Having straight teeth not only give you the appearance of a beautiful smile, it benefits your overall health as well. Having crowded teeth can cause periodontal disease (gum disease) which in turn can lead to major health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Since any orthodontic treatment can be a considerable investment, we have answered the top 10 questions we’re asked daily about Invisalign® to help you make an informed decision.
Answers to your top 10 Invisalign® questions:
How does Invisalign® work? After your initial orthodontic consult, which now can be done remotely, you will come in for x-rays, digital impressions, and clinical photos. We will send these to Invisalign® along with a prescription from the doctor. Using the information given to them, Invisalign® will make your custom-made aligners (after your clinic check or proposed treatment has been approved by the doctor). This process usually takes about 4-6 weeks. Once we receive your Invisalign® case, we will get you back for an appointment to deliver your very first aligners. At this delivery appointment, you will be given instructions on how to properly care for your aligners. We will usually send you off with 2 sets of aligners then we get you back again in about 4-6 weeks to deliver your next 2 sets. This process continues until we reach the end of your aligners. At Maria Cardenas DMD, we have recently added Remote Dental Monitoring, this modern technology will allow our clinical team to closely monitor your treatment from home by taking an easy video from your Smart phone. This video is taken form a phone app that will generate a report and send to us within a few minutes. This will minimize the amount of unnecessary visits to the office, specially if you have a busy routine, making this process more convenient and efficient.
2. Will it be painful? Depending on the amount of movement that happens with each aligner, there can be some discomfort that usually lasts for about 24-48 hours. Taking Ibuprofen can be helpful in alleviating some of this discomfort.
3. How often do I have to wear the trays or aligners?We generally advise that you wear the aligners as often as you can and only remove them when you eat or when you clean your teeth.We ask for an average to 20-22 hours / day,
4.How often do I have to come in? Usually about 4-6 weeks but now with Dental Monitoring from home, your appointments can be scheduled every 8-10 weeks, depending on the level of complexity of your case and will be determined at the initial delivery appointment. Your compliance is also critical in this process. The more you wear your aligners, the better the progress. Our team will be able to better determine this during your treatment.
5. I’ve had to wear braces when I was younger but my teeth have shifted. Can I use Invisalign®? Most likely, yes. We would, however, advise that you schedule your initial visit with Dr Cardenas for a quick consultation to see if you would be a good candidate.
6. Does my insurance cover Invisalign®? If your insurance covers orthodontic treatment then yes, most likely you will be covered for Invisalign®. Our front office Team here at Maria Cardenas DMD is always happy to help contact your insurance company for more information.
7. Am I a candidate for Invisalign®?Obviously, everyone’s case is different and depending on your situation, you may or may not be an Invisalign® candidate. If you are looking to correct your smile by straightening any crowded teeth, then Invisalign could be for you. However, if you have a major overbite or underbite, then you may need conventional braces. It is always best to have your dentist do a quick evaluation to see if Invisalign® can make the changes you want to make to help improve your smile.
8. Are there certain foods I should avoid during my Invisalign® treatment? No. When you eat, the aligners can be removed so there are no food restrictions.
9. What happens if I lose my Invisalign® aligner?Depending on how long you have already worn the missing aligner, we may just move you up to your next aligner or we may have to order a new one from Invisalign®. If we have to order a new one, we will have you wear the previous aligner until the new one arrives. A new aligner can be manufactured within a few days and we can order it online without the patient coming to the office.
10. Will wearing the aligner affect my speech at all?Just like any other mouth appliance, wearing the aligner will take some time getting used to and could affect your speech. Most people get used to having them in after a week or two.