The Truth About Invisalign

Traditional braces have undergone a pretty incredible transformation in recent years, with several changes to their design, shape, size, and even color! Today’s braces are smaller, more aesthetically appealing, and better able to correct a range of orthodontic issues. These exciting developments give patients an efficient method of achieving a beautiful smile they love, but some patients are still on the fence about using them. That’s why we’re here to tell you the truth about Invisalign

Dr. Eric Baugher and Dr. Jennifer Claiborne are experts in the innovative Invisalign system. Invisalign offers patients the same beautiful results as braces without the use of brackets, wires, or bands. Because Invisalign is relatively new in the world of orthodontics, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about what aligners can do, how effective they are, and how much they cost. Let’s take a look at the truth about Invisalign below!

What is Invisalign?

Although Invisalign clear aligners were developed by Align Technology in 1998, similar trays had been in use for decades as post-treatment retainers. The Invisalign system created software and technology that allows orthodontists like Drs. Baugher and Claiborne to move crooked and misaligned teeth in stages using customized aligners. At the end of each stage, patients will replace their current aligner with the next in the series. This generally occurs every one to two weeks, depending on their personalized treatment plan.

In the early days of Invisalign, it was mostly used for simple spacing issues or very mild crowding. As orthodontists became aware of its potential and it began to grow in popularity, the aligners improved to move teeth more efficiently. Over 7 million patients around the world have now successfully straightened their smiles using the Invisalign system! When used as directed, Invisalign can be just as effective as traditional braces and offers a great deal more freedom and flexibility.

Will Invisalign treatment take longer than braces?

There’s no “one size fits all” answer as to how long a patient will need to be in braces or aligners since every case is different and each patient will respond to treatment in their way. In general, the average number of aligners used with aligner treatment is somewhere between 10 and 48, with the total treatment time averaging anywhere from 6 to 18 months. This is slightly faster than the average time spent in braces!

While any kind of orthodontic treatment requires a commitment from patients to be successful, compliance is especially important with Invisalign aligners. Braces are a fixed appliance—meaning they are affixed to the surface of the teeth—so much of the hard work is done without too much effort on the part of the patient. Aligners are a removable appliance, however. For the system to work properly, they must be worn for 20-22 hours a day, throughout treatment.

Patient consultation

Is Invisalign treatment more expensive than braces?

Like any brand new technology, treatment with Invisalign was considered quite expensive when it first entered the orthodontic market. Over the years, however, that cost has decreased as its popularity has increased. There are several factors associated with the overall cost of treatment, but comparatively speaking, aligners tend to cost just about the same as traditional braces these days.  

At Central Virginia Orthodontics, it’s our goal to provide affordable, high-quality orthodontic care for every budget. We have a variety of payment options available and accept many major insurance plans as well. Our team can even verify your orthodontic benefits and process your insurance forms for you!

What advantages does Invisalign offer over braces?

Invisalign aligners are removable, giving patients the kind of flexibility that more traditional treatment methods just can’t beat. Take food restrictions, for example. To protect their appliance and their teeth, braces patients must avoid anything crunchy or chewy, which can eliminate several popular foods and snacks. This is never a problem for Invisalign patients! You simply take the aligners out any time you want to eat, then put them back in when you’re done. No food restrictions make orthodontic treatment a lot easier (and a lot more fun!)

Removable aligners also make it easier to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing around wires, brackets, and bands can often be frustrating and time-consuming. Invisalign aligners are removed before brushing and flossing as you normally would! Caring for the aligners themselves is a simple task, too. There are special kits designed to clean them, or you can gently brush them using toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.

Because they’re removable and don’t have any wires or brackets to get in the way, Invisalign aligners are great for athletes and musicians who play certain instruments. Since they can be removed for short periods, they’re also perfect for those special events where you only want your natural smile shining through, like a wedding, prom, or senior pictures.  

Will Invisalign aligners work for everyone?

Generally speaking, aligners tend to work best for adult and teen patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are particularly complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner can achieve. When you schedule your FREE consultation with our doctors, they will be able to determine if aligner treatment is a good fit for you, or if you’d be better served by a different treatment method. At Central Virginia Orthodontics, we will only ever recommend the treatment we believe is best for your smile!

What happens once treatment with Invisalign is complete?

Whatever orthodontic treatment you choose, your teeth will always remember their previous place in your mouth. They will begin to drift back towards those positions over time if there’s nothing there to stop them, which is why retainers are so important for lasting results! Once your treatment is complete, our office will provide you with a retainer. To keep your newly straightened smile in place, you should always wear it exactly as directed by your doctor.

Dr. Baugher with a patient

Trust your smile to the experts at Central Virginia Orthodontics

It’s easy to see why Invisalign clear aligner therapy is the most popular alternative to traditional braces! This exciting aligner system continues to change the way people view orthodontic treatment, and we’re proud to offer it to our patients in Lynchburg and the surrounding areas.

If you’d like to learn more about the incredible things Invisalign can do for you and your smile, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Eric Baugher and Dr. Jennifer Claiborne. We can help you achieve the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve!

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