Living With Invisalign
Invisalign treatment seeks to minimize the amount of pain by removing sharp metal wires and brackets. But your teeth are still being moved in your mouth, and this can be uncomfortable.
You’re unlikely to feel any severe pain, though. Your initial discomfort with your aligners will likely pass as you get used to wearing them. In the meantime, you can use over-the-counter pain medication to manage it.
If you do feel a lot of pain, there could be something wrong with your aligners. In this case, Dr. Grussmark can look at your aligners and fix any sharp edges or adjust an improper fit.
With Invisalign aligners, you can eat anything you want at any time you want. As long as you meet the recommended 20 to 22 hours of wear per day, your treatment will stay on track.
That being said, there are some foods and beverages you may want to limit. These include:
- Coffee and tea: While coffee and tea are comforting warm beverages that can kickstart your morning with caffeine, they also have a tendency to stain your teeth. With aligners in, the hot temperature can warp the aligners and stain them.
Taking your aligners out to drink these beverages is recommended, but make sure you clean off your teeth — the stain on your teeth can transfer to your aligners and ruin their clear appearance.
- Excessive snacking: While snacking isn’t forbidden, it’s more difficult because you have to remove your aligners and clean your teeth every time. If you take out your aligners to snack often, you may not wear your aligners for long enough each day.
- Chewing gum: Chewing gum can get stuck to your aligners and become difficult to remove, potentially even causing damage. If you want to chew gum, you must remove your aligners and
- Sticky or hard foods: Some crunchy foods, like apples or carrots, can promote saliva production that’s helpful in clearing away bacteria that cause tooth decay. But other hard foods can be damaging to your teeth, so it’s best to avoid things like pretzels or hard candy.
Sticky foods such as caramel and jelly beans can get stuck on your teeth. If you don’t make sure to get every piece off your teeth before putting your aligners in, you could cause damage.
Invisalign can temporarily cause slight changes in speech until you get used to the aligners. When you put your aligners on for the first time, they may feel strange and cause a lisp. But the plastic is very thin and won’t take long to get used to.
Most patients overcome this change in speech within a couple of days. Invisalign aligners are unlikely to cause any significant changes to your ability to speak. If you’re concerned, practicing speaking by reading aloud or talking to friends can help you get used to the aligners.
If you lose or break an aligner, the very first thing to do is contact our office by calling (305) 441-1200. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to get a replacement tray for you, which is included in your cost of treatment.
In the meantime, you’ll still need to wear an aligner to keep your treatment on track. If you just started wearing the aligner you lost or broke, wear the previous set of aligners. If you were near the end of the set of aligners, then try on the next set to see if they fit.
Having to replace your aligners will usually only set back treatment by a few weeks. The most important thing is to keep your treatment on track as much as possible and to take immediate action to remedy the situation.
The Treatment Process
Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible, custom-made trays that are designed uniquely for you. Treatment with aligners is often quicker than metal braces because the aligners fit over your teeth and push them from all sides, rather than from certain places where brackets sit.
Every two weeks, you’ll receive a new set of aligners to continuously shift your teeth. This continues until your treatment is finished. Regular visits with Dr. Grussmark every two months or so will ensure your treatment is on the correct track.
On average, it takes around 12 months for an adult to complete Invisalign treatment. This is two times as fast as treatment with traditional metal braces. Of course, every treatment plan is different and yours could take longer or shorter.
The amount of time your Invisalign treatment takes depends on the severity of your case. Your treatment time can depend on if you have:
- Severe alignment issues
- Crowded teeth
- Gaps between teeth
At your free consultation, Dr. Grussmark can determine how long your treatment plan may be.
No, you aren’t too old for Invisalign. While most people think of braces as being for teenagers, Invisalign treatment has no upper age limit. Though adult teeth are more securely in place, they can still be moved to straighten your smile.
Adult treatment with Invisalign is often successful because you’re more likely to wear your aligners responsibly. Though your treatment can take a little longer than a teenager’s Invisalign treatment, Dr. Grussmark will make sure you get the smile you deserve.
After Dr. Grussmark scans your teeth and your treatment plan is approved, those scans are sent to a laboratory to create your custom aligners. Invisalign aligners are created by the company Align Technology, whose headquarters are based in California.
Laboratories that create Invisalign use special SmartTrack® material, which is created just for these clear aligners. This material ensures your aligners will fit you exactly and be comfortable to wear.
There are five main steps to the Invisalign treatment process:
- Consultation: Your treatment begins when you come to your free consultation with Dr. Grussmark. At your consultation, he will examine your teeth and create a 3D digital scan to create your treatment plan.
- Creating Your Treatment Plan: If Invisalign is the best course of treatment for you, Dr. Grussmark will send your scans to the laboratory to create your aligners. Your first set may take a couple of weeks to arrive.
- Wearing Your Aligners: The bulk of your time will be spent wearing your aligners every day for 20 to 22 hours. Each set of aligners is worn for about two weeks — you can receive your new sets directly by mail.
- Check-Ups: While you don’t have to come to our office to pick up your aligners, we’ll have a check-up every six weeks or so to make sure your treatment is on track and address any issues.
