Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign Retainers
How long have you been delaying your orthodontic care?
Deterrents like …
prolonged treatment times, repeated orthodontic appointments, and the unsightly thought of wearing braces
… are preventing thousands of people from getting the care they require.
Your dream smile is just a few steps away with Invisalign!
The Invisalign system offers shorter treatment times, fewer orthodontic sessions, and a completely invisible presence in your mouth.
Put an end to procrastination. With Invisalign, your pearly whites will shine like never before!
What are Invisalign Clear Retainers?
Invisalign clear retainers are orthodontic appliances designed to correct your teeth’s alignment.
Following its FDA approval in 1998, Invisalign developed clear aligners, patenting its innovative product.
With Invisalign, Dr. Chapman boosted the confidence of his patients and provided a straighter path for their teeth as a pioneer in embracing clear aligner technology.
Are Invisalign Retainers Truly Invisible?
Our patients, particularly adults, who might feel uncomfortable wearing traditional braces, will love Invisalign retainers because they’re so clear that people might not even notice you’re wearing them.
How Does the Invisalign Treatment Work?
Your orthodontist will scan your teeth and send the result to the Invisalign lab. Each aligner will slightly adjust to the alignment of your teeth. You will wear each aligner for about two weeks, give or take, before you move on to the next one. Each aligner contributes to your final, straight-teeth goal!
What are the Main Invisalign Benefits?
Invisalign has a range of benefits that make it a popular choice for teeth straightening, including:
- Discreet Appearance: The Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, making them a superior option than traditional braces from an aesthetic standpoint.
- Removability: Invisalign aligners can be removed while eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing, making them more convenient than traditional braces.
- Comfort: Compared to traditional braces with metal wires and brackets, Invisalign aligners are smoother and more comfortable to wear.
- Predictable Results and Treatment Time: By using 3D imaging technology, you can see what your teeth will look like after treatment, and get an estimate of how long it will take.
- Improved Oral Hygiene: With Invisalign retainers, you can easily clean your teeth properly during treatment since they’re removable.
- Fewer Dental Visits: Due to its well-planned treatment process, Invisalign requires fewer appointments with your orthodontist than traditional braces.
Am I the Ideal Candidate for Invisalign?
The use of invisible teeth straighteners can address a variety of orthodontic concerns, including:
- Spacing issues
- Overcrowded or overlapping teeth
- Open bite
If any of these conditions afflict you, then Invisalign offers a promising remedy. Invisalign is a great alternative to other teeth alignment methods as long as you adhere to the treatment regimen diligently. It provides well-aligned teeth and improved gum health if you follow it diligently.
Patients with relatively simple or minor orthodontic needs are likely to benefit from Invisalign aligners, which are known for their subtlety and effectiveness. You can still straighten your smile with Invisalign under the supervision of a competent orthodontic expert, even if your orthodontic situation is severe!
Who is Not a Good Candidate for Invisalign?
Unfortunately, not all patients are suitable candidates for Invisalign. If you’re suffering from active gum disease or cavities, we recommend that you treat these conditions before proceeding with orthodontic treatment.
It is possible that Invisalign will not correct serious dental issues that require oral surgery. This includes significant overbites that require orthodontic operations to physically adjust the jaw.
The Invisalign treatment may be complicated by dental additions such as implants, bridges, or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, although they do not rule out patients entirely. Dental interventions may be necessary if a patient’s teeth are too small, worn, or unusually shaped. However, orthodontists may be able to accommodate these issues concurrently with invisible aligners if they are not excessively severe.
Smokers should not use Invisalign aligners since smoking causes the aligners to look unattractive and stained.
The last thing patients need to consider when choosing Invisalign is motivation and the necessary discipline to stick to the treatment regimen consistently. You are not a good fit for clear aligners if you can’t wear them for a minimum of 20 hours per day.
The Invisalign system allows you more control of the direction of your orthodontic treatment, however, it’s crucial that you wear your aligners as directed by your dentist. Failing to do so may result in costly dental adjustments to correct any error made during the treatment process.
What is the Average Invisalign Treatment Time?
Individual needs and case complexity dictate the length of your Invisalign treatment.
Most Invisalign patients finish their treatment within 12 to 18 months.
While some people might see results in just six months, others with more complex dental issues may require up to two years of treatment.
Based on your unique situation, your orthodontist will provide you with a more precise timeline.
Should I Consider Invisalign Cleaning Crystals?
You can keep your smile looking great with Invisalign cleaning crystals that help fight bacteria, eliminate plaque, and reduce the chances of discoloration and staining while wearing your aligner assiduously.
