Invisalign® is one of the most commonly requested orthodontic options for adults, and it’s not hard to see why. As a busy working adult, a “metal mouth” is usually the last thing you want when trying to straighten your teeth. The Invisalign® system is unobtrusive and practically unnoticeable. By utilizing clear plastic aligners, it allows for greater confidence, comfort and convenience during the course of your treatment.
If you have crooked teeth but hate the thought of wearing braces, please call the DENTAL STUDIO SF today at 415-392-5025 to schedule a complimentary consultation with an Invisalign®-certified cosmetic dentist. Our state-of-the-art San Francisco office welcomes patients from throughout the Bay Area.
- What Is Invisalign®?
- 3D Digital Scanning
- Invisalign® Process
- Invisalign® vs. Braces
- Invisalign® Candidates
- Invisalign® vs. DIY Ortho Aligners
- Invisalign® Cost
- Additional Invisalign® FAQs
What Is Invisalign®?
The Invisalign® system is an alternative approach to straightening your teeth with conventional metal braces. It allows you to achieve an aligned, beautiful smile without the usual inconveniences associated with orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign® works by utilizing a distinctly designed sequence of clear plastic aligners that are customized to gradually reposition your teeth. The trays are tailored to your unique needs and fit comfortably over your teeth so you can speak and eat as you normally would.
Invisalign®’s custom aligner trays can correct several dental issues, such as:
- Gapped teeth
- Crowded teeth
3D iTero® Element 2 Digital Scanner
We are proud to offer our patients the ability to see a 3D rendering of their Invisalign® results, before they start treatment! This 3D prediction of your results is generated using a scan of your teeth and mouth.
The scan is created in minutes and there’s no messy goop or putty. We use a small, handheld wand to capture the scans of your mouth. Minutes later, the images are displayed on a monitor so that you and the dentist will be able to view and discuss what is pictured.
There are several benefits to this technology. The scans make it possible for our dentists to order Invisalign® trays with a very precise fit. Also, before treatment even begins, you’ll see a prediction of what your results will look like, allowing you to decide if you and the dentist are in agreement about the end goal. The images are high-resolution, clear and interactive. The scans will also help you visualize the progress you are making along the way.
The process itself is painless. You can breathe and swallow as normal while we take the scans. We can pause for a moment if you need to sneeze, ask a question or take a moment for any reason. Please call us today to learn more about these state-of-the-art 3D scans and whether they are right for you.
What Does the Invisalign® Process Entail?
To begin your Invisalign® process, the dentist will take a 3D image of your mouth. This data will be used to craft the custom-fitted aligners that will gradually guide your teeth into proper alignment. Our advanced computer imaging will show what your teeth may look like at every stage of the Invisalign® process, right up to the end of treatment.
Your customized aligners are then created by the Invisalign® lab. You will wear each aligner for approximately 20 to 22 hours each day. You can remove them when you eat or brush and floss, but you should keep them in your mouth for the rest of the day, including while you sleep.
The total number of aligner trays that will be needed to correct your smile will depend on the unique circumstances of your situation. While individual results can vary, most patients require anywhere from 18 to 30 aligners for an average treatment time of 9 to15 months.
Invisalign® vs. Braces
Invisalign® provides several important benefits compared with traditional metal braces:
- Customization: We will take detailed impressions of your teeth which will be used to create your Invisalign® aligners. This ensures your treatment is customized to address your unique orthodontic needs.
- Increased comfort: The custom-fitted aligners have smooth edges, preventing irritation and discomfort to your teeth and gums during the straightening process.
- Convenience: Your aligners can be removed during meals and oral hygiene routines. This allows you to continue to eat all of your favorite foods, and it makes daily brushing and flossing easier to complete.
- Invisible treatment: The clear aligners will be virtually unnoticeable to others, making them a much more attractive solution than unsightly metal braces.
- Fewer office visits: In most cases, you will only need to visit our office about once every six weeks. This means that you’ll spend less time in the dentist’s chair and more time out in the world enjoying your smile.
Is Invisalign® Right For Me?
Invisalign® can provide successful results when used to correct minor to moderate:
- Rotation issues
- Orthodontic relapse
If you’ve had braces in the past and your teeth have shifted back, Invisalign® may be a great option to correct the issue. However, Invisalign® isn’t the best option for major orthodontic and bite alignment problems. In severe cases of misalignment, other orthodontic treatments may be necessary.
The best way to find out if Invisalign® is right for your unique situation is to schedule a personal consultation with one of our dentists. During your visit, they will examine your oral condition and supply you with the information you need to make an informed decision. Together, you can determine the best treatment path for your needs.
