Straightening your smile has never been easier or more discreet than with the Invisalign® system. Orthodontic treatment with Invisalign can straighten misaligned teeth, eliminate crowding, and close gaps between teeth without the need for traditional metal brackets and wires. Invisalign works by adjusting the smile gradually with a series of removable clear plastic aligners. Whether your teeth are in need of small improvements or significant adjustments, Invisalign may be able to help you achieve the straight, beautiful smile you desire. Treatment time may span over a year or less, depending on the degree of realignment needed to accomplish your goals.
Scheduling a consultation with cosmetic dentist Dr. Ann Haggard or Dr. Lauren Eichblatt is the first step in determining if Invisalign is right for you. Dr. Ann is a trusted and experienced Invisalign provider and was the first GP (General Practitioner) in Texas to become a ‘Premier Provider’ for Invisalign in 2008. Since then, she has achieved the exclusive status of an ‘Invisalign Elite Provider,’ which is awarded only to certified Invisalign providers who have completed more than 300 cases of Invisalign and who also continue to treat a minimum of 50 cases every six months. If the orthodontic work you require extends beyond the capabilities of Invisalign, our team will recommend a local orthodontist to perform primary adjustments that can prepare you for Invisalign treatment.
What Is Invisalign®?
Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten teeth. Using a system of clear aligners, Invisalign moves teeth into precisely prescribed positions as determined by you and your dentist. There are many different companies making clear aligners today. Invisalign, made by Align Technology, has the longest history of creating beautiful smiles with clear aligners. The company was founded in 1997 and has treated over six million cases.
Continuing innovation keeps Invisalign at the front of the aligner game, using the most advanced technology of all clear aligner therapies. The patented material that Invisalign uses for its aligners provides the best fit and the most invisible appearance.
The aligners are not attached to the teeth, so you can remove them for eating, drinking anything besides water, and cleaning your teeth. The fact that the clear aligners are removable is both an advantage and a disadvantage! It is wonderful to be able to remove the aligners in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy or enjoy a special occasion. However, if you remove them too often, your results will be less than optimal. Invisalign relies on being in relatively constant contact with the teeth (a minimum of 22 hours per day) to achieve the prescribed movements.
Invisalign aligners do not have any sharp brackets and wires to irritate the inside of your lips, cheeks, and tongue. They may cause some tenderness in the teeth due to the pressure of movement. In general, patients consider clear aligners much more comfortable than traditional braces.
Invisalign is effective at correcting the majority of orthodontic problems. We offer multiple treatment options through Invisalign so that we can treat everyone, regardless of age or severity of your case. Treatment ranges from minor tooth corrections in as little as two months to extremely complicated cases that take years.
What Are the Benefits of Invisalign®?
Invisalign is a revolutionary advancement in orthodontic treatment. Compared to traditional braces and orthodontics, Invisalign can offer several significant benefits:
- Aligners are practically invisible
- No uncomfortable tightening appointments
- Aligners are removable, not cemented to the teeth
- Invisalign treatment plans are often shorter than traditional orthodontic treatment timelines
- Dental health is easier to maintain with Invisalign – you can brush, floss, and receive regular dental cleanings without obstruction
- No tooth enamel damage sometimes caused by cement
- Enjoy the food and drinks you love without jeopardizing your treatment
Invisalign® vs. Braces
While some patients may only benefit from traditional metal braces, many find Invisalign can work very well for their orthodontic needs. These aligners are commonly associated with terms like comfort and convenience, and our patients typically find this to be true.
Invisalign can accomplish most of the same tooth movements that traditional braces do. However, there are a few movements that Invisalign is not capable of performing, so traditional braces may be a better option. The important thing is seeing a dentist who understands this concept. At Designer Smiles, our decades of orthodontic experience with Invisalign provide us with the knowledge necessary to understand what we can and cannot accomplish with aligners.
The trait of clear aligner therapy that gives it the benefit of convenience also gives it one serious drawback: you can remove them. When you remove the aligners, the teeth are not moving. Your compliance in wearing the aligners for 22 hours per day is essential to accomplishing its treatment goals.
