to tooth wear. It can also cause painful jaw and joint problems.
Open Bite: Open bite often occurs when some teeth are unable to make physical contact with the opposing teeth for a proper bite. Most often caused by a genetic abnormal jaw structure or excessive thumb-sucking, an open bite can cause poor or painful chewing, and even speech impairment. It can also lead to greater issues like thermo-mandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Dr. Cross will work with you to create a custom-designed program that will treat your specific dental or orthodontic issue(s). Your treatment program will consist of a full set of aligners, made for you, and only you.
What are some of the health benefits of Invisalign?
It’s easy to see that a straight, well-aligned smile looks great. But that kind of smile often means it’s also a healthy smile. So put yourself in a healthy state of mind, and take a look at the many benefits of a properly aligned smile.
Signs of periodontal disease, such as swollen gums and redness, can surface due to teeth that are crowded or too widely spaced. Clinical studies have shown that when teeth are properly aligned, it helps the gums fit tighter around the teeth, which can lead to better periodontal health.¹ Since the Invisalign system’s greatest advantage is its ability to align teeth, your gum health may improve after Invisalign treatment.² And since you can brush and floss normally with Invisalign, unlike with traditional braces, you can more easily prevent tooth decay and related periodontal disease.
One of the Invisalign system’s best qualities is that it uses no metal bands, brackets, or wires that may trap food and plaque like traditional braces do. And since the removable nature of Invisalign allows you to maintain good oral hygiene habits, you may also reduce chances of plaque buildup, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.
Improved chewing and speech
When you leave incorrectly positioned teeth and jaws untreated, it can lead to speech difficulties and uncomfortable chewing issues. Invisalign treatment can improve both of these problems by giving you better-aligned teeth and jaws.
Maintain comfort and tooth structure
Misaligned teeth and jaws can result in abnormal stress. This can cause painful trauma to supporting bone and jaw joints. These issues can also cause abnormal wear on your teeth, which can trigger continued problems in the future.
What is the treatment process and how long does it take?
Your custom-made smile program
Your treatment plan begins with a consultation with Dr. Cross. During that consultation, you will discuss the options to treat your particular issue. Once Dr. Cross confirms that your issue can be corrected with the Invisalign system, he will write a detailed treatment plan that determines how each of your aligners will change throughout your program. When you begin treatment, you'll wear each set of aligners in approximately two-week increments. The aligners gently move your teeth into position, and at the end of each two-week period, you "graduate" to the next set of custom aligners.
As you progress through the series of aligners, your teeth will begin moving, little by little. And you don't have to wait until you complete treatment to see your smile change—you may start seeing positive changes early in the process. You will have occasional checkups with Dr. Cross—often as little as once every four to six weeks—in order to gauge your progress. And at the end of your treatment, you'll be showing off a smile you never knew you'd have before you had Invisalign.
Your lifestyle. Your schedule.
So how long will it take to finish your treatment? For most adults, treatment time is just under one year, however, if your case is more difficult it will take longer, just like with regular braces. Of course, your total treatment time depends on your particular situation, so it's important to speak with your doctor about how your situation and goals fit into an Invisalign treatment program.
You're in control of your treatment's success. The more you wear your aligners, the better. Take them out to eat, drink, and brush your teeth. But the more you wear your aligners, the better. You're on your way to the smile you've always dreamed of!
HOW WILL MY ALIGNERS BE MADE?
Designed just for you
So what happens when you decide Invisalign is for you? Simply visit Dr. Cross for a consultation to discuss the goals you have for your smile. Once Dr. Cross determines that Invisalign is right for you, he will write up a detailed treatment plan, and a set of virtually invisible aligners will then be sent. Your Invisalign system may look like a simple piece of plastic, but it's much more. With advanced technology, your Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, and only you. Over time, your teeth should move to reveal the smile you've been looking for. So take a look at the steps you and Dr. Cross will take to get you to a brand-new smile.
Your initial consultation with Dr. Cross is easy. During this visit, you'll discuss the issues you have with your teeth and what kind of results you would like to see. Once Dr. Cross decides your situation is suitable for Invisalign treatment, a treatment plan will be mapped out with your goals in mind. Then, impressions and pictures of your teeth will be taken for digitization purposes.
The impressions of your teeth will be digitized in order for Dr. Cross to work with a computerized 3-D image of your teeth. Then, he will plan your tooth movements throughout your entire treatment timeline. You'll be able to see a virtual representation of your teeth before, during, and after completion of the Invisalign process so you can see what your smile should look like when you're done with treatment.
From Dr. Cross's precise treatment plan, customized aligners are created with advanced technology for you to wear at each stage of your treatment. While the number of aligners varies for each individual situation, a full set of treatment typically includes 20-30 aligners per arch.
You should wear your aligners at all times, with the exception of eating and drinking, in order to complete your treatment in the timeline determined. You'll go in for occasional checkups, to monitor your progress and to receive your next set of aligners. During the entire treatment process, you'll be able to watch your teeth gradually moving into place. Your smile will, little by little, move into something you'd like to show off. The people around you will be sure to notice your new-found confidence.
Choosing the Invisalign system is a smart decision on your part because the advanced technology provides you with customized treatment to give you a smile that suits you. And even with all that superior technology, we make it easy for you to get Invisalign. Look over some payment options to help you on your way to the smile you've always dreamed of.
HOW IS INVISALIGN SIMILAR TO TRADITIONAL BRACES?
1. It takes about the same amount of time; Anywhere from a few months to 2 or more years, but the average is about one year.
