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How Does Invisalign Work – Understanding the Science

Invisalign has taken the world by storm as an alternative to invasive, traditional braces. Removable clear aligners that shift your teeth into the perfect smile almost seem too good to be true. This leads to the question: How does Invisalign work?

Knowing how Invisalign works will help you understand how this treatment is possible and help you decide whether it’s right for you. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Invisalign, including the pros and cons.

Invisalign: The Basics

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment. When you undergo this treatment, you’re given two removable, custom-fit retainers to wear for 20-22 hours out of the day.

Invisalign works similarly to traditional braces in that they move your teeth, but the process is a little different. Let’s dive deeper into how exactly Invisalign works.

How Does Invisalign Work?

The way that Invisalign works is relatively simple.

As mentioned, Invisalign involves using two removable retainers that shift your teeth into a straighter position.

These aligner trays are made of flexible plastic to allow for this movement. Each retainer applies a specific amount of force to allow your teeth to move into the position your orthodontist determines is best.

Throughout your Invisalign treatment, you get new clear aligners every few weeks as your teeth move to ensure the progress continues until your teeth reach the desired position.

The time between new retainers and how many times you’ll require new retainers depends on the length of your treatment. If you follow your dentist’s instructions and wear your retainers when you’re supposed to, the treatment will go smoothly and as planned.

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The Benefits of Invisalign

There are several benefits to choosing Invisalign over traditional braces. Some of the top benefits include:

  • Invisalign is a less invasive process since the retainers are removable and there aren’t any wires or brackets.
  • The aligner trays are clear, so they are less noticeable.
  • They’re easier to clean.
  • You can remove them for certain occasions, such as photos.
  • They apply less pressure to your mouth than braces.

While there are several benefits, there are also reasons why you may want to choose something other than Invisalign. Let’s take a look at the drawbacks of the treatment.

Drawbacks of Invisalign

There are a few reasons why Invisalign might not be suitable for you.

  • Cost: Invisalign can be an costlier treatment and may sometimes be more expensive than braces.
  • Worn all day: For best results, you should wear your Invisalign retainers for at least 22 hours daily. This can be difficult to do, depending on your lifestyle, and it’s also easy to forget about your retainers. But you may put your treatment behind if you don’t wear them.
  • Discomfort: New Invisalign retainers always take some getting used to. You may feel some discomfort for the first few days.

That said, many of these disadvantages can also be found with traditional braces, especially the discomfort and cost. Therefore, most people see the benefits of Invisalign as outweighing the drawbacks.

However, Invisalign might not be right for everyone. Let’s determine whether you would qualify for Invisalign.

Is Invisalign Right for You?

Invisalign works for various dental problems, including:

  • Overbites and underbites
  • Misalignments
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Overcrowded teeth

If you have any of these problems, then Invisalign might be the best solution for you.

If you’ve had braces before or even currently have braces, you may be a good candidate for Invisalign.

Many people who had braces in the past — especially in their youth when dental care wasn’t a priority  — and whose teeth have shifted since prefer to get Invisalign over traditional metal braces again to correct this shifting and get that perfect smile again.

That said, Invisalign isn’t right for everyone. As mentioned, Invisalign applies pressure to your crooked teeth to shift them into place. Invisalign retainers have a limit to how much pressure they can apply to your teeth.

The Invisalign process usually shouldn’t take more than 24 months from beginning to end. If your orthodontist thinks that the treatment may take longer than that, they might recommend that you go the traditional metal braces route instead.

Braces may also be a good idea if you’re looking for a shorter treatment, as they may apply more pressure to move your crooked teeth into place faster.

Other factors that affect whether Invisalign is right for you include:

  • Your age
  • The health of your teeth
  • How long you want your treatment to be
  • Your desired results
  • Whether you’ll remember to wear your retainers

On the last point, some people don’t want the hassle of remembering to wear and take out a retainer all day and opt for traditional braces to have one less thing to worry about. Discussing your options with your dentist to determine whether Invisalign is the right choice for your needs is essential.

You now know how Invisalign works and what the ideal Invisalign candidate looks like. But how much does the treatment cost? Let’s find out.

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How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

While Invisalign has many advantages over braces, the cost is usually not one of them. The cost of Invisalign treatment can be similar to that of braces.

Generally, you can expect Invisalign to cost anywhere from $3000 to $8000. The final cost will depend on a series of factors, including:

  • How long treatment will take
  • How complex your teeth are
  • How much your dentist usually charges
  • Whether you wear your retainers when required

While Invisalign is a serious investment, many insurance companies cover at least part of the cost of Invisalign, which may make your out-of-pocket expenses a lot less.

Recap: How Does Invisalign Work

To recap, the science behind the Invisalign system is simple: Invisalign works by shifting your misaligned teeth into place through the use of retainers. These retainers are replaced every few weeks with additional pressure until you attain the perfect alignment.

There are plenty of benefits to Invisalign, and the treatment is worth considering if you’re unhappy with the alignment of your teeth.

Ready to discuss your options? If you’re in the Belleville or Trenton area, contact You Make Me Smile today for a free consultation.