Am I an Invisalign® Candidate?
More patients are now suitable for treatment with Invisalign® than ever before. A consultation appointment with Dr. Ann is all that is necessary to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for Invisalign®. You may be surprised to find out that Invisalign® can resolve complex orthodontic concerns that go beyond straightening mild to moderate tooth misalignments. Today’s Invisalign® can treat crossbite, underbite, overbite, and other complex tooth alignment issues. If Dr. Ann decides that your smile is in need of more intensive orthodontic treatment than Invisalign® can provide, she may develop a treatment plan that involves combination work with a local orthodontist to help you achieve the straight smile you desire.
What Is Invisalign Teen®?
Adults are not the only ones who want to avoid the unsightly appearance of metal brackets and wires. Orthodontic treatment with Invisalign’s clear aligners is a great option for teenagers, too. The teen years are full of peer pressure, self-confidence problems, and awkward changes. Choosing Invisalign Teen to straighten your teen’s teeth saves them from one of the many embarrassments of those awkward years.
Many parents express concern that Invisalign may not “work” for their teens. The truth is that clear aligners work very effectively on younger patients…when they wear them correctly. Because teenagers’ teeth move more efficiently through their young jawbones, the treatment with Invisalign is often relatively fast. The same rules for compliance apply to teens and adults. You must have the aligners on your teeth in order for them to work. When teens wear the aligners for at least 22 hours a day, their results are both fast and beautiful!
Invisalign not only spares your teen the embarrassment of ugly metal brackets and wires, it is actually a better option for good oral hygiene and overall oral health. Brackets provide countless areas for plaque and bacteria to accumulate. It is not only very difficult to properly clean traditional braces to remove this buildup; it also requires additional oral hygiene tools. Many teenagers develop serious gum disease while wearing braces because they cannot or will not clean around the brackets. Others get the braces off, only to find that multiple cavities have developed around the brackets. Invisalign allows your teenager to clean his or her teeth more easily and more effectively.
Invisalign allows us to guide newly incoming teeth into the proper position as they erupt into the mouth. The aligners also contain indicators that show us just how often your teen is really wearing them. Call today to schedule an Invisalign consultation for your teenager with Dr. Ann and Dr. Lauren.
How Does Invisalign® Work?
During your consultation, Dr. Ann will thoroughly examine your smile and develop a treatment plan based on her observations. Next, she will take a digital scan of your teeth to be sent to Align Technology Lab where your customized Invisalign® trays are fabricated. At Align Technology Lab, your digital scans are analyzed by advanced computer software and translated into three dimensional images that illustrate the sequence of movements your teeth will undergo to accomplish your treatment plan. Based on these images, the lab creates a series of custom-fitted, clear plastic aligners that will deliver your treatment. You will receive a new aligner approximately every two weeks until your treatment is complete. Throughout the duration of your treatment, Dr. Ann will oversee progress with regularly scheduled six-week checkup appointments to ensure that phased adjustments are proceeding as planned.
How Long Will My Invisalign® Treatment Last?
The length of Invisalign® treatment varies from patient to patient. Everyone has different needs, and while some patients might wear aligners for six months, others might wear them for one year or more. The most common treatment time is usually somewhere between nine to 15 months. Typically, each aligner is worn for two weeks and then replaced by a new aligner in the treatment series. This process continues until all aligners have been worn and teeth reach the desired degree of straightness.
I finally have the smile I wanted for 40 years! It’s a process… but the end result is worth it. I highly recommend Invisalign dentists who use high tech scanning to build your treatment plan. You can see where you’ve been and where you want to go with the animations and accurate scans.
September 27, 2017
How to Choose the Right Invisalign® Provider
It seems like every dentist is offering Invisalign nowadays. And now there are several other “clear” ways to straighten your teeth. Maybe you know that you want to straighten your teeth with clear aligners, but how do you know which dentist is best for your treatment?
