1224 McFarland Blvd. NE
Tuscaloosa, AL. 35406
You may have many different thoughts running through your head after you learn that you or your child needs orthodontic treatment. Odds are you’re not looking forward to the process if you think your only option is the bulky and uncomfortable metal braces of years past. Although traditional braces have gone through a pretty impressive transformation in recent years, plenty of our teen and adult patients are still on the fence about using them and find themselves wondering if Invisalign is worth it.
Fortunately, there are now many alternatives to metal braces. Your options include clear braces and clear Invisalign aligners. Here at Cowan Orthodontics, we’ll work with your unique smile to create a personalized treatment plan that will give you the best results. We know that what works for one patient may not work for another, so we’ll take several different factors into account when choosing the best treatment for you. This includes:
Invisalign is the most popular alternative to braces, and it’s not by accident! In most cases, aligners are comparative in price to traditional metal braces. However, they can sometimes run slightly more expensive, which leads some patients to wonder if the Invisalign system is worth any difference in cost. To learn more about why we believe Invisalign aligners are an excellent investment in your smile, keep reading below!
One of Invisalign’s most significant selling points is that the aligners are made of clear plastic that most people won’t even notice. For patients who are anxious about treatment making them stand out, Invisalign is a welcome alternative! Since you can remove them for short periods, clear aligners are also perfect for any special event when you want your natural smile to shine through, such as prom, weddings, or senior pictures.
Our Invisalign patients can enjoy more freedom than traditional treatment methods can offer! Food restrictions are a perfect example. Sticky and crunchy foods can wreck brackets and wires, so patients in braces must avoid them throughout the treatment process. To keep your braces safe, you’ll have to avoid several favorite foods and snacks. But with Invisalign, you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want to! You simply remove the aligner before eating and put it back in afterward.
Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine with traditional braces comes with a bit of a learning curve, especially in the early days. Brushing and flossing around the brackets and bands can take time. They can also make it harder to get rid of any lingering food particles or plaque. You can remove your Invisalign aligners before brushing and flossing as normal! Caring for the aligners themselves couldn’t be easier, either. There are special kits designed to clean them, or you can use toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
Every case is different, and each patient will respond to treatment differently, so there’s no way to give a standardized answer for how long treatment will take.
Your compliance is an essential factor in how successful the Invisalign system’s treatment process is. You’ll need to wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day throughout the treatment process so the aligner treatment will be successful. You’ll also be responsible for switching your aligners out every 1-2 weeks, allowing them to keep up with the movements your teeth are making.
If you are fully compliant, the average treatment time with Invisalign can be anywhere from about 6 to 18 months, which is slightly faster than the average time spent in braces!
When Invisalign was in its early days, orthodontists used the aligners to correct simple spacing issues or very mild crowding. As orthodontists realized the system’s potential and the system began to grow in popularity, the design improved dramatically. Orthodontists like Dr. Cowan can now use Invisalign to treat the following conditions successfully:
When used by an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Cowan, the Invisalign system can correct most traditional braces cases.
When it comes to the treatment benefits and underlying technology, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are the same. However, Align Technology developed Invisalign Teen with features that meet teenage patients’ unique needs, including:
As noted above, patient compliance is a critical component to success with Invisalign. You have to wear your aligners as directed by Dr. Cowan for them to work correctly. The compliance indicators incorporated into the Invisalign Teen aligners fade from blue to clear, providing parents and orthodontists with a visual approximation of wear. Dr. Cowan will always know if your teen is wearing your aligners correctly.
This feature accommodates the growth of the second molars in young adults, helping to keep space open for unerupted teeth and making it possible to treat a broader range of conditions with Invisalign.
It is not uncommon for our teen patients to lose or break an aligner. Although teens should always treat their aligners with care, there’s no need to worry if this occurs! Invisalign Teen will provide up to six replacement aligners at no charge, just in case.
There are several benefits to the Invisalign system, but it may not be for everyone. In general, the aligners tend to work best for adult and teen patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are incredibly complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner can achieve.
When you schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Cowan, she’ll be able to determine if treatment with Invisalign aligners is a good fit for your smile. If she feels a different treatment option would be a better option, we’ll talk you through what’s available. You can trust us not to recommend any treatment that isn’t ideal for your smile needs.
During this first visit with us, we’ll also outline the investment needed for your new smile. You’ll learn more about our payment options and insurance coverage. When you have all the right information, you’ll weigh your treatment options more clearly. Knowing there’s a subtle, comfortable, and flexible option that’s just as effective as braces mean any extra money you may have to put into it will be worth every penny!
Are you ready to learn more about the Invisalign aligner system and the beautiful new smile it could give you? Get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Cowan and take the first step toward the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted!
July 31, 2020
October 25, 2020