One of the first things people notice about you is your smile. A genuine smile radiates warmth and approachability. A beautiful smile definitely makes you more attractive to others and sends a strong, positive message to someone even before you say a single word!

If you have teeth that are crooked or misaligned, you may want to ask your dentist about Invisalign®. A set of aligners can help to correct a broad range of dental and orthodontic issues and unlike metal braces, most people can’t even tell that you are wearing them.

How Does Invisalign® Work?

Invisalign® uses clear, removable trays to move teeth. They are CAD/CAM designed and are a series of custom made aligners varying in numbers from 15-35 sets. The patient changes these trays every 2 weeks which allows the teeth to be moved gently into their correct positions.

The patient must wear these trays 23 out of the 24 hours per day unlike conventional braces which are worn all the time. Invisalign® allows you to eat without the trays and to properly clean your teeth before replacing the aligners on your teeth again.

Most treatments take about one year to complete plus or minus 3-6 months.

How Does Invisalign® Compare to Metal Braces?

With regular braces, you may experience some or all of the following: pain, discomfort, mouth sores or injuries caused by the brace wires, tooth decay (from inadequate brushing and flossing), plaque buildup, tooth discoloration, tooth/bracket breakage, or difficulty eating. Foods you would need to avoid include popcorn, chips, hard-crusted bread, pizza crust, pretzels, nuts, certain candies, apples, carrots, corn on the cob, and more. Invisalign® allows you to eat whatever foods you enjoy. Invisalign® lets you remove the device when you want and allows you to brush and floss your teeth normally.

Many patients have asked about the benefits of veneers when compared to Invisalign®. While veneers are certainly an option for improving your smile, they only cover up certain dental imperfections rather than correct them. Applied to the front side of the teeth only, veneers also require the removal of the surface enamel of each tooth an irreversible procedure.

How Much Does Invisalign® Cost?

Your doctor will be able to help you determine the cost, which is based on the specifics of your individual needs. The cost of Invisalign® treatment ranges from $3,500 to $8,000, with the national average at about $5,000.

Many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign® just as they would other orthodontic treatments like braces. Either your Invisalign® provider or your insurance carrier can help you to determine the exact coverage for your treatment.

If your insurance does not cover all of your treatment costs, or if cost is a concern for you, talk to your Invisalign® provider about payment options – many doctors can offer flexible and affordable monthly payment plans.

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