2. Each time you put in a new aligner for the first time, there may be a period of soreness for 2 or 3 days, however there is usually not anywhere near as much pain and soreness as is experienced after getting metal braces tightened each month.
3. During the course of treatment, we may have to add small invisible attachments to your teeth and/or do a slight amount of sanding between your teeth to allow them to move easier, just like with regular braces.
4. After all originally provided aligners are worn, there may be a period of 1 to 3 months of aligners to perfectly refine the case, just like with regular braces. There is no additional charge for this.
5. Just like with regular braces, after the case is complete, we may need to equilibrate or adjust your bite so your teeth fit together properly.
6. Just like with regular braces, after the case is complete, you will need to wear a retainer in order to keep the teeth from moving back. One set of retainers is included in the fee.
You are your best investment
It’s true. No matter what you’ve believed in the past, a confident, radiant smile can be within reach. And if you think about it, improving your smile is an important investment, because you’re doing it for yourself.
What about insurance?
Many dental-insurance providers cover orthodontic treatment to some extent. If your dental plan is one of them, Invisalign may qualify as orthodontic treatment. Talk to your insurance provider to determine the extent of coverage for your treatment.
Are there financing options with Invisalign?
Another financing option available to help you get Invisalign treatment is CareCredit. CareCredit is a third party financing company focused on providing credit for healthcare services. Once you’re approved for CareCredit financing, you can use it for your Invisalign treatment and enjoy convenient monthly payment options, no up-front costs, no prepayment penalties and no annual fees. Go to our "Patient Financing" page for more information
What are my other options?
Many companies offer employees Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). An FSA allows you to set aside a portion of your paychecks in order to pay for qualified medical expenses.
The money you elect to contribute is deducted from your pay and transferred directly into your FSA, and therefore, is not subject to payroll taxes. After incurring eligible medical costs, you can then submit your receipt for reimbursement from your FSA.
Since Invisalign can fall under orthodontic treatment, these costs can qualify for FSA reimbursement. If your company offers FSA and you know you’d like to treat yourself to Invisalign, plan ahead and consult your benefits department. When it comes time to enroll in your program, you can submit the appropriate amount for your Invisalign treatment and save money while doing it, since it’s a pre-tax contribution. It’s an easy and convenient way to get the smile you want.
HOW DOES INVISALIGN COMPARE TO OTHER COSMETIC OPTIONS?
Nothing else measures up to Invisalign
When it comes to considering your options for a smile makeover, it's easy to see Invisalign's advantages. So there's a reason to smile. Compare Invisalign to other teeth straightening options.
What about veneers?
While veneers aren't a direct comparison to the Invisalign system, they can still address some of the same cosmetic problems. Getting veneers is considered more of a quick fix than Invisalign, but they have some distinct drawbacks. When you decide on veneers, often, but not always, the front surface of the tooth enamel is permanently removed. Then the veneer, a thin piece of specially-shaped porcelain, is glued over the front of your teeth. This is an irreversible procedure if the tooth enamel is removed to accommodate the veneer.
Another problem with veneers is that they are not a permanent solution. They can chip or break, requiring you to replace them on an individual basis, which can get pricey. Even if they don't chip or break, over time they may come off. Veneers tend to last about 5 to 10 years, depending on the quality of the veneers purchased. Since your tooth enamel may have been removed, most patients have no choice but to replace their veneers, incurring the same high costs every time they have to get a new set.
Last, but perhaps most important, because veneers are a purely cosmetic treatment, they don't correct health problems of your teeth. Instead of straightening teeth as Invisalign does, a veneer simply covers up imperfections. Invisalign offers you beautiful, healthy teeth—it's a solution worth smiling about!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Will Invisalign treatment be painful?
While Invisalign moves your teeth without the pain and anxiety of metal braces, some people will experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It’s also a sign that Invisalign is working, as it moves your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away in a couple of days.
Will wearing Invisalign aligners affect my speech?
Similar to other orthodontic treatments, Invisalign aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp caused by the aligners should disappear.
Are there restrictions on what I can eat while in treatment?
No. Thanks to the removable nature of the aligners, you can eat and drink whatever you want while in treatment. In fact, you’re required to remove your aligners to eat and drink. So, unlike undergoing traditional treatment using wires and brackets, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks unless instructed otherwise by your doctor. Also, it is important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain fresh breath and proper hygiene.
Will smoking stain the aligners?
We discourage smoking while wearing aligners because it is possible for the aligners to become discolored.
Can I chew gum while wearing aligners?
No, gum will stick to the aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks.
What's the best way to clean my aligners?
The best way to clean your aligners is by brushing them and rinsing them in cool water. Never use hot water as it may melt the aligners.
How often must I wear my aligners?
For the best, quickest results, wear your aligners all day, except when eating, brushing or flossing.
How often must I see Dr. Cross?
Dr. Cross will schedule regular appointments – it could be anywhere from every four to ten weeks depending upon the difficulty of the case. The goal of these visits are to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned.
What happens after treatment to prevent my teeth from moving again?
Just like with braces you will need to use a retainer to keep your teeth from moving. We use a clear plastic retainer similar to the Invisalign aligner but made of a stronger material so that it will last longer. Align Technology also offers the Vivera Retainer.
How much does Invisalign cost?
We know cost is a big question for anyone considering dental or orthodontic work. Invisalign treatment is usually similar to the cost of traditional braces. If you’re concerned about cost, talk to Dr. Cross about payment options and visit our "Patient Financing" page to see how you can get Invisalign with no down payment and easy monthly payments.
Will my insurance cover Invisalign?
Because medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, you should review your personal coverage plan. However, in general, if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces.