Invisalign is a revolutionary new way to align your teeth without having to wear cumbersome metal braces. Your dentist will use advanced 3-D imaging computer technology to take images of your teeth and then create a model of what he would like them to look like once the process is done.
A 3-D printer will then print a clear plastic mold that fits over your teeth. You will wear this mold for up to 2 weeks, then another mold will be created by the dentist, and you will wear that one for up to 2 weeks. Little by little your teeth will be aligned so that they are straight. The plastic mold is called an “aligner” and is almost invisible – nobody but you and your dentist will know you’re in the process of straightening your teeth!
We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that will help you better understand the procedure.
Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?
Anyone who has an underbite, crossbite, overbite, crowded, or gapped teeth is an ideal candidate for Invisalign. However, if your case is very severe, then there are better treatment methods available. The best way to find out if you’re an ideal candidate for Invisalign is to visit your dentist.
Why do people choose Invisalign over metal braces?
The main reason people choose Invisalign is because metal braces are unsightly and uncomfortable. You can also remove Invisalign temporarily if you want to chew gum or eat certain foods. With braces, you’re stuck wearing them until the dentist removes them. You can also eat or drink whatever you want when wearing Invisalign. With metal braces there is a long list of food and drink items that you should not consume.
Is the process painful?
Not as such. When the dentist first puts on your new aligner you may feel some pressure in your mouth. This temporary discomfort will go away in a few days and is a sign that Invisalign is working and doing its job. Unlike metal braces, there are no sharp edges or wires that can come loose.
How long must I wear the aligners?
The aligners are most effective when you wear them 20 to 22 hours a day. You should remove them from your mouth prior to eating a meal, brushing your teeth, or flossing.
How much will it cost?
The total cost will be contingent upon how much work will be needed and how long it will take. Some people might require less work than others – and the overall cost will be less.
Will my insurance cover the cost?
It depends on your insurance policy. Generally speaking, if you have orthodontic coverage, then Invisalign should be covered the same as regular braces. Call your insurance company to see if they will cover all or a portion of the procedure.
What are the aligners made of?
They are made from a thermoplastic material that is safe to use in the human mouth. They are custom-made to fit your mouth and your mouth only.
How long will the entire procedure take?
Each person is different and there is no set time frame for completion. On average, it can take upwards of 12 months for your teeth to be completely straightened.
Is Invisalign FDA approved?
Yes. The FDA approved the Invisalign technology in 1998. The aligners are classified as a Class II medical device.
How many people are using Invisalign?
Over 1,000,000 people have had their teeth straightened with Invisalign. The popularity is rapidly growing as people realize they no longer have to put up with the discomfort of standard metal braces.
Can I smoke while wearing the aligners?
We strongly discourage smoking while wearing the aligners as the smoke can stain and cause them to become discolored. Now would be a great time to kill two birds with one stone – straighten your teeth AND quit smoking.
Will the aligners affect my speech in any way?
As with any orthodontic treatments, the aligners could temporarily affect your speech. You might notice a slight lisp due to your tongue getting used to the aligners being in place. The lisp should disappear within a day or two as your tongue gets used to the aligners.
Do the aligners contain the toxic chemical BPA (Bisphenol-A)?
No, the aligners do not contain BPA or phthalate plasticizers. The Invisalign aligners are made with medical grade, USP Class VI polyurethane resins. The material is biocompatible and has passed rigorous tests for usage in the human mouth.
Invisalign in Chicago
If you’d like to know if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign, give us a call (312) 787-2131 or send us an email to make an appointment at Water Tower Dental Care. Dr. Aneszko or Dr. Stino will sit down with you and go over the benefits of Invisalign and come up with a treatment plan that will fix your teeth and give you a new reason to smile!