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Initially developed in 1997, the Invisalign clear aligner system has been used to treat over 9 million patients.
Invisalign clear aligners are made of flexible plastic. They are created from molds and digital 3D scans of your mouth.
Invisalign aligners are FDA-approved and contain no BPA, BPS, latex, or gluten. They are thin, transparent, and fit snugly over your teeth, making them less noticeable than braces.
The aligners put pressure on specific parts of the teeth to slowly move them into a better position.
Invisalign aligner trays are replaced every one to three weeks. Each replacement tray will feel different because they are designed to continue to shift and move your teeth.
Patients need to wear the trays for most of the day (20–22 hours/day) to see results. However, Invisalign can be easily removed for eating, brushing, flossing, or for special occasions.
To begin treatment, the first step is to meet with an Invisalign doctor, who will look at your smile, overall oral health, and take impressions and x-rays of your mouth.
If you're approved for treatment, the Invisalign doctor will create a treatment plan to achieve your desired results. You'll visit them regularly throughout treatment to check progress.
Invisalign can be a good alternative to conventional orthodontic therapy in correcting mild to severe malocclusions (teeth misalignment).
Invisalign can treat the following conditions:
In patients without any of these conditions who only want a more beautiful smile, Invisalign can also be a good solution.
There are some cases in which Invisalign is not a good treatment option, including:
Other factors that influence whether a patient would be a candidate for Invisalign include age, which affects teeth movement.
Any patient who is considering Invisalign should set up a consultation with their dentist to determine whether they are a candidate for treatment.
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An underbite is when the lower front teeth are positioned in front of the upper teeth when the mouth is closed.
Many childhood behaviors can lead to an underbite, including thumb sucking, tongue thrusting against the teeth, and using a pacifier for too long. It can also be genetic.
In simple underbite cases that involve misalignment of the lower teeth, Invisalign can be a solution.
However, in other more severe cases, an underbite is caused by the lower jaw being too far forward. A patient with a severe underbite may require orthodontic treatment combined with surgery.
The length of Invisalign treatment for an underbite depends on multiple factors, including the complexity of the case.
A dentist can determine approximately how long the treatment will be by evaluating an individual patient’s needs.
On average, Invisalign treatment time is 12 to 18 months, and patients can start seeing results in a matter of two weeks.
Patients who are considering Invisalign treatment for an underbite should review the following pros and cons.
Using Invisalign for underbite correction offers the following benefits, including:
The cons of Invisalign for an underbite include:
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Studies show that there is no significant difference between braces and Invisalign in orthodontic effectiveness. Both clear aligners and braces were effective in treating malocclusion, including an underbite.
When given a choice, patients tend to prefer clear aligners over traditional metal braces because of their superior comfort, esthetic, and ease of oral hygiene. Patients may also choose Invisalign because they tend to have a shorter treatment duration than braces.
Several factors contribute to the cost of Invisalign. These factors include:
The average cost of Invisalign is $3,000–$8,000. Depending on their insurance plan, patients may qualify for up to $3,000 in help from their insurance company.
For comparison, traditional metal bracket braces usually cost $2,000–$6,000.
Payment options for Invisalign include:
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When choosing an Invisalign doctor, patients should consider their Invisalign designation. Invisalign offers four ratings for its providers: Preferred, Premier, Premier Elite, and Diamond Plus. These designations are based on how many patients the doctor has treated with Invisalign.
While an Invisalign provider’s designation is important, it is just one aspect to consider when choosing where to go. Patients should also consider the cost of services, how they treat their patients, and their comfort level with the doctor when making a decision.
Many doctors offer a free consultation for patients considering Invisalign, which can help patients who are considering the treatment to select a doctor they are comfortable with before moving forward.