Traditional braces continue to change and evolve each year, and they have transformed dramatically in recent years in particular. The days of bulky braces are gone and have been replaced with brackets that are smaller and better looking. Today’s braces are more discreet than ever, but even these amazing improvements sometimes are not enough to convince patients that are not interested in losing the flexibility of a brace-free smile. If you are one of these patients, we have some good news: you have another option. Like many people, you may be interested in learning the truth about Invisalign.
Here at Timock Family Orthodontics, we are proud to offer Invisalign clear aligners as an alternative to traditional braces. This innovative system can give patients the same beautiful results as braces without having to use any brackets, wires, or bands. Unlike braces, Invisalign has only been around for about twenty years. Because of this, many people do not know all of the facts about Invisalign and what it can do for your smile. To learn more about exactly what you can expect from the Invisalign system, keep reading!
What is Invisalign?
Here is the truth about Invisalign: while these aligners have been around since the late 1990s, trays that look similar have been around for decades and used as post-treatment retainers. However, Invisalign uses unique software and technology to move crooked and misaligned teeth in stages with a series of customized aligners. At the end of each stage, you replace their current aligner with the next in the series to keep up with anticipated movements of your teeth. This will usually be every 1-2 weeks, but the exact time frame depends on your treatment plan.
Invisalign was used only for simple spacing issues or very mild crowding in the beginning, but once orthodontists noticed the potential, the aligners evolved to move teeth more effectively for mild to moderate oral issues. When you are fully compliant, Invisalign aligners can be just as effective as traditional braces in many cases.
Does Invisalign Treatment Take Longer than Braces?
Any orthodontic treatment requires commitment from the patient to work. With Invisalign, complying with instructions is even more important than with other treatments.
That is because the aligners are removable orthodontic appliances. Traditional braces are attached to your actual teeth, so most of the hard work is done for you. But Invisalign aligners are removable, so you are responsible for wearing them for the required 20-22 hours a day during your whole treatment. If you neglect to wear them correctly, you will not see the results you want and may face longer treatment times.
We are asked often about how long a patient will need orthodontic treatment, but the truth is, there is no concrete answer. Every case is different and each patient will respond to treatment is a unique way. In general, however, most people will wear Invisalign aligners for anywhere from 9-15 months, with 18-30 aligners typically used over the course of the treatment. This is actually slightly faster than the average treatment time with braces.
Does Invisalign Cost More than Braces?
Dr. Timock and Dr. Wire are committed to providing high-quality, affordable orthodontic care to patients of all ages in Fort Collins and Windsor and the surrounding communities. We offer interest-free payment plans, and we will file on your behalf if you have dental insurance that covers orthodontics. A better smile can always fit your budget with Timock Family Orthodontics!
What Advantages Does Invisalign Have Over Traditional Braces?
Invisalign gives you more freedom and flexibility than traditional treatment methods. For example, you do not have to worry about food restrictions, which can be the most difficult part of treatment. No one wants to give up their favorite foods or to avoid anything crunchy or chewy–even for the sake of protecting their brackets, bands, and wires. You can eat whatever you want with Invisalign. The aligners are simply taken out before eating, then put back in when you are done. Not having any food restrictions makes the treatment process a lot more fun!
Removable aligners also make it easier to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing around wires, brackets, and bands can be frustrating and time-consuming, but Invisalign aligners are removed before brushing and flossing normally. Caring for the aligners themselves could not be easier. There are special kits designed to clean them, or they can be gently brushed using toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
Without any wires or brackets to get in the way, Invisalign’s removable aligners are great for athletes and musicians who play certain instruments. And since they can be removed for short periods of time, they are also perfect for any special event that would benefit from a metal-free smile, like prom, weddings, or senior pictures.
Is Invisalign Recommended for Everyone?
Invisalign works best for teen and adult patients who already have all their permanent teeth. It also does a better job of correcting mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Complex or severe cases may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve. When you schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Timock and Dr. Wire, they will be able to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you, or if you would achieve your smile goals better with more traditional treatment. In many cases, patients are able to choose between braces and Invisalign aligners!
What Happens Once Invisalign Treatment is Complete?
Whatever method of orthodontic treatment you choose, your teeth will always remember where they used to be. Over time, they will naturally begin to drift back towards those positions if they have the chance. That is why retainers are an essential part of achieving long-lasting results! Our office will provide you with a retainer once your treatment is complete. Wearing this retainer exactly as directed by Dr. Timock and Dr. Wire will help keep your newly straightened smiles in place for years to come.