Nearly everyone has some type and severity of malocclusion or tooth misalignment. For many years, the primary solution was traditional metal braces. Then, clear braces were introduced, which helped somewhat with the aesthetic factor, but still were bulky and undesirable.
In the late 1990s, Invisalign clear aligners were introduced to the market as a viable alternative for resolving mild to moderate malocclusions. They may also be effective when paired with attachments for more severe cases. This treatment is a series of clear aligners, much like retainers, designed to put even pressure on the entire arch of teeth, shifting them into their appropriate position.
The aligners are custom-made using 3D models of the teeth in their current position, as well as the desired results. The dentist will create a custom treatment plan, which defines how often aligners are changed out (usually every 1 to 3 weeks), as well as how long treatment should take. The aligners are designed to be removed for eating and drinking as well as for brushing and flossing teeth- but must be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours a day.
Dr. Maria Cook at Mount Zion Dental in North Miami Beach specializes in Invisalign treatment. In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of Invisalign treatment to show you how the cost and time commitment is worth it.
Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign clear aligners offer many benefits over traditional braces, including:
Fix dental issues
Invisalign clear aligners are designed to resolve a variety of mild to moderate malocclusions and may be able to resolve more severe ones with attachments. Invisalign has been proven effective at resolving:
- Tooth gaps
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Open bite
More Aesthetic Value
The wires and brackets of traditional braces are visible and can be seen even from a distance. Invisalign clear aligners, on the other hand, are transparent. This means that even from close up, they are virtually invisible.
The wires and brackets of traditional braces can cut your tongue, as well as the inside of your lips and cheeks. However, Invisalign clear aligners are made of smooth plastic, so this doesn’t happen. The aligners do put pressure on the teeth to shift them, but the pressure is evenly spread across all the teeth instead of just the ones that are out of alignment.
- Can eat anything with InvisalignTraditional braces require you to give up certain foods. Invisalign clear aligners, on the other hand, are removable. This means that you can enjoy all of your favorite foods- but you will need to brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in.
Traditional braces usually take a minimum of 12 months, and may take up to 36 months, depending on the type and severity of your malocclusion. Invisalign clear aligners typically take 12 to 18 months- but may take up to 24 months if the malocclusion is severe. On the other hand, very mild malocclusions may resolve in as little as 6 months.
Fewer dental visits
Traditional braces require a visit to the dentist every few weeks to have the wires tightened as the teeth shift. While you will switch to new aligners at home every 1 to 3 weeks based on your treatment plan, you will need to check in with the dentist every so often to check your progress. This will allow adjustments to your plan to be made if needed.
Helps with other issues
Invisalign may help with sleep apnea, especially in cases where the malocclusion has caused the obstruction. Invisalign also makes it easier to eat, so it can help with nutritional issues.
Easier to maintain dental hygiene
Traditional braces make it difficult to keep teeth clean because they get in the way when brushing and flossing. Since Invisalign clear aligners are removable, you can brush and floss teeth like you normally would. This reduces your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and more.
Other treatment options
At Mount Zion Dental, we offer both traditional braces and Invisalign to resolve malocclusions. Most of our older teen and adult patients prefer Invisalign. We typically recommend traditional braces for younger patients, primarily due to the compliance aspect- if the aligners are not worn as directed, they will not work.
Invisalign vs Braces
Invisalign clear aligners offer many advantages over traditional braces. For example:
- Traditional braces are visible, Invisalign clear aligners are not.
- Traditional braces can scrape the inside of the mouth, Invisalign clear aligners are smooth and do not cause these issues.
- The cost of treatment between the two is comparable and most dental insurance providers will cover a portion of the treatment.
- Traditional braces require diet restrictions, Invisalign clear aligners are removable so you can eat what you like.
- Traditional braces make it challenging to brush/floss teeth, Invisalign clear aligners are removable which makes it easy to brush/floss as usual.
Is Invisalign Worth It?
The cost of Invisalign treatment is comparable to that of traditional braces. Invisalign starts at around $1,500 for Invisalign Express, which is used for very mild malocclusions and includes 5 to 7 aligners. On the other end of the spectrum is Invisalign Comprehensive, which costs around $8,000 but includes unlimited aligners.
Traditional braces typically cost between $3,000 to $6,000+, depending on the type and severity of your malocclusion.
The good news is that most dental insurance providers will now cover both types of treatment. Our friendly office staff will work with your provider to determine your coverage and, if you still need help or if you do not have dental insurance, we do offer financing options through CareCredit and LendingClub. We also have an In-House Payment Plan that we can go over with you. We are part of the Lifetime Smiles for Veterans program as well for those who have served our country.
Schedule your Invisalign consultation with Dr. Maria Cook and the team at Mount Zion Dental in North Miami Beach, Florida. We are looking forward to meeting with you and helping you achieve the straight, picture-perfect smile you’ve always wanted.
If you are interested in learning more about Invisalign treatment for your mild to moderate malocclusion at Mount Zion Dental, Dr. Cook and the team will be happy to help. We will address your questions and concerns at any time. Below are some of the most common questions we hear:
How much does Invisalign cost without insurance?
The cost of Invisalign treatment ranges from about $1,500 to $8,000, depending on the type and severity of your malocclusion.
How to clean Invisalign?
Start by removing the aligners from your mouth. Then, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and liquid soap, gently brush your aligners. This will remove any bacteria to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. You should avoid using toothpaste, even a non-abrasive one, as this could damage the aligners.
Does Invisalign hurt?
Invisalign clear aligners put pressure on the teeth, shifting them into their appropriate positions within the jaw. Therefore, there is some minor discomfort when just starting treatment or when switching to a new set. However, Invisalign clear aligners are not as painful as traditional braces.
Can you chew gum with Invisalign?
No, you cannot chew gum with the aligners in your mouth. However, you can chew gum during the time that you have them out.