Dental health is paramount to your overall body and mental health. Invisalign is an innovative treatment that can address misaligned teeth without using conventional metal braces. Therefore, if you have malocclusions, overcrowded teeth, open bites, and gaps in the mouth and are afraid of straightening your teeth with metal braces, Washington Dental in Carson can vouch for wearing Invisalign.

Orthodontic Industry Disruption

Align Technology, also called ALGN, is the brain behind the revolutionary aligner technology that entails exclusive virtual modeling software, custom clear tray aligners, and swift development. Data from 2017 shows that at least one million teenagers wear Invisalign, and another five million persons around the globe have purchased the braces. Because of this popular orthodontic service, teenagers looking to straighten their teeth no longer use traditional metal braces.

Despite the popularity of Invisalign treatment, ALGN recognizes the untapped target market among young people. The December 2017 data shows that ten million teenagers require orthodontic services annually, and out of this figure, only 3% wear Invisalign, meaning most of the market is untapped.

Invisalign Definition

Invisalign is a treatment that uses invisible aligners to aid teeth straightening or repositioning. The revolutionary technology has replaced conventional metal braces, with many dental patients opting for the new treatment. The main benefit of wearing Invisalign is that it is detachable, and you can remove the retainers when brushing or eating.

Invisalign can address mild to moderate orthodontic concerns, making it suitable for both underage and adult patients. Once aligners are in place, they offer you comfort, straighten crooked teeth, and are unnoticeable by people around you because they are clear, explaining their popularity.

Orthodontic concerns are never the same. Some oral patients will have orthodontic conditions in advanced stages and need specialized attention and care. At Washington Dental in Carson, we offer specialized orthodontic services to all patients, even those whose concerns are in advanced stages.

You will need this new technology if misaligned teeth require gradual shifting into their rightful spot. With Invisalign treatment, you will not need wires, as the aligners are made of an undetectable and durable plastic structure that pushes your teeth back to their original position.

Candidacy for Invisalign Treatment

Approximately four and a half million Americans wear Invisalign to correct one or more orthodontic problems. About 80% of the patients seeking treatment are aged six to eighteen, while the balance is adults. Most candidates for the treatment are teenagers because they usually have problems with permanent tooth formation. Also, dentists recommend the services for teens and adults because these people can follow post-treatment instructions, including knowing when and how long to wear the aligners and what to eat or avoid.

Before you visit our clinic for the procedure, it is crucial to do your homework on the treatment and prepare questions that you would like addressed by our orthodontist. When you come in for a consultation with knowledge of Invisalign treatment, it will be easy to obtain answers to help you decide whether the treatment is appropriate. You will need Invisalign braces if the following is true:

  1. You Have Crowding Teeth

Typically, orthodontic concerns do not arise because of your fault. Most of these conditions stem from genetic features manifesting when your body grows, and the growth spreads to the mouth. First, you will have crowded teeth when you have a smaller jaw than usual. The small jawbone does not provide adequate space to accommodate all your teeth, causing overcrowding. If the problem is not addressed on time, the crowded teeth create a place for bacteria growth, which leads to oral conditions like gum disease and tooth decay. These conditions stem from poor oral hygiene, where you cannot thoroughly brush and floss your teeth because they overlap due to the smaller-than-usual jaw.

Apart from the dental issue, you will find it challenging to socialize when you have overcrowded teeth, as you will be self-conscious about your smile. Besides, you will not smile in public due to fear of embarrassment. Therefore, when you have overcrowded teeth that are causing you problems, it is best to straighten them using Invisalign to avoid significant issues when you become an adult. And if you are already an adult, the new technology will straighten your crowding teeth without needing metal braces.

  1. You Have an Overbite

You are a candidate for Invisalign braces if you have an overbite. The condition develops when your upper front teeth overlap with the bottom front teeth vertically and horizontally. Subconscious practices like allowing your tongue to sit on your front incisors when your mouth is shut can cause an overbite. The continued force pushing the tongue against the front teeth causes them to move outward. The effects of the orthodontic problem are evident in your physical appearance because you will have an elongated mouth and appear older than you are. Living with an overbite is challenging, as you cannot correctly shut your mouth due to the protruding front teeth. Fortunately, Invisalign treatment can correct an overbite, restoring your original physical look.

  1. You Have an Underbite 

An underbite is an orthodontic condition that happens when the front teeth on the upper jaw lag behind the front teeth in the lower jaw. You are likely to develop the problem if you have a disproportionate jaw. Living with an underbite is challenging because of the severe pain you experience when the upper and lower teeth crash, resulting in cracking and chipping, primarily when chewing. If an underbite goes unattended for a long time, your teeth' enamel will wear down, causing gum recession. The proper treatment to correct this orthodontic condition is wearing Invisalign braces.

  1. You Have a Crossbite

A crossbite occurs when the upper and lower teeth overlap because of an overbite or underbite. Failure to seek treatment early can lead to gum problems because of the frequent crashing of the misaligned teeth. Also, regular attempts to correct your teeth to avoid crossbites can affect your jawline. Your teeth are susceptible to weakening because of the chipping that happens. Invisalign braces will prevent chipping as the plastic fixtures protect the teeth from further damage.

