Invisalign Frequently Asked Questions
What is Invisalign?
The Invisalign system is an orthodontic treatment that corrects tooth alignment and bite problems with a series of custommade, nearly invisible aligners that are comfortable to wear, and removable for meals and normal brushing and flossing.
How do I get started?
Schedule an initial exam appointment with Dr. Koch to determine if you are a suitable candidate for Invisalign. You may also learn more information at www.invisalign.com
How does Invisalign work?
When you meet with Dr. Koch, we will perform digital photos and intraoral scans of your teeth called “orthodontic records”. This information is sent to Invisalign where a computer model of your teeth and your treatment is created – almost like an animated movie of the way your teeth will move from their current position to the final desired position. After Dr. Koch develops, reviews, and approves the treatment plan, Invisalign produces a series of clear, plastic aligners that correspond to the stages of tooth movement in the 3-D movie. Each set of aligners is designed to move the teeth a small amount. Depending on the clinical circumstances, you will wear each stage of aligners for approximately 7, 10, or 14 days before switching to the next set in the series. Week by week, your teeth are straightened until they reach their final destination.
What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?
- Nearly invisible: You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.
- Removable: You can eat and drink what you want.
- Easier to maintain good oral hygiene: You can brush and floss normally to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
- Comfortable: There are no wires or brackets to cause mouth abrasion.
Does a dentist need any special training with Invisalign?
Dentists must attend and complete a 4 hour training seminar to treat patients with Invisalign. Align Technology, Inc. also provides dentists with many opportunities for both online and live continuing education. Dr. Koch has currently completed over 50 hours of Invisalign continuing education, and is scheduled to complete an additional 30 hours of advanced training before the end of 2017.
Is there any difference between Invisalign performed by an orthodontist vs. a general dentist?
No. Because Invisalign treatment is planned and guided using advanced 3-D computer technology, a general dentist can provide the same standard of care as expected from an orthodontist. This proprietary software is valued at $500 million.
Can both teenagers and adults be treated with Invisalign?
Yes. However, our practice has elected to limit the use of Invisalign to the treatment of adult patients since orthodontic treatment is more predictable after growth and development is completed.
How long does treatment take with Invisalign?
Like traditional braces, the length of treatment depends on the complexity of the case, but the average treatment time with Invisalign is 1 year. After Dr. Koch develops and approves your orthodontic treatment plan with Align Technology, Inc., the total treatment time in months can be estimated by Invisalign’s software.
Will wearing Invisalign aligners affect my speech?
Similar to other orthodontic treatments, Invisalign aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp caused by the aligners should disappear.
How often must I wear the aligners?
Invisalign aligners should be worn day and night, except when eating, brushing, and flossing. More specifically, aligners must be worn 22 hours per day to ensure that tooth movement progresses predictably.
Are there restrictions on eating and drinking?
No. Because you remove your Invisalign aligners before you eat, there are no restrictions on the types of foods you may eat during treatment.
Does Invisalign hurt?
During the first day that you use each set of Invisalign aligners, you may feel some discomfort because the aligner is gently moving your teeth. In most cases, the discomfort will subside within the first day.
How will Invisalign effectively move my teeth?
Like brackets and arch wires are to braces, Invisalign aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on your teeth. The main difference is that Invisalign not only controls forces, but also the timing of the force application. During each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move as determined by the dentist and your unique treatment plan.
How much does Invisalign cost?
As with other orthodontic options, the cost is based on the complexity of your case and the length of treatment. We want to make sure that the financial aspect of our care is comfortable for you, so we offer a variety of payment options to suit your individual needs, including 3rd party financing through Care Credit.
Does insurance cover Invisalign?
Typically, an insurance policy that covers traditional braces also covers Invisalign to the same extent. Your benefits depend on the specific dental plan selected by your employer and must provide “orthodontic coverage for adults” for you to receive partial reimbursement for the cost of care. Invisalign reimbursement is eligible with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA).
ABOUT THE PROCESS:
What are the steps involved with Invisalign?
- Schedule an appointment for an initial exam and consultation, or speak to Dr. Koch at your next appointment.
- Orthodontic Records – Panoramic x-ray, digital photos, intraoral digital scans of the teeth and bite.
- Using 3-D computer imaging technology, your treatment plan is converted into a series of precisely customized aligners. In most cases, you will wear each pair of aligners for 2 weeks before moving to the next set in the series. You return for appointments typically once every 6 weeks to ensure treatment is progressing as planned.
MISCELLANEOUS FACTS AND FIGURES:
How old is the company?
Align Technology, Inc., the company that manufactures Invisalign, was founded in 1997.
Has Invisalign been reviewed by the FDA?
Invisalign aligners are classified as Class II medical devices by the FDA, and Align Technology, Inc. has held the necessary 510K clearance from the FDA since 1998 to be able to sell and market the Invisalign system.
How many patients are being treated with Invisalign?
More than 4,000,000 patients worldwide have been treated with Invisalign. The number of Invisalign smiles grows daily.