By using cleaning crystals for your retainer, you can also prevent unsightly staining that could lead to a murky, discolored smile in public.
Invisalign retainers require meticulous cleaning for the following reasons:
- Retainers can be clogged with food particles and debris from the mouth.
- Bacteria are attracted to this debris.
- Plaque can be caused by bacteria on your teeth.
- It is possible for plaque to cause cavities that will require treatment in the future.
- Teeth decay and gum disease can be prevented by maintaining a bacteria-free oral environment.
How Many Hours Per Day Will I Be Wearing Invisalign Retainers?
You’ll typically be wearing your Invisalign retainers for about 20-22 hours a day.
But don’t worry, you’ll get used to them pretty quickly! You can remove them for meals and brushing, and before you know it, they’ll just become part of your daily routine.
How Much Does Invisalign Cost on Average?
Invisalign expenses can vary depending on your needs, but most patients can expect to commit approximately $5,000 to the process.
Is the Invisalign Treatment Covered by Insurance?
Invisalign treatment is covered by many dental insurance plans just like regular braces. However, some might only cover a part of the cost, and unfortunately, some might not cover any of it.
Contact your insurance provider to inquire about your coverage. You can also speak with your orthodontist to learn more about your benefits.
Even if your insurance doesn’t cover it, you can still get that dream smile with flexible payment plans.
Can Invisalign Attachments Improve My Orthodontic Treatment?
Invisalign aligners are bespoke products that are designed to help you move your teeth towards their desired alignment. However, when certain teeth need more advanced movements, your aligners will need an extra amount of assistance.
This is where Invisalign attachments come into play! A small piece of tooth-colored dental resin is attached to selected teeth in order to facilitate the movement required in specific teeth. Invisalign attachments provide supplementary pressure to your aligner as soon as it is placed over them.
Invisalign attachments serve as a point of contact between the aligner and the tooth, providing extra pressure so that the tooth can be guided in the right direction by the aligner.
It is possible for Invisalign attachments to come in a variety of shapes, including circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles. Each shape has its own function within the Invisalign treatment system.
Why Does My Invisalign Retainer Hurt?
The discomfort you experience with a retainer is largely due to its novelty.
Imagine what has happened to your mouth in the last few weeks. Your teeth have been liberated from braces and are now in a state of flux, still developing the bone tissue they will need to stabilize themselves.
In order to prevent your teeth from reverting back to their original positions, your retainer needs to apply a certain amount of pressure, which may cause discomfort.
Invisalign retainers may also be painful if you experience any of the following:
- When a retainer is not worn as prescribed: You must wear your retainer continuously for a period of time before being worn only at night. It’s important to follow these instructions meticulously to prevent a shift in your teeth.
- Improper insertion or removal of the retainer: Your retainer wires can bend and change shape if not handled carefully, causing discomfort.
- Wearing an old retainer: The components of your retainer may degrade over time, causing it to fit improperly and develop areas that can cause irritation. It will eventually need to be replaced.
- An ill-fitting retainer or shifted teeth: It is possible for your teeth to settle in such a way that your retainer doesn’t fit properly.
- A damaged or broken retainer: There might be loose metal or plastic fragments, as well as deformed plastic or bent wires due to hot water exposure.
Why Do My Invisalign Trays and Attachments Stain?
Stains may occur on Invisalign trays and attachments, although this can be easily prevented, and any mild staining can be cleaned.
Due to the fact that they are in place for shorter durations than conventional braces, the materials used in Invisalign are generally quite resistant to staining.
Invisalign stains are primarily caused by dark-colored foods and beverages, including:
- Coffee and tea
- Dark sodas
- Red wine and other deep-hued alcoholic drinks
- Berries and other deeply pigmented foods
- Smoking or vaping
How Do Invisalign Bite Ramps Work on Aligners?
An Invisalign bite ramp is a small orthodontic device that can be affixed to the rear of the upper anterior teeth or, in certain instances, to the back teeth. Generally, bite ramps are attached directly to the upper incisors and are used in conjunction with braces or aligners. When attached, bite ramps prevent patients from fully clamping down their bite.
As soon as bite ramps are installed, the back teeth will not meet. With time, the pressure causes the jaw to shift back into its correct position, the front teeth to recede and rise, and the back teeth to gradually converge. As soon as the jaws are aligned correctly, the back teeth regain contact!
How Will Invisalign Chewies Help My Orthodontic Treatment?
A hollow core, one to one-and-a-half inches long and slightly less than half an inch in width, makes Invisalign chewies look like miniature pool noodles. They are made of styrene copolymer, a resilient yet pliant plastic.