  1. You Have Tooth Gaps

Gaps or spaces in the mouth create an enabling environment for bacteria breeding. The spaces accumulate food residue and plaque that enable bacteria growth, resulting in tooth decay and cavities. Nevertheless, when you undergo Invisalign treatment, your teeth will be pushed to their proper position, closing in gaps. With no gaps in the mouth, there will be no room for oral bacteria, protecting you from various dental issues caused by gaps.

Invisalign Braces Types

If you are experiencing any of these problems, you are a candidate for Invisalign braces. Invisalign braces come in three forms, each focusing on a specific orthodontic concern. These include:

Teen Invisalign Treatment

The most significant percentage of consumers of Invisalign braces are teenagers, accounting for 80% of the market. And because their jaws are still growing, orthodontists must use the type that suits their growth. Dental experts tailor teen Invisalign braces to help straighten the jawbone and teeth as their dental formula develops. One critical feature of teen Invisalign is the unique aligners that encourage the development of the bottom jaw and let dental experts intervene without relying on elastics.

Also, these braces have six additional aligners if a teen damages or misplaces one aligner. And because teeth are still sprouting on the jaw, teen Invisalign comes with eruption tabs that create room for teeth to sprout. Again, the treatment comes with compliance indicators that help confirm whether the adolescent wears the braces for 22 hours a day as instructed. Further, the tracker allows parents to obtain value for their money by ensuring that post-treatment instructions are followed to prevent treatment failure.

Full Invisalign Braces

If you aim to position your teeth, complete Invisalign treatment is your option. The orthodontic service takes twelve to eighteen months to attain the desired goal, although your orthodontist can vouch for additional time when needed.

Express Invisalign Braces

If your orthodontic concerns are restrained, our dental experts at Washington Dental in Carson suggest Invisalign Express arrest the issue. You can pick between the five aligners worn for a quarter of a year or the ten aligners installed for at most six months. Based on the magnitude of your orthodontic issue, the dentist will recommend the correct type of Invisalign Express.

Invisalign vs. Braces

When you want to align your teeth or jaw, Invisalign and braces are the treatments you will choose from. Nevertheless, individual differences make Invisalign advantageous over braces even if the treatments have shared objectives.

Invisalign braces have undetectable or invisible plastic fixtures, which are crucial to many patients who do not want people around them to notice any variance in their looks but still need the orthodontic service. For instance, if you are a media personality working as a news anchor or actor, you want a consistent look, which can be challenging to retain when you want to straighten your teeth using metal braces. However, with Invisalign, the aligners are plastic and invisible, enabling you to maintain the same look and achieve the same goal as traditional metal braces: straightening teeth.

The other difference is that aligners have removable plastic fixtures. Metal braces, however, are temporary and can only be removed when your teeth move into position. The versatility of Invisalign treatment makes it possible to live life as usual, as you can remove them when eating or cleaning your teeth to prevent staining. This is impossible with metal braces.

Nevertheless, the freedom to choose the food or beverage to take while wearing Invisalign increases the chances of staining the cement on the plastic fixture, mainly if you are a smoker, love red wine, and do not adequately clean your teeth. This is a big blow to the treatment because the fixtures intended to remain invisible become visible, contradicting the initial reason for undergoing the treatment, which is to have invisible retainers.

Lastly, unlike metal braces, Invisalign is a comfortable installation. The installation is virtually painless, and you will only feel discomfort in the initial days of the treatment when the teeth are adjusting to the placements. The abrasive nature of metal braces causes constant friction between wires and brackets, causing sores in the mouth. Nevertheless, when you use Invisalign, you will not develop mouth sores and will stay comfortable with the installation.

Treatment Planning

Your Invisalign treatment will not commence immediately after confirming your candidacy for the procedure. First, visit us at Washington Dental in Carson to speak to an orthodontist. During this meeting, you will explain your expectations and the desired outcome. An experienced dentist will even estimate how long the treatment will take before your teeth realign. If you have any questions about the treatment, this is the right time to ask them for an informed decision.

After the consultation, the orthodontist will take an impression of your mouth to capture the size of the teeth and the mouth's structure. They use the print to make replicas of how your teeth align in the mouth for the dental expert to develop a treatment to ensure they move to the appropriate position. The dentist makes dry study impressions from mold that serve as benchmarks for your treatment.

Alternatively, our orthodontists rely on 3D images to capture the interior structure of your mouth to plan treatment and even manipulate the photos to plan the future positioning of the teeth after the procedure. The technology has also helped speed up Invisalign treatment.

How Invisalign Braces Work

Once your orthodontist has developed the aligners, they will arrange another visit for their placement. The 3D technology in our Carson clinic makes it possible to design and tailor aligners to fit the size of your teeth. Alternatively, we use molds to develop customized aligners.

Invisalign treatment involves straightening your teeth to their original position. Therefore, expect regular tuning of the placement. Depending on the treatment, you will need to come in for new aligners every two or three weeks, as this is the duration it takes your teeth to move a significant distance in the desired direction.

