Orthodontists are experienced professionals who have access to a wide variety of resources and training to help you keep your teeth healthy. But even though you share a common goal, every patient is different, and the issues you face may be unique. That’s why it’s important to go into your orthodontic visit with a plan for what concerns or questions you want to be addressed by the professional. If you’re new to braces and orthodontia, you may find yourself at a loss for words when trying to figure out how best to communicate your thoughts and needs. This list should help get the conversation started:
How does Invisalign work?
Everyone’s teeth are different, so the process is customized to you. Your Victoria orthodontist will take an X-ray, then make a 3D image of your teeth and create a treatment plan. The Invisalign system consists of aligners (similar to retainers) that you wear for 2 weeks each. You’ll get several sets at once, so you can switch them out as necessary. Each one will move your teeth closer to their desired location.
How much does Invisalign cost?
The question of how much Invisalign costs can be answered by contacting your local orthodontist. Each patient’s needs and goals are unique, so there is no set price. The cost depends on the severity of the misalignment, among other factors.
When you meet with an orthodontist, he or she will be able to determine the right treatment option and let you know how much it will cost.
What’s the difference between Invisalign and braces?
The main difference between Invisalign and traditional braces is that Invisalign uses clear aligners that are removable, while braces use metal brackets and wires. Because of this, Invisalign may be more appealing to those who are concerned about the way their teeth look during the treatment process. While Invisalign can be removed for eating, brushing, and special occasions, such as weddings or professional photos, it still requires a greater commitment than traditional braces. On average, people who use Invisalign have appointments every 6 weeks to assess progress and receive new aligners. Additionally, each aligner must be worn at least 22 hours per day in order to effectively straighten teeth in a timely manner. People with traditional braces only see their orthodontist every 4-8 weeks for adjustments and can eat whatever they would like without worrying about damaging the aligners.
How long will I need to wear my aligners?
The length of time you’ll need to wear your aligners depends on a few different factors: the complexity of your case, the amount of movement needed for your teeth, and how often you wear them. The average Invisalign treatment time is about 12 months, and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is 18-30 sets. To ensure that you see results within a timely manner, we ask that you wear your aligners as much as possible (20-22 hours per day).
Can you show me examples of similar cases?
Ask your orthodontist to show you before and after photos of patients with similar cases. They should be able to demonstrate their experience while also making it clear what they can do to help you achieve your goal. If they can’t show you examples, that’s a red flag!
Are there any risks associated with wearing the aligners?
Invisalign treatment is safe, but some patients may be more prone to tooth decay or gum problems. If you have a dry mouth or a history of dry mouth, it may be necessary to use xylitol gum or lozenges during treatment. You should also avoid eating sticky foods like caramel or chewing gum while you’re wearing your aligners.
When can I start?
Be sure to ask your orthodontist when you can expect the treatment to start. You may be able to begin aligner treatment immediately after an exam, or there may be a delay of a few weeks between your first visit and receipt of your Invisalign aligners.
Ask about the process from beginning to end. Your dentist will likely have models of your teeth and know exactly how many aligners you’ll need for each step in the process. They can also give you a general time frame for achieving your desired results.
Do the aligners cause any pain or discomfort?
In most cases, patients have reported that the aligners feel like normal teeth. However, there is some slight pressure felt when biting down on hard or crunchy foods. You should let your doctor know if you experience any discomfort or irritation while wearing your aligners.
Who are good candidates for Invisalign treatment?
Invisalign is ideal for mild to moderate orthodontic concerns. It can correct a range of bite issues, including underbite, overbite, crossbite, open bite, spacing, and crowding. If you have more severe misalignment or don’t qualify for Invisalign treatment due to the nature or complexity of your bite issues, your dentist may recommend traditional braces instead.
While traditional metal braces are generally appropriate for all types of malocclusion (the medical term for an irregular bite), they’re less convenient than Invisalign aligners because they require frequent adjustments and tightening by your orthodontist. Additionally, while both Invisalign and traditional braces are removable dental appliances that help you achieve better alignment without interfering with your day-to-day life as much as fixed appliances like bridges or crowns would, their removable nature means that you need to be diligent about wearing them regularly if you want to see desired results in a timely manner.
Does Invisalign work for adults?
Yes, it does! Teens also benefit from the convenience of wearing clear trays throughout their treatment; however, both teens and adults need to make sure they’re wearing their aligners at least 22 hours per day (while eating and brushing are fine) in order to experience optimal results in the shortest amount of time possible.
You don’t have to live with a crooked smile for the rest of your life. To find out if Invisalign is right for you, set up an initial consultation with an orthodontist.
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