Invisalign® Vs. Do-It-Yourself Ortho Aligners
You may have heard of online companies offering do-it-yourself clear aligners. Beware of these Invisalign® knock-offs. These DIY kits may dangerously simplify a process that requires an expert’s opinion, in person.
By skipping dentist supervision, these ortho-by-mail alternatives to Invisalign® present a number of long-lasting oral health risks to consumers, such as:
- Bite complications
- TMJ pain
- Tooth decay
- Tooth loss
- Bone loss
- Root shortening
Without the supervision of a knowledgeable and experienced dentist, there is no way to know if your DIY treatment is doing more harm than good. There is no one there to personally monitor your results and determine key factors in your unique situation, such as:
- How well are your teeth fitting together?
- Are your teeth getting too close together?
- Are your teeth colliding with opposing teeth?
- How to remedy situations that require advanced care?
These are questions that need to be answered by your dentist, not a stranger via smartphone. Not only can the complications that result from unsupervised orthodontic treatment cause poor results, they can result in serious problems that will cost you even more money to correct. By working closely with our dentists, you can ensure that your treatment is on-track and any potential issues can be handled quickly before they turn into bigger, more expensive problems.
How Much Does Invisalign® Cost?
No two mouths are alike, and therefore creating a customized Invisalign® treatment plan is a completely individual experience. With that in mind, the cost of Invisalign® varies from one patient to another. There are a few different factors that will influence your unique Invisalign® journey, such as the complexity of orthodontic concerns, the severity of misalignment, the number of aligners needed to straighten out your teeth, the projected length of your treatment, your commitment to wearing the aligners, and other factors.
There may be insurance and payment plan options available to you, which will be thoroughly evaluated during the cost estimate and dental care financing portion of your consultation. Dental Studios SF is proud to offer several financing choices, including LendingClub® Patient Solutions and ALPHAEON™ CREDIT Patient Financing, as well as our featured option – Cherry Payment Plans. Cherry is a payment plan designed for your health, beauty, and wellness needs, and allows qualified applicants to make convenient monthly payments. Additionally, keep in mind that Invisalign® is an eligible medical expense for Health Savings and Flexible Spending accounts (HSAs and FSAs).
If you’re looking for a Bay Area cosmetic dentist, contact the impeccably credentialed and caring professionals at Dental Studios SF today to schedule your Invisalign® consultation.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign®
Below you’ll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Invisalign®:
Does Invisalign® hurt?
Thanks to its flexible plastic design, patients typically do not experience excessive discomfort when using Invisalign® to correct orthodontic concerns, whereas traditional braces require routine tightening and adjustments using wires and brackets. During the first few days of wearing the initial set of aligners, there may be slight pressure or soreness as your teeth become accustomed to them, which is often a sign that improvements are beginning to take shape. Over-the-counter pain medication is generally all that is needed to ease the temporary side effects.
How long does Invisalign® take?
On average, Invisalign® can take between nine to fifteen months to achieve the desired outcome. However, the treatment timeline varies for each patient. The main factor is the complexity of orthodontic concerns that need to be addressed. Certain cases will take longer to fix than others, such as crooked teeth and a misaligned bite. Another important factor is the patient’s commitment to following the daily recommended wear, which is at least 22 hours a day in order to complete the process as quickly and effectively as possible. The less you wear them, the more the treatment time is likely to be extended.
Invisalign® has been around for over two decades and is trusted to fix a wide array of orthodontic and cosmetic dental concerns. Our DENTAL STUDIO team in San Francisco is happy to arrange a consultation for you with one of our experienced cosmetic dentists.
How do I clean my Invisalign® trays?
Cleaning your Invisalign® aligners is as simple as brushing your teeth. Begin by rinsing the trays in warm water (avoid hot water to maintain the personalized shape) and then gently scrub them with a toothbrush. For a deeper clean you may also use an antibacterial soap – just be sure to thoroughly rinse them before placing them back in your mouth for treatment.
How noticeable is Invisalign®?
The beauty of using Invisalign® to correct orthodontic concerns is the discreetness of the aligners. Even at a close distance the flexible, clear plastic design, which requires no other visual parts, makes them virtually unnoticeable. Since this is a new addition to your mouth, it may take a short time to adjust to them. For example, patients might experience a slight lisp at first, but that should diminish after a few days.
Is Invisalign® covered by insurance?
Invisalign® is recognized as orthodontic care, so if your dental insurance plan includes that coverage the treatment may be at least partially covered. Our staff will be happy to review your policy with you during your consultation to explain what amount may be paid for by your insurance and what costs you can expect to be out-of-pocket.
Schedule Your Free Invisalign® Consultation Today
To find out if Invisalign® treatment is the best option for your teeth, smile and oral health, please contact the DENTAL STUDIO SF today by calling 415-472-9593 or completing the form on this page.