- Your New Smile: After your main Invisalign treatment is finished, you’ll need to maintain the position of your teeth so they don’t shift out of place. Dr. Grussmark will create a retainer for you that will keep your smile beautiful.
What Invisalign Can Fix
When you begin Invisalign treatment, you’ll have to get used to wearing the aligners. During this time, you may speak a little differently. Most people get used to the feeling of aligners over their teeth within a few days.
After you get used to wearing Invisalign, you’ll be able to speak normally. Your speech won’t be permanently affected by wearing the aligners. If you’re concerned about your speech, we recommend practicing reading out loud or speaking to friends and family to get used to the aligners.
Invisalign can sometimes change the shape of your face, depending on which issues will be fixed. If you have an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, your jaw may change as the position of your teeth is corrected.
Correcting these issues will improve the appearance of your face and also the health of your teeth. Jaw position can contribute to issues such as jaw pain and teeth grinding, so these will be reduced.
Most of the time, any changes are slight and won’t completely overhaul the look of your face. But even some subtle changes can make you feel better about your appearance.
In some cases, Invisalign treatment can give you a broader smile. This is possible because a narrow smile may be due to a bad bite. With treatment, less stress will be placed on your bite and you’ll be able to smile wider.
Though we may not be able to actually widen everyone’s smiles, you’ll feel more confident in your smile. Many people smile more after they’ve undergone Invisalign treatment because they’re happier with the way their smiles look.
Yes, Dr. Grussmark can help correct most types of crossbite with Invisalign. When you have a crossbite, your teeth don’t fit together properly and this can lead to issues such as toothaches, headaches, pain while chewing, or an aching jaw.
With Invisalign, your upper and lower teeth will be moved into the correct positions so they no longer overlap. This will ease any pain you have and prevent further issues, as well as give you a more beautiful smile.
Yes, most underbites can be fixed with Invisalign. Some severe cases may require surgery alongside Invisalign treatment, but Dr. Grussmark can provide both of those services right here in his office. As an experienced Invisalign orthodontist, he’s worked on many types of cases.
Fixing your underbite can not only improve the appearance of your smile, but it can also improve your oral health. You’ll be less prone to tooth decay and treatment can alleviate jaw pain.
Yes, Invisalign can help with bruxism in multiple ways. First, bruxism can often be caused or worsened by misaligned teeth. By moving your teeth into the proper position, Invisalign treatment can make you less likely to grind your teeth.
Second, you’ll have to wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day, including during sleep. The aligners themselves create a cushion between your teeth so they won’t touch. That means even if you grind your teeth while wearing the aligners, you’re less likely to cause harm.
Grinding your teeth while wearing aligners can cause them to wear out quicker, but you’ll only be wearing each set for about two weeks.
Invisalign treatment doesn’t cause gum recession. In fact, straightening your teeth can make you less susceptible to gum disease, the main cause of gum recession.
But you need to keep up good oral hygiene during your Invisalign treatment. Any time your teeth are being moved, with clear aligners or braces, your gums can become more vulnerable. If you aren’t following a thorough oral hygiene regimen, you could be risking gum disease.
Invisalign can correct many bite issues, including misaligned teeth, overbites, underbites, and crossbites. But there are some issues that may warrant the use of traditional metal braces instead.
Some aspects that can affect your candidacy for Invisalign include:
- Tooth shape
- Severely rotated or tilted teeth
- Large gaps between teeth
- Midline corrections over 2mm
- Dental bridges, veneers, or crowns
You’ll be able to learn if you’re a candidate for Invisalign at your free consultation with Dr. Grussmark. If you’re not able to straighten your teeth with clear aligners, we offer a variety of other options
Yes, molars can be moved with Invisalign. It’s a common misconception that clear aligners aren’t powerful enough to move molars. If your molars are severely tipped or rotated, you may need metal braces, but in most cases Invisalign can do the job.
An experienced Invisalign orthodontist like Dr. Grussmark can develop a treatment plan to effectively move molars. He’s treated over 20,000 people with Invisalign, so he’s had plenty of experience.
Cost of Invisalign
The cost of your Invisalign treatment depends on the corrections you need to make your smile straighter. More extensive work means a longer time in aligners, and more sets of aligners.
Invisalign estimates that the cost can be anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 total, with insurance covering up to $3,500 of treatment. Your treatment will also be broken down into affordable monthly payments, so it’s more manageable.
Yes, most dental insurance plans cover a portion of Invisalign treatment. Individual plans vary, but most insurance companies treat Invisalign the same as traditional metal braces.
At the Centre for Invisible Braces, we also accept a variety of payment options and financing. This means you can make your payment flexible and easier to fit into your budget.
Invisalign is generally slightly more expensive than metal braces, but not as much as in the past. The price of Invisalign also varies depending on how many aligners you need, which depends on the extent of the correction you need.
There are many advantages to Invisalign treatment that justify a higher cost. Invisalign’s system is based around advanced technology that makes your treatment easier and you’ll also be able to enjoy any food you like as well as a smile without metal brackets.