Today’s orthodontic patients have more treatment options than ever before. While traditional braces are still an effective and affordable approach, Invisalign has exploded in popularity over the last couple decades. Sometimes referred to as “invisible braces,” these clear aligners offer a discreet, comfortable, and easy-to-use treatment option.
Invisalign aligners can treat many of the same conditions that braces can, such as gapped teeth, crowding, or bite issues, but they are practically undetectable and can be removed while eating, brushing, and flossing. As a top provider of Invisalign in Sherman Oaks (and the country, with our Invisalign Platinum Provider status placing us in the top 1% nationally), we encourage you to schedule a consultation today to see if clear aligners are a good fit for your unique needs and lifestyle.
What Is Invisalign And How Does It Work?
Invisalign treatment utilizes a series of custom aligner trays to correct teeth misalignment issues. Those issues might include excessive teeth crowding, gaps between teeth, or bite issues like underbites, overbites, and crossbites. However, more severe cases may not be a good fit for Invisalign treatment.
Made from a clear plastic material, the aligners are virtually invisible and aesthetically pleasing, which can help patients avoid feeling self-conscious about seeking treatment. At regular intervals, you will swap out your current aligner for a new one to incrementally adjust your teeth over time. Patients must wear their aligners for at least 22 hours each day. The exact number of aligners will depend on your particular needs, but the average treatment time for an Invisalign patient is two years.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what Invisalign treatment looks like at Dougherty Orthodontics:
- Attend your first Invisalign consultation: Dr. Dougherty will sit down with you to better understand your goals for treatment and evaluate whether you might be a good candidate for Invisalign.
- Develop your personalized treatment plan: If you choose to move forward with treatment, we will digitally scan your teeth to create precise 3D images of your teeth. This will allow Dr. Dougherty to map out your treatment plan, including how your teeth will move over time, how many clear aligner trays you will need, and how long treatment will take.
- Start wearing your clear aligners: There may be a brief adjustment period while you get used to the feeling of wearing your aligners, but that should pass quickly. To ensure the best possible results, it’s important to care for your clear aligners diligently and wear them at least 22 hours a day.
- Track your progress: Your teeth will gradually move into the desired position as you progress from tray to tray. Typically, you will swap trays every one to two weeks. We will also schedule check-ups approximately every 8 to 10 weeks to ensure you are on track to achieve your goals.
- Protecting your investment: After you complete treatment, it’s important to take steps to preserve your progress and protect your investment. Most often, that involves wearing a custom-made retainer once treatment is completed.
What Are The Benefits Of Invisalign Braces?
There are a lot of good reasons for the widespread popularity of Invisalign aligners. They offer many perks and benefits, including:
- Aesthetic and discreet treatment: There’s no need to worry about attracting unwanted attention due to clunky traditional braces – Invisalign lets you enjoy a practically invisible treatment experience with confidence.
- Convenience and flexibility: Clear aligners can be removed while brushing, flossing and even during meals, so you can eat what you want. They allow you to engage in sports and other high-impact lifestyle activities without fear of damaging your braces, and you can also enjoy less frequent orthodontic check-ups when compared to braces.
- Speed: Invisalign treatment is just as fast as treatment with traditional braces, and the average treatment time is 2 years with either type of appliance.
- Improved oral health: Straightened teeth are easier to care for and less prone to issues like gum disease. Also, removing your clear aligners while brushing and flossing makes it easier to keep your teeth clean and avoid some of the issues with tooth decay and demineralization that braces wearers can experience.
- Personalized care: Your Invisalign aligners are developed specifically to treat your issues and deliver on your goals, so you end up with a radiant smile that is uniquely yours.
How Much Does Invisalign Cost?
In the US, Invisalign typically costs anywhere from $3,500 to $8,500. That’s a large range, but the cost of customized Invisalign treatment will largely depend on the nature and severity of your alignment issues. For example, more complex or severe cases will require more aligners and be more expensive.
The best way to get an accurate estimate is to visit Dougherty Orthodontics for an Invisalign consultation. We will examine your teeth and conduct diagnostic imaging in order to construct a customized treatment plan, including the cost of treatment.
Who Can Get Invisalign Treatment?
Invisalign can be a great option for those dealing with issues such as crowded teeth, gapped teeth, or bite misalignments. They’re also an ideal fit for those seeking to address minor cosmetic concerns.
Generally, we recommend clear aligners for teens and adults due to the diligence and discipline required for successful treatment. If you struggle to stick with a routine, you may want to consider other routes.
Dougherty Orthodontics also offers both Invisalign Adult and Invisalign Teen to best serve our customers – let’s take a closer look at those options below.
While orthodontic treatment may have been historically associated with children and teens, that couldn’t be further from the truth today. There’s no upper age limit for Invisalign Adult patients, even if you have undergone dental procedures like installing crowns or veneers. The discreet and convenient nature of Invisalign treatment also makes it perfect for working professionals who worry that braces could interfere with their busy schedules.
Addressing orthodontic issues during the teenage years is typically the best way to prevent larger issues down the road. However, teenagers are also more likely to lose or damage their clear aligners, and they may find it more difficult to comply with treatment plans that require them to wear their aligners for at least 22 hours a day.
Invisalign Teen is designed with these challenges in mind and offers several features that are not seen in the adult variation. Those include tooth-eruption tabs to accommodate growing teeth, coverage for one free replacement in case an aligner is lost or damaged, and compliance indicators that will help parents and Dr. Dougherty confirm that the aligners are being worn for at least 22 hours a day.
How To Clean And Care For Your Invisalign Aligners
Taking proper care of your Invisalign aligners is essential to keeping your treatment on track, avoiding extra trips to the orthodontic office, and protecting your investment and oral health. We know that adding steps to your oral health routine can feel annoying and cumbersome, but it’s absolutely worth it to achieve the best possible results.
Here’s a few quick tips for cleaning and caring for your clear aligners (you can also read more on the topic here):
- Brush your aligners nightly with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste (avoid abrasive cleaning agents like soap or mouthwash).
- Invisalign sells a variety of cleaning products, including a cleansing solution that you should use to soak your aligners once a day.
- Avoid eating or drinking with your aligners in.
- Always rinse your aligners after removing them, and do not leave them out in the open.
- Make sure to brush and floss your teeth when you remove your aligners.
Dougherty Orthodontics: Your Destination For Invisalign In Sherman Oaks
Invisalign treatment involves a significant investment of your time and money, so it’s important to work with an orthodontist you can trust. Our board-certified orthodontists are some of the most distinguished clinicians in the country. We’re proud of the hard work and expertise that goes into being an Invisalign Platinum Provider, which means we are among the top 1% of providers in the US.
If you’re considering Invisalign for yourself or a loved one, we encourage you to schedule a complimentary Invisalign consultation today! We would love to help you achieve a healthy and balanced smile.