Over the years since its introduction, Invisalign aligners have created quite a name for themselves as a wonderful alternative to traditional metal braces. Unfortunately, some major misconceptions have also cropped up that have prevented people from considering them for their dental needs. The following concerns often come up when we discuss teeth straightening with our patients, so we’d like to de-mystify the process and answer any questions our readers may have about this highly recommended product.
Myth #1 – Invisalign only works on mild to moderate crooked teeth
People often assume that very crooked teeth can’t benefit from using Invisalign, but that simply isn’t true. Complex treatments aren’t as easy in any type of straightening. In the use of Invisalign, the experience or skill of your dentist will determine if Invisalign can work for you. Dentists can’t attend a school to learn how to Invisalign, they only have their acquired skill set and experience to guide them. Having a doctor you trust that feels confident in their abilities will determine if Invisalign is the best choice for you.
Myth #2 – Invisalign’s Price Point is Higher Than Traditional Ones
This is probably the biggest myth of them all. Using Invisalign is comparative to the cost of wired braces. The Invisalign website actually claims that the cost can be less than their competitors. The differences come in where you live and exactly how much prep or other orthodontic work needs done ahead of time. In the U.S, costs for Invisalign average around $5,000 with some cases being as low as $3,000. As far as costs go, all straightening treatments are on an even plane.
Myth #3 – My Insurance Won’t Cover Invisalign
That fact that Invisalign is primarily a cosmetic procedure often makes people think that their insurance will not pay for them. However, Invisalign’s process often fixes a dental problem as they work, and that falls under the coverage of most dental insurance policies. Speak to your employers HR department, look through your policy, or give your insurance a call. Better yet, ask your dentist or their billing staff about what may or may not be covered. They should have some experience with most major insurance companies and a feel for their policies.
Myth #4 – Invisalign is strictly for Adults
Most of Invisaligns marketing has been toward the adult population, so it’s natural to assume that they aren’t suitable for children. However, Invisalign does have an entire line dedicated to teenager patients. Invisalign is especially a great option for physically active teens, as they can be removed for sports, reducing the risk of injury from metal braces as they participate.
Myth #5 – The aligners have more strict diet restrictions
Since the aligners must be removed prior to consuming anything, patients can eat and drink whatever they want during treatment. In contrast, traditional treatment with wires and brackets do have dietary limitations to avoid damaging them. With invisalign, you will be instructed to brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain fresh breath and proper hygiene, but your meal and snack choices are up to you.
Myth #6 – I Can Continue Smoking with Invisalign
Even though the aligners have a removable nature, smoking should be avoided during treatment. The tobacco will discolor the aligners despite any cleaning or soaking efforts. The yellow residue of nicotine will also be hard to removed completely from teeth before reinserting the aligners, actually putting your mouth at greater risk for plaque and tartar.
Smoking with Invisalign, and in general, is highly discouraged for the sake of your teeth.
Myth #7 – Invisalign Straightens Teeth Quicker than Metal Braces
Invisalign isn’t a quicker fix than traditional braces. Times for both treatments differ from patient to patient. Invisalign treatment can take from 12 months to a several years. Length of treatment will depend largely how diligent you are with your treatment plan and the severity of your dental needs. Dentists will often discourage invisalign for patients that they feel won’t habitually stick to their treatment plan. Metal braces can’t be removed like the aligners can.
Myth #8 – Invisalign aligners will make Oral Hygiene Difficult to Maintain
Invisalign’s removable nature actually makes your teeth cleaning routine stay in place. Eating and drinking should never happen with the aligners in place. This can lead to bacteria accumulating under the aligners and rotting of the teeth. Flossing is important to keep bacteria away from your teeth so that plaque and tartar don’t have the opportunity to build-up under the aligners.
Myth #9 – All I have to do is Soak the Aligners, right?
Invisalign aligners are meant to be clear and clean free. If they get dirty or aren’t cleaned properly, it will be obvious to you, anyone you smile at, and your dentist. By cleaning them properly, not just soaking them, your treatment plan will go more smoothly.
Myth 10 – I only have to wear the aligners occasionally
Invisalign needs to be on your teeth for 20 – 22 hours each and every day. You should only be removing them to eat, drink, when brushing your teeth or when you’re cleaning the aligners. Playing rough sports is the only other exception to your treatment plan. If you deviate too much from this, you won’t get the results you want and can increase the price and time of treatment.
A Great Fit
The clear custom aligners of Invisalign is perfect for straightening teeth in most lifestyles. As you can see, they have many advantages over traditional braces. Sticking to your treatment plan and following the directions laid out by your dentist, you can have the successful completion of treatment faster than you think. The above myths may have cleared up some misunderstandings or questions you had about Invisalign, but if we missed something or you’d like to discuss them further, please feel free to contact our Arlington, TX office and set up a free consultation.
Dr. Mark Marchbanks’ expertise with Invisalign can help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.