Invisalign Express

What is Invisalign Express?

Invisalign Express is a short-duration orthodontic treatment. It works in the same way as traditional Invisalign treatment. However, Invisalign Express is designed to quickly and efficiently correct simple orthodontic issues. Traditional treatment takes longer and is necessary in cases of moderate to severe teeth misalignment. 

Express treatment is ideal for people with minor crowding or spacing issues. This includes alignment problems that occur from orthodontic relapse. 

People who require teeth straightening before undergoing cosmetic or restorative procedures are also candidates for Invisalign Express. These procedures may include composite bonding or dental veneers.

There are three different Invisalign Express options:

  • Invisalign Express 5
  • Invisalign Express 10
  • Invisalign i7

Depending on the severity of your condition, these express options deliver five, ten, or seven aligners. However, be aware that not every provider offers all three options.

Do You Qualify for Invisalign Express?

Certain clinical criteria must be met for express aligners, including: 1

  • Less than two mm of crowding or spacing per arch 
  • Less than 1.5 mm of dental expansion needed per arch 
  • Minimal movement of the cuspids, bicuspids, and incisors 
  • Less than two mm of midline correction needed

Your dentist will determine the treatment plan that is suitable for you.6 Know that many cases require the removal of tooth structure between the teeth to create space. This is called interproximal reduction or manicuring.

Some cases may also require attachments, which are added to the teeth to better fit and control individual tooth movement.

If a patient has complex crowding, spacing problems, or malocclusion (bad bite), traditional braces or a comprehensive Invisalign option may be a more appropriate orthodontic treatment. 

Who Doesn’t Qualify for Invisalign Express?

Express aligners may not be appropriate for kids because their teeth are still developing. They require a long-term orthodontic assessment to help their jaws and teeth grow properly. Wearing Invisalign aligners for less than six months may not be long enough for most children to have straight teeth as an adult.

If you have significant teeth alignment issues, Invisalign Express will not be suitable for you. The aligners can also only slightly correct teeth that are twisted or rotated out of proper alignment, and it cannot make a noticeable change in your overall bite.

It is also important to note that Invisalign Express works best for front teeth.

Traditional Invisalign vs. Invisalign Express 

Invisalign’s traditional treatment is similar to the one it initially released in the late 90s. It includes oversight from your dentist and as many clear, removable aligners as necessary to correct your unique condition.6

After scanning your teeth, your dentist will create a custom treatment plan and produce your aligners. Then, you will visit the dentist regularly so they can monitor and adjust your treatment.

The aligners will gradually move your teeth over a timeframe of 12 months (on average). 

Invisalign Express was introduced in 2012. This treatment involves many of the same steps but was created for minor cases of teeth misalignment. 

Your dentist will still scan your teeth and produce your aligners. You will still need to visit the office. However, the treatment time is much shorter and only takes a few months.

Traditional Invisalign treatment requires 20 to 30 aligners to shift the teeth into the proper position. However, Invisalign Express requires fewer aligners. It is designed for people whose crowding or spacing problems can be fixed in ten stages of aligners or less.

As a result, Invisalign Express treatment time is only around six months.

What are the Side Effects & Risks of Invisalign Express?

There are some side effects and risks of Invisalign Express, which are also applicable to similar clear aligner brands.

These include:

  • Discomfort
  • Speech issues
  • Tray allergies
  • Bad breath
  • Biting problems

Pros and Cons of Invisalign Express

There are both pros and cons to using Invisalign Express:

PROS
  • Fast — If you need to fix a small gap between your teeth, express aligners will get the job done quickly. Treatment time for most mild cases is only three to six months.
  • Convenient — Straightening your teeth with Invisalign is easy. You just need to pop them into your mouth.
  • Comfortable — Invisalign aligners do not have the sharp metal parts that traditional braces have.
  • Discreet — Nobody will notice that you are wearing clear aligners.
  • Cheaper than traditional Invisalign treatment — Express treatment typically costs around half of what standard Invisalign costs. Plus, it is usually at least partially covered by dental insurance.
CONS
  • May be considered expensive — Although express aligners are cheaper than the original treatment, there are more affordable options available.
  • Limited efficacy — shorter treatment time means that you can only correct your tooth alignment issues to a limited extent. Complex misalignment issues, or twisted or tipped back teeth, do not qualify for Invisalign Express.
  • Results are not instant — Express aligners will provide you with results quickly but not overnight. If you desire an instant transformation, you may prefer veneers or dental bonding instead of straightening your teeth with aligners. Even in very mild cases, shifting teeth takes time.