The Invisalign system is successful when aligners fit snugly against the teeth. Invisalign chewies offer substantial assistance. You can bite on a chewie in the affected area if your aligner doesn’t fit perfectly, such as when air gaps or spaces occur between your teeth and the aligner. This will add extra pressure to ensure the aligner fits perfectly. Additionally, chewies work with Invisalign attachments, such as buttons and elastics, to ensure a seamless fit.
Using Chewies ensures your Invisalign treatment progresses as efficiently and effectively as possible. In this way, your jaw does the heavy lifting instead of your fingers pushing on the aligners for extended periods of time.
Can Invisalign Rubber Bands Help Correct My Bite?
Think of Invisalign as a superhero for your smile, and rubber bands as its trusted sidekick!
When hooked up to your aligners, Invisalign rubber bands help your teeth move into better positions by applying just the right amount of pressure.
Invisalign rubber bands can help correct any type of bite issue, including overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite.
Does Invisalign Come With Dietary Restrictions?
Not at all!
The great thing about Invisalign is that you can eat whatever you want. There isn’t a list of forbidden foods or drinks since you simply pop out the aligners when you’re hungry.
If you bite down on apples or nibble on popcorn, you won’t have to worry about wires or brackets breaking or dislodging.
You can enjoy your meals and snacks without restrictions! Just remember to brush your teeth before putting the aligners back in. This prevents food particles from being trapped behind the aligners.
Can I Switch My Orthodontist During My Invisalign Treatment?
There is no problem at all if you need to switch orthodontists during your Invisalign treatment.
The digital world has made it possible for any orthodontist to access your records, treatment plans, and everything else related to your Invisalign journey. You can transfer all of your data to your new orthodontist — scans, 3D treatment plans, progress reports, and so on.
It is possible to switch to a new orthodontist without missing a beat if you are moving or unhappy with your current one. Communicate your plans well in advance so that your current orthodontist can arrange for your records to be transferred.
What is the Ideal Age for Invisalign?
The optimal timing for initiating Invisalign treatment has a biological basis.
As long as the process of losing teeth continues, the oral cavity and teeth continue to evolve in terms of shape and position, preventing patients from fully taking advantage of the advantages offered by clear aligners.
It would be ineffective for children’s teeth to be realigned without permanent incisors and first molars present. As the timeline of tooth loss varies between children and young adolescents, there is no universally defined age at which Invisalign treatment should be commenced.
On the other hand, there’s no age cap for leveraging Invisalign either. In fact, correcting misaligned teeth in later stages of adulthood can sometimes lessen the extent of restorative procedures needed!
Can I Get Invisalign While in the Military?
Of course you can wear Invisalign while in the military!
Being in the military doesn’t mean you have to put off getting that straight smile you’ve been dreaming of. While the military lifestyle comes with its fair share of challenges, getting Invisalign can fit into it quite well.
In fact, Invisalign is not only available for active military personnel, but also preferable for 3 reasons:
- Invisalign does not affect your dental class / readiness: You will be eligible for deployment the second you’re done with boot camp!
- Invisalign is not tied to an orthodontist: Any orthodontist can access your Invisalign records (with your clearance, of course).
- Invisalign allows you to supervise your orthodontic treatment: As long as you follow your treatment schedule and change your trays as directed, your perfect smile is just around the corner!
Is There a Faster Version of the Invisalign Treatment?
Invisalign is crafted to tackle complex dental issues, but what if your oral condition isn’t that severe? In such instances, your orthodontist might suggest you opt for Invisalign Express!
Invisalign Express follows the same process and equipment as full Invisalign, but you only need a few aligners to adjust your teeth. In this case, the aligners are like short-distance sprinters in a relay race, rather than middle- or long-distance runners.
Invisalign Express aligners are chosen only when a handful of teeth need repositioning, the movement required isn’t substantial, or when a tooth needs to be slightly rotated. Furthermore, they are a useful option for patients who have not used their retainers diligently after braces, causing their teeth to subtly regress, a phenomenon known as orthodontic relapse.
The Invisalign Express system comes in three varieties — you can choose between 5, 7, or 10 aligners, depending on your teeth’s condition. And given the minimal movement achieved with Invisalign Express, it’s crucial to use a retainer post-treatment to maintain your teeth in their newly acquired positions.
The duration of the Invisalign Express journey can be a matter of a few months. The specific timeline is contingent on your teeth’s initial state. For a more precise estimate, you’d need to consult your orthodontist, but typically, the treatment spans between 10 and 20 weeks.