Experience: First, you should look for a dentist with many years of experience with clear aligner therapy, and specifically many years providing Invisalign treatment. Invisalign was the pioneer in clear aligner therapy to straighten teeth. In the 20+ years since its beginnings, Invisalign has treated over six million smiles! It has also continually evolved, developing new technology, new materials, and new techniques to generate the best results.
Having provided Invisalign treatment for our patients for well over a decade, we can attest to the fact that it absolutely creates beautiful smiles! The years of experience that we have with Invisalign gives us unique insights into specific tooth movements and overall outcomes, which cannot be learned simply by taking a class. Hands on experience is invaluable!
Education: While becoming certified to provide Invisalign treatment is relatively easy, becoming an expert is not. A single two-day course allows a dentist to begin performing Invisalign treatment; however, in order to learn how to treat complex cases and stay on the cutting edge, great Invisalign dentists will continue educating themselves. The best Invisalign providers even teach others (like Dr. Ann!).
Technology: Providing the best Invisalign treatment involves using the latest technology. Research shows that digital impressions provide greater accuracy for the fabrication of clear aligners. Invisalign has the best fit and is most “invisible” when it begins with a three-dimensional intraoral digital scan instead of a gooey dental impression. The availability of this technology can clue you in on the office’s experience with Invisalign. Only dentists treating many patients with clear aligners will invest in advanced technologies like digital impressions.
How Much Does Invisalign® Cost?
The cost of the treatment will depend on the patient’s needs and how long Dr. Ann recommends the aligners be worn. We accept several forms of payment including credit cards and offer financing options through CareCredit® to make this treatment more affordable for our patients. Please call our office and we can also check if Invisalign is covered through your dental insurance.
Additional Invisalign® FAQs
We have provided informative answers to the most common questions we get about the Invisalign process to benefit prospective patients who are considering treatment. If you would like to know more about Invisalign, please contact our office.
What are Invisalign® aligners made of?
Invisalign® aligners are made out of a strong, clear thermoplastic material, which is customized to fit each patient’s mouth and progressively move the teeth. The aligners are virtually undetectable when worn and may appear similar to custom teeth whitening trays.
Do I have to wear my Invisalign® aligners when I eat?
Invisalign® aligners can be left in while drinking, but should be rinsed afterwards. Using a straw for liquids other than water is recommended. While eating, it is best to take out the aligners, so as not to crack or damage them.
How should Invisalign® aligners be cleaned?
To clean your aligners, run them under warm water while scrubbing with a toothbrush. This will ensure any buildup of food and sugary drinks is removed.
How often will I have check-in appointments for Invisalign?
Dr. Ann will direct you to come in approximately every six weeks for Invisalign check-ups and maintenance, but this may vary depending on your individual case.
Will Invisalign affect my speech?
Especially in the hands of an experienced provider like Dr. Ann, Invisalign should not have any long-term effects on your speech; however, keep in mind that it may take a few weeks for you to get used to the feel of your aligners. During this initial adjustment period, it is normal to notice a slight lisp, but this should subside as you adjust to the aligners.
Can I chew gum with Invisalign?
Dr. Ann advises patients not to chew gum with Invisalign for a number of reasons. Firstly, repetitive chewing can distort the aligners and warp final results. Additionally, gum which contains sugar can cause harmful bacteria to build up and cause stains on the teeth, which is why Dr. Ann discourages patients from chewing sugar-filled gum in the first place. If you do choose to chew gum, Dr. Ann recommends that you do so without the aligners in your mouth.
Will I need to wear a retainer after my Invisalign treatment?
It is essential that you wear your retainer after getting your aligners! The timeline and instructions for wearing the retainer may vary slightly between patients, but the fact remains that the retainer is a key part in maintaining the results of Invisalign. Furthermore, Dr. Ann will provide you with specific instructions for wearing your retainer during your consultation.
Contact Us for Invisalign®
For more information about Invisalign or another cosmetic dentistry procedure, contact Designer Smiles to set up your personal consultation. Our friendly team can help schedule your appointment and answer any questions you may have about treatment.