Invisalign™ is a series of durable clear aligners interchanged every three weeks that gradually move specified teeth into ideal occlusion or bite.
“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”
- The process
What is Invisalign™?
Invisalign™ is a series of durable clear aligners interchanged every three weeks that gradually move specified teeth into ideal occlusion or bite. The treatment is used to re-align teeth for proper fit, function and cosmetic re-alignment.
If you would like to take an Invisalign™ smile assessment
Malocclusion (off bite)
- Abnormal alignment of teeth
- Abnormal appearance of the face
- Difficulty or discomfort when biting or chewing
- Speech difficulties (rare) including lisp
- Mouth breathing (breathing through the mouth without closing the lips)
- Jaw, neck and back pain
- TMJ disorder
- Recurring chipped, cracked or broken teeth
- Excessive plaque and tarter build up (around crooked teeth)
You may be surprised to know that the benefits of having properly aligned teeth extend far beyond a confident smile. According to the American Dental Association, straightening your teeth can significantly affect your overall dental health.
A stable and properly aligned bite is very important to your oral health. Most people are not well informed about it, and truthfully, providers are just now coming around as well. In your mouth, teeth are embedded in your upper and lower jaw bone by a root. The jaw acts as the axis of a car, and your teeth act as the tires. If one tire out of four is out of alignment, then the entire car axis is off, and that can cause serious problems.
Your upper and lower jaws come together in a harmonious relationship that allows you to chew, speak, and swallow. Some people are born with or develop malocclusion overtime. Developmental problems are usually addressed as a pre-teen but sometimes there is a reoccurrence of misalignment if final retainers are not worn constantly or other changes have taken place. Missing teeth, worn down teeth and faulty dental restorations, will affect your overall bite. Ideally, your bite should always be taken into consideration when planning major dental work. A bite problem that wasn’t there before could appear if dental work isn’t fitted or adjusted properly. Tooth sensitivity and pain can sometimes be resolved with a simple bite adjustment.
Invisalign™ not only helps correct misaligned teeth and an ‘off bite’ but also to straighten them to a more symmetrical and appealing appearance. Cosmetic dentists often incorporate invisalign™ as phase one of a comprehensive smile makeover. Shifting and re-aligning teeth to an ideal position before placing multiple crowns is one of the best ways to achieve optimal results. Also, your case can be designed to re-align your back teeth but separate your front teeth, making it possible to for very minimal cutting of teeth for veneers or crowns.
Phase one: Records
Align Technologies, the lab that fabricates your Invisalign™ trays, requires various records to fully assess if optimal results can be achieved with Invisalign™. The records are used for the development of your treatment plan and fabrication of aligners. Most offices charge a non-refundable fee for Invisalign™ records, which is applied to the cost of overall treatment. In most cases, Dr. Talaie can usually access right away whether or not you are a good candidate for Invisalign™ treatment. The only question might be whether or not you qualify for Invisalign™ Express (10 sets of aligners or less) case or Full case (10 sets or more of aligners).
Full mouth set of recent x-rays, intraoral photos, series of facial photos, upper and lower impressions, bite registration
Align Technologies receive records in just under a week, and a digital case work-up begins. Models of your upper and lower jaws are scanned to create a 3D simulation of your mouth and current bite. Clinical data and notes provided by Dr. Talaie get incorporated into creating the ideal position of teeth for the final case presentation.
Phase two: Clin Check
Once your Invisalign™ case is ready for final approval and manufacturing, a ‘clin check’ notice is e-mailed to the doctor for review. The ‘clin check’ is like a time-lapse digital movie showing the progression of treatment. Views of the lower, upper arch are available as well as front and side views. You can see in time-lapse all sides of your mouth moving into an ideal position. At this point, additional instructions or other specific clinical accommodations can be included in the final treatment plan. Once the Doctor and patient are satisfied with the simulated results and treatment plan, the case is approved aligners are manufactured. They take 2-4 weeks to be made and delivered.
Phase three: First set of aligners
The first visit is usually the longest as the doctor prepares the teeth for the aligners to do their intended function. Buttons, made of tooth-colored filling material, is placed on specified teeth for proper movement. Think of them as an anchor to keep certain teeth stable or drag others into ideal position. Sometimes only a few buttons are placed, and others are added later into treatment-or, not at all. They are removable and will not affect your natural tooth in any way. IPR, (interproximal reduction), is also done at this time. Some teeth may need a little room to move into an ideal position. Millimeters of a specified tooth is reduced in key treatment areas that are blocked from proper movement. IPR is not always indicated and the patient can request to limit this procedure
At this time the patient receives their first three sets of aligners to be worn for three weeks each. The patient is then encouraged to make an appointment for nine weeks out, to check progress and provide new sets of aligners.
Phase four: Treatment
During this phase, the patient returns only to pick up new aligners and monitor the progress of treatment. There may be new buttons to place or IPR to be done before starting a new set of aligners. Most of the time, a quick ‘in and out’ visit is all there is. If the patient is noncompliant and inconsistent with wearing the aligners as specified, a mid-course correction and delay of treatment may happen. Lost or missing aligners can always be re-ordered quickly.
Phase Five: Final retainer
Once the patient is finished wearing their last set of aligners, he or she is ready for a final impression for final retainers. The buttons on the teeth will be removed at this stage, and an impression and bite registration will be taken. Final delivery of the retainer will be about two weeks. Final retainers must be worn as much as the regular aligners – but only for a period of time. Eventually, you are to wean yourself off and only wearing them at night. They are more durable than the regular Invisalign aligners but must be worn 24/7 for a 6-12 months after treatment. Your first set is included with your case. Extra sets can be made for an additional price.
Our office will verify benefits for orthodontic treatment. The amount the insurance will pay for treatment minus the total cost of treatment is patient’s out of pocket. All estimated out of pocket costs and financial arrangements must be paid in full prior to receiving final sets of aligners (not to be confused with final retainers). Additional fees for final retainers, or lost aligners, may be applicable. Everyone’s situation is different, and we will work with you on ways to help cover the cost of treatment.
We take all PPO dental insurance. No insurance? We’ve got you covered. Inquire about individual coverage options such as Aflac, CareCredit® and even if you can’t afford to pay in full, we are willing to arrange an in-house payment plan.