Besides, the time it takes for the teeth to move or shift toward the desired direction depends on your orthodontic condition. A dental patient with an overbite will take longer for the teeth to move because pushing the front teeth backward is straightforward. Nevertheless, some teeth could take longer in a crossbite because they shift in various directions. Therefore, do not be burdened when your teeth take a long time to shift a reasonable distance.

Complete Invisalign treatment requires twenty to thirty visits to our offices to adjust the aligners. You must wear twenty to thirty aligners to achieve straight teeth and jaws. Even when you can stop wearing the replacement, we encourage you to wear the aligners for an extended duration for optimum results. You should wear retainers for around 22 hours daily to ensure continued force on the teeth so they can move to the desired position quicker. That way, you will wear the retainers briefly and still attain your goal.

Flexible muscles retain the chin and mandibular bones, explaining tooth alignment. Even though they are straightforwardly adjustable, this can be disadvantageous because if you do not follow your orthodontist’s post-procedure instructions, the teeth will relapse, reversing the gains made. The treatment will take longer, and you could incur extra costs for retrospective treatment.

You must be highly disciplined to wear the aligners for almost the whole day, which is unpleasant. Children can make the treatment difficult because they will likely detach the retainers when adults are not around. Thanks to new technology, we have unique compliance indicators. If you comply with the treatment, the indicator will turn blue to show you are doing an excellent job. You can rely on the same tracker to increase your compliance. If the treatment is for your children, the indicator can show when they are not compliant, eliminating the need for constant supervision. For adults or senior citizens, the tracker will keep you motivated to comply with the dentist’s post-treatment instructions.

Cost of Invisalign Braces

Due to the advantages of the Invisalign treatment, like comfort, you should expect to part with massive amounts of money. In California, Invisalign treatment costs approximately $3,000 to $8,000, which is more than metal braces. The advantages of Invisalign treatment bring about the difference in prices. Their unique features improve your experience, so the cost is high. If you cannot afford the prohibitive cost, several payment methods are available to make the treatment more affordable.

  1. Dental Insurance Coverage

If you have dental insurance coverage, it will cover $3,500 of the treatment. Please speak to your insurer to learn the percentage of the treatment they will cover because, however small it is, it will reduce the overall cost of the procedure. However, if you have no dental insurance or your insurer does not provide the same, you should talk to us about a bespoke payment plan.

  1. Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

When your children need treatment for their misaligned teeth, you can use CHIP if they qualify for the program. The option is available if orthodontic problems are preventing the healthy growth of your children. Because the program varies by jurisdiction, talk to your orthodontist to understand if you are eligible.

  1. Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Another payment plan that can make Invisalign treatment affordable for you is the FSA. Here, you appropriate some money from your salary before tax for a rainy day when you accrue hefty costs undergoing treatment. Few employers offer this option to their employees. Therefore, talk to your employer to see if they have this plan. Nevertheless, if you enroll in the program and fail to use your annual savings in the account, the funds will not be rolled over to the following year.

  1. Health Savings Account (HSA)

The HSA is the other option for subsidizing your Invisalign treatment. Like FSA, HSA allows employees to deduct funds from their salary before tax for utilization when there is a medical need. The advantage of this plan is that if you do not use your savings for the year, you can enroll for the following year, eliminating the pressure of wanting to spend the funds before the expiration date.

Dental experts also provide financing options where you deposit a fraction of the total fee to start treatment and pay the balance in installments of $50 to $200 monthly until the treatment is over.

Our orthodontists encourage patients to undergo a thorough oral exam to ascertain the level of the misalignment before creating a budget. The dental professionals will explain the number of aligners required for the procedure and how long you will wear them to attain the desired goal. No matter the cost of treatment, you will attest to the benefits and comfort of the treatment.

Effects of the Treatment on Your Lifestyle

Apart from the gradual straightening of your teeth, no significant change is expected when you start Invisalign treatment. With our Invisalign orthodontic services, you will lead an everyday life apart from a few adjustments you must make for the procedure to succeed.

Aligners are detachable, meaning you can remove them whenever you want to eat or drink products known to stain the plastic fixtures. Therefore, if you smoke and love coffee or red wine, you want to avoid them or remove the aligners to prevent staining.

Besides the few food limitations, other aspects of your life will remain the same. You only need to observe healthy oral routines. And because the aligners are clear, your appearance will remain unchanged throughout the treatment.

Nevertheless, few sensitivity cases have been reported due to the plastic fixtures that cause irritation and inflammation. If the installation causes discomfort, talk to your dentist to establish the cause or switch treatments.

Find an Experienced Orthodontist Near Me

If misaligned teeth and jaws are causing you severe orthodontic problems and you need to correct the flaws, Washington Dental in Carson is ready to help. Our orthodontists understand Invisalign and will discuss all the details you need before deciding. This procedure allows you to lead your everyday life without people around you noticing the change. Call us today at 310-217-1507 for a no-obligation consultation.