Traditional braces have come a long way in recent years, undergoing changes to their design, shape, and size. Today’s braces are smaller, more aesthetically pleasing, and more efficient at correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues than they’ve ever been. As innovative as these new designs are, however, some patients are still hesitant about using them to achieve a straighter, healthier smile. If this sounds like you, there’s another option available: Invisalign clear aligner therapy. There are many misconceptions out there, so we’re here to tell you the truth about Invisalign!
Rhoads Orthodontics is proud to offer Invisalign clear aligner therapy to patients of all ages in Cranberry Township and the surrounding areas. This exciting system gives patients the same beautiful, long-lasting results as braces, without the brackets, wires, and bands. Because Invisalign is still relatively new in the field of orthodontics, not everyone is aware of what it is and how it can help them. Keep reading below as we debunk some of the common misconceptions about Invisalign clear aligner therapy.
What is Invisalign?
The Invisalign clear aligner system has been around since the late 1990’s, but similar trays were used for decades before that as post-treatment retainers. Invisalign’s current software and technology allows us to reposition crooked and misaligned teeth in gradual stages using a series of customized aligners. At the end of each stage, patients will replace their current aligner with the next in the series to keep up with the movement of their teeth. This is usually every 1-2 weeks, but each patient responds to treatment differently, so this may vary slightly.
When it was first created, Invisalign was mainly used for simple spacing issues and very mild crowding. Once orthodontists began to realize its potential however, the design of Invisalign aligners improved, becoming more efficient for moving teeth in most mild to moderate cases. With full patient compliance, Invisalign aligners can be just as effective as traditional braces. Just ask the 7 million patients who have been treated with Invisalign all over the world!
Does Invisalign treatment take longer than braces?
For any orthodontic treatment to be successful, the patient must commit to their treatment plan. Compliance is especially essential for patients who undergo Invisalign clear aligner therapy. Traditional metal braces are a fixed appliance, with brackets affixed to the actual surface of the teeth. That means that most of the hard work is done without too much effort from the patient. However, Invisalign aligners are removable, and must be worn 20-22 hours a day for the system to be successful. Patients who neglect to do so won’t achieve the desired results, and may face longer treatment times in general.
Since every patient responds to treatment in their own way, there’s no “one size fits all” answer as to how long orthodontic treatment will last. Every patient is unique and Dr. Rhoads believes that should be reflected in their treatment plan. In general, however, most people will wear Invisalign aligners for anywhere from 4–15 months, with 7–30 aligners on average used over the course of the treatment. This is actually slightly faster than the average time spent in braces!
Is Invisalign more expensive than braces?
There are multiple factors that make up the overall cost of your orthodontic treatment. At Rhoads Orthodontics, we believe that treatment should be affordable, no matter what route you choose to go. For that reason, the price of Invisalign is often comparable to that of traditional braces.
Our team is dedicated to providing high quality, affordable orthodontic care to patients of all ages here in Cranberry Township and the surrounding communities. We offer affordable payment plans that can be paid over the length of your treatment. We also accept most major insurance plans, and our team is happy to help you file your claim to ensure you get the most coverage possible. A better smile is always within your budget at Rhoads Orthodontics!
Does Invisalign have any advantages over traditional braces?
Invisalign gives patients a freedom and flexibility that traditional treatment methods just can’t match. Food restrictions are a great example! For many patients, the most difficult part of treatment is having to avoid some of their favorite foods in order to protect their braces. They must cut out any foods that are too chewy or crunchy, which can eliminate several favorite foods and snacks. With Invisalign, this is never something you have to worry about! You can simply remove your aligner before you eat, and put it back in when you’re done. Not having any food restrictions makes orthodontic treatment a lot more manageable (and fun!)
Removable aligners also make it easier to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. The wires, brackets, and bands of traditional metal braces can be difficult to brush around, giving many patients a bit of a learning curve. This isn’t the case with Invisalign! The aligners are removed before brushing, allowing you to carry on with your normal routine. Caring for the aligners is also a cinch! There are special kits designed to clean them, or you can brush them using a soft bristled toothbrush and toothpaste.
Without the wires and brackets of braces, Invisalign’s removable aligners are great for athletes and musicians who play certain instruments. Since they can be removed for short lengths of time, they’re also perfect for special events, such as prom, weddings, or family photos.
Will Invisalign work for everyone?
Invisalign typically suits our teen and older patients who have all of their permanent teeth. With our extensive training and experience in Invisalign clear aligner therapy, we’re able to effectively treat a wide variety of orthodontic issues, from minor to severe bite to misalignment of the teeth. When you schedule a free consultation with Dr. Rhoads, she’ll be able to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for your unique needs, or if your smile would be better served by a different type of treatment, such as traditional braces. In many cases, patients are able to choose what treatment they would prefer!
What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?
No matter which route a patient chooses for their orthodontic treatment, the teeth will always remember their previous positions in the mouth. Over time, they will naturally start to shift back to those positions if there is nothing to prevent it. That’s why retainers are an essential component for lasting results! Here at Rhoads Orthodontics, we’ll provide you with a post-treatment retainer to help you maintain your beautiful new smile. Wearing your retainer exactly as directed by Dr. Rhoads will help keep your newly straightened smile in place for years to come.
Trust your smile to the Invisalign experts at Rhoads Orthodontics
Here at Rhoads Orthodontics, you can trust our expert team to give you a smile that looks and feels amazing! As our most popular alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign’s innovative clear aligner system continues to change the way people view orthodontic treatment.
If you’re ready to discover how Invisalign clear aligners can give you the smile of your dreams, contact our office to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Rhoads!