How Long Does Invisalign Express Typically Take?

Invisalign Express involves wearing a series of either five or ten aligner sets that are swapped out approximately every two weeks. This means patients typically wear Invisalign Express aligners for 10 to 20 weeks.

How Much Does Invisalign Express Cost?

Like all orthodontic treatments, the cost of express aligners differ based on geographic location and the type of dental insurance you have. Express treatment requires fewer aligners, so the treatment cost is less than traditional Invisalign aligners.

Express treatment ranges between $1,800 and $3,500, with $2,500 being the average.1

5 Factors That Impact Invisalign Express Treatment Cost

Various factors impact express treatment cost:

1. Condition Complexity

Invisalign’s traditional treatment plan can treat the full spectrum of teeth and jaw misalignment, including serious bite issues. However, express treatment can only correct minor cases of crowding and spacing in the six front teeth.

Even though it has a smaller scope of treatable conditions, a case’s severity or complexity can significantly impact the price of treatment.

2. Location

Certain locations are more expensive for treatment. In the United States, those living in the Northeast or along the West Coast will usually pay more. Plus, if your dentist or orthodontist’s office is in a city or another costly area, their rent and utilities will cost more. This may mean higher costs for patients. 

3. Dentist Expertise

Just like many other professions, more in-demand and experienced dentists and orthodontists can charge higher fees. Those who have been providing Invisalign treatment for some time may be involved in the Invisalign Advantage Program. This has several member tiers differing from bronze to diamond.

Dentists and orthodontists gain points for each Invisalign treatment they administer, enabling them to advance into higher tiers.

4. Aftercare Retainers

After you have worn all of your aligners, your teeth will be nice and straight. Naturally, you will want to keep them that way. Teeth have a natural tendency to move back after they have been shifted.

To stop this from occurring, your dentist will suggest wearing retainers. You will need to wear them all day at first and then just overnight. Paying for aftercare retainers can increase the price of treatment.

5. Refinements

Most of the time, your express aligners will deliver the results you expected. However, regular office visits enable your dentist to consistently evaluate your progress and make adjustments when necessary. This can affect the overall cost of treatment.

Does Insurance Cover Invisalign? 

Dental insurance can cover an extensive range of procedures and treatments, including Invisalign Express. However, it depends on your policy.

If your insurance includes orthodontic benefits, the chances are that you can expect some amount of coverage. However, you should not assume. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to confirm.

Some insurers consider clear aligners a cosmetic treatment, especially if it is for a minor condition. Insurance will not usually cover the entire cost of Invisalign Express treatment, so you are likely to have some out-of-pocket costs.

How to Get Started With Invisalign Express

To get started with Invisalign Express, the first step is to meet with an Invisalign doctor. When you meet with them, they will gather information about you, take in-depth scans, and help develop a treatment plan to meet your specific orthodontic needs. Your aligners are created by dental technicians.

Is Invisalign Express Right for You (& Alternatives)?

Express treatment is ideal for minor crowding and spacing problems. If you have minor orthodontic issues and are looking for a quick fix, Invisalign Express may suit you.

Other clear aligner brands on the market may suit your needs better, such as Byte, Candid, and ALIGNERCO.

Resources

Invisalign Express & Invisalign Teen, Consumer Guide to Dentistry

Papadimitriou, Aikaterini et al. “Clinical effectiveness of Invisalign® orthodontic treatment: a systematic review.” Progress in orthodontics vol. 19,1 37. 28 Sep. 2018, doi:10.1186/s40510-018-0235-z

Galan-Lopez, Lidia et al. “A systematic review of the accuracy and efficiency of dental movements with Invisalign®.” Korean journal of orthodontics vol. 49,3 (2019): 140-149. doi:10.4041/kjod.2019.49.3.140

Tamer, İpek et al. “Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners and The Scientific Reality Behind Their Marketing: A Literature Review.” Turkish journal of orthodontics vol. 32,4 241-246. 1 Dec. 2019, doi:10.5152/TurkJOrthod.2019.18083

Papadimitriou, Aikaterini et al. “Clinical effectiveness of Invisalign® orthodontic treatment: a systematic review.” Progress in orthodontics vol. 19,1 37. 28 Sep. 2018, doi:10.1186/s40510-018-0235-z

How does Invisalign® treatment work?, Invisalign

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