Known as “the clear alternative to braces” since the 1990s, Invisalign has recently exploded in popularity. If you are considering straightening your teeth with Invisalign, you may have some questions about what to expect. Here are the answers to some Invisalign frequently asked questions.
How does it work?
Invisalign gently guides your teeth into the desired position with a series of comfortable, clear, medical grade aligners. We use 3-D digital modeling to morph your current smile to show the results of each stage of treatment. When the doctor is happy with the 3-D modifications she makes to straighten your teeth, she will approve it so that Invisalign can custom craft your aligners. You will wear each set of aligners for approximately one week, 20-22 hours per day, or as instructed. You will then switch to the next set at home.
What are the benefits of Invisalign?
Invisalign is far more comfortable than braces, as the smooth aligners have no rough edges or sharp spots to irritate your mouth. The clear aligners are virtually invisible, allowing you to smile and laugh with confidence. Since they are removable, you can eat what you like and perform your regular oral hygiene routine. You will need to see us for treatment monitoring just once every 8-14 weeks.
My teeth shifted again after my braces came off. Can Invisalign fix them?
Some people who had braces in their teens discover their teeth are shifting again in adulthood. Invisalign is a great way to fix this issue without going through a second round of braces. Once your teeth are ideally aligned, we will order custom fit retainers from Invisalign for you to wear every night so that you never again experience unwanted shifting of your teeth.
Can I use Invisalign if I have porcelain veneers?
The answer is, “most likely yes”! We will assess your entire mouth, including your veneers and which teeth need to shift, to determine if Invisalign is right for you.
I have dental bridgework. Can I use Invisalign?
A dental bridge connects your teeth to each other, while Invisalign moves each tooth individually. We will consider all of your existing dental work to determine the appropriate solution for you. For our patients who have a bridge, we can usually work around the bridge without moving it, and focus on moving all other teeth around it to finish with the best possible bite and alignment for you.
Can I eat, drink, smoke, and chew gum if I have Invisalign?
Invisalign uses removable aligners, so there are no restrictions when you take out your aligners. When they are in place, do not chew gum or eat any foods. Before eating a full meal, chewing gum, or eating anything particularly sticky or hard, remove your aligners. You can smoke with them in, but this will cause an unsightly discoloration of the aligners. You can drink clear liquids with your aligners in your mouth as long as they are not hot, which could warp the aligners.
How much does Invisalign cost, and will insurance pay?
The cost of Invisalign varies according to a number of factors from geographic location to your specific treatment plan. In general, though, it is comparable to braces. We will provide a full cost breakdown before treatment begins. In our practice, we do not discriminate between the cost of braces or Invisalign. We simply charge the same fee for either.
Dental insurance is highly complicated. Some policies pay for both braces and Invisalign, some cover one or the other, and some don’t cover orthodontics at all. You likely also have an annual cap on the amount your insurance company will pay. Our knowledgeable office staff will help file any insurance that you have and will check to see exactly how much coverage you are entitled to.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are looking for a Manhattan orthodontist who is highly skilled and experienced using all Invisalign products, and has a passion for helping others, please contact Park Avenue Orthodontics today at 212-452-2777 to schedule your first appointment with Dr. Janet Stoess-Allen.