June 30, 2020
If you have recently learned that you or your child need treatment to correct orthodontic issues, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. You’re not alone! Taking that first step towards a healthier smile can be exciting, but you may also be unsure about what lies ahead during your treatment. With so much information out there about modern orthodontic treatment, you may be wondering “is Invisalign worth it?”
Here at Dudley Smiles Orthodontics, we believe it is! While traditional metal braces have certainly come a long way, some patients still desire a more subtle treatment option. This is one of many reasons that Invisalign is currently the most popular clear aligner alternative to braces available. Keep reading below to learn more about the benefits of Invisalign!
Invisalign makes treatment nearly invisible
Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest reasons for Invisalign’s popularity is the flexibility clear aligners offer patients. These aligners are barely noticeable to most people, which is exciting for patients who have been concerned 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 adjustments with traditional braces, especially in the early days. Brushing and flossing around the brackets and bands can be time-consuming and make it harder to remove any lingering food particles and 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
Since they can be removed for short periods of time, Invisalign clear aligners offer patients much more freedom than traditional treatment methods. Food restrictions are just one example of this. Sticky and crunchy foods can wreak havoc on brackets, bands, and wires, so patients in braces must avoid them during their treatment process. 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 unique and each patient will respond to treatment in their own way, so, there is never a “one size fits all” answer as to how long a patient will need to wear braces or aligners.
Patient compliance is an important part of any orthodontic treatment, but it is absolutely essential with Invisalign. For the system to be fully effective, you will need to wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day throughout the treatment process as recommended by Dr. Dudley. You will also be responsible for switching your aligners out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks, allowing them to accommodate 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
When they first came on the market, Invisalign 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. Dudley 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 un-erupted 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 Dudley Smiles Orthodontics
While Invisalign is an exciting option for many patients, it may not be the best option 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 more 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. Silas Dudley in our Kent or Issaquah office, he will examine your smile and determine if treatment with Invisalign would be a good fit for your smile. You can trust Dudley Smiles to 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, as well. When you have all the right information, you will be able to weigh your treatment options more effectively and choose what’s best for you!