For a long time, braces were the only option for straightening teeth and improving oral health. Because of this, when we talk with patients and explain how orthodontic treatment can benefit their smile, many of them immediately envision traditional metal braces. Fortunately, modern braces are more comfortable, effective, and aesthetically pleasing than they’ve ever been before. There’s actually never been a better time to be a braces patient!
That being said, a number of our teen and adult patients are on the fence about using metal braces to straighten their smile. Here at Foothill Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer a number of alternatives to metal braces, including clear braces, Inbrace lingual braces, Invisalign clear aligners, and Invisalign Teen. When you visit our Foothill or Holladay offices for a free consultation with Dr. Jeff Chandler or Dr. Brian Anderson, they will perform an orthodontic evaluation and create a personalized treatment plan for your unique needs.
Every smile is unique and what works for one patient may not work for another. That’s why our doctors will take several factors into consideration when choosing the best treatment for you, including:
- your diagnosis
- your treatment objectives
- how complex your case is
- your lifestyle
- your goals
- your personal preferences
- your budget
Invisalign can be an excellent option for many patients and it’s currently the most popular alternative to braces available. In most cases, Invisalign aligners are comparable in price to traditional metal braces, but there may be times when they’re slightly more expensive. This leads some patients to wonder “is Invisalign worth it?” Here at Foothill Orthodontics, we believe that Invisalign aligners are a worthwhile investment for almost any smile. Keep reading below to find out why we love them, and why we think you will, too!
Invisalign makes treatment nearly invisible
Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest reasons for Invisalign’s popularity is the subtlety of clear aligners. These are almost completely unnoticeable to most people, which is exciting for patients who have been anxious about treatment making their smile stand out. Since they can be removed for short periods of time, clear aligners are also perfect for any special event when a patient wants their natural smile to shine through, such as proms, weddings, or senior pictures.
Invisalign makes it easier to keep your smile healthy during treatment
Oral hygiene is important for everyone, but orthodontic patients in particular need to maintain good dental hygiene during treatment. This can take some getting used to with traditional braces, especially in the early days. Brushing and flossing around the brackets and bands can be time-consuming and they also make it harder to remove any lingering food particles or plaque. Invisalign aligners are simply removed before brushing and flossing as normal! Caring for the aligners themselves could not be easier, either. There are special kits designed to clean them, or they can be gently brushed using toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
The flexibility you need with Invisalign
Because they can be removed for short periods of time, Invisalign aligners offer Foothill Orthodontics patients much more freedom and flexibility than traditional treatment methods. Food restrictions are one prime example of this. Patients wearing braces must avoid sticky and crunchy foods throughout the duration of treatment since they can wreak havoc on brackets, bands, and wires. This often eliminates several favorite snacks and foods. With Invisalign, you can still eat anything you want, any time you would like. Simply remove the aligner before eating, then put it back in when you are done.
Invisalign may work more quickly than braces in some cases
Every case is different and each patient will respond to treatment in their own way, so, unfortunately, there is never a “one size fits all” answer as to how long a patient will need orthodontic treatment.
Patient compliance is an important part of any orthodontic treatment, but it is absolutely essential with Invisalign. For the system to work correctly, you will need to wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day throughout the treatment process, as recommended by Dr. Chandler or Dr. Anderson. You will also be responsible for switching your aligners out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks, allowing them to keep up with the movements your teeth are making. If you do not keep up your schedule, your treatment may take longer and not provide the results you are looking for.
For patients who are fully compliant, the average treatment time with Invisalign can be anywhere from about 6 to 18 months. Depending on the case, this can actually be slightly faster than the average time spent in braces!
Invisalign can successfully treat a wide range of orthodontic issues
In the earlier days of Invisalign, the aligners were really only used to correct simple spacing issues or mild crowding. As the system began to grow in popularity, however, the design of the aligners was greatly improved. Invisalign can now be used to treat the following conditions effectively:
- gaps between teeth
- deep overbite
- open bite
- excessive overjet
Special features for teens
When it comes to the treatment benefits and underlying technology, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are the same. However, Invisalign Teen was developed with features that meet the unique needs of teenage patients, including:
As we already mention, patient compliance is a critical component to success with Invisalign. You must wear your aligners as directed by Dr. Chandler or Dr. Anderson to work properly. The compliance indicators incorporated into the Invisalign Teen aligners fade from blue to clear, providing parents and orthodontists with a visual approximation of wear. This lets them know if the patient is holding up their end of the treatment bargain!
This feature accommodates the growth of the second molars in young adults, helping to keep space open for unerupted teeth and making it possible to treat a wider range of conditions with Invisalign.
It is not uncommon for our teen patients to lose or break an aligner. Although teens should always treat their aligners with care, there is no need to worry if this occurs. Invisalign Teen will provide up to six replacement aligners at no charge, just in case.
Get the smile you deserve with Invisalign and Foothill Orthodontics
While Invisalign can be an exciting option for many patients, it may not work for everyone. Generally speaking, the aligners tend to be most successful for teen and adult patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are particularly complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve.
When you schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Chandler or Dr. Anderson in our Foothill or Holladay office, they will examine your smile and determine if treatment with Invisalign would be an effective option for your smile. You can trust that we’ll only recommend the treatment we believe will be the best fit for your unique smile!
During your first visit with us, we will also outline what you will be investing in your smile. You will learn more about our payment options and insurance coverage. When you have all the right information, you will be able to weigh your treatment options more effectively.