In recent years, there have been many amazing changes in the design, shape, size and even color of traditional braces. They’re smaller, more aesthetically pleasing, and can efficiently correct a number of orthodontic issues, leaving patients with a beautiful smile they love. As exciting as these developments have been, however, some patients are still on the fence about using traditional braces to improve their oral health.
Here at Zeifman Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer Invisalign clear aligner therapy as an alternative to braces! This innovative system offers patients the same beautiful results as braces without having to use any brackets, wires, or bands. There are a lot of urban legends out there about what an aligner is, what it can do, how effective it is, and how much it costs. Let’s clear up any misconceptions below!
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign clear aligners were developed by Align Technology in 1998, but similar trays have been used for decades as retainers to hold newly straightened teeth in place after treatment. The Invisalign system provides us with software and technology that allows us to move crooked and misaligned teeth in stages. At the end of each stage, patients will replace their current aligner with the next in the series. This usually happens every 1-2 weeks, depending on their customized treatment plan.
In its early days, Invisalign was mostly used for simple spacing issues or very mild crowding. However, as it became more popular and orthodontists began to realize its potential, the aligners were improved to move teeth more efficiently. Currently, over 7 million patients have been treated with Invisalign aligners! When used as directed by an orthodontist, Invisalign can be just as effective as traditional braces and offers much freedom and flexibility.
Does aligner treatment take longer than braces?
Any kind of orthodontic treatment requires a commitment from patients in order to be successful, but compliance is especially important with aligners. Because braces are a fixed appliance—meaning they are affixed to the surface of the teeth—a lot of the hard work is done without too much effort from the patient. Aligners are a removable appliance, however. For the system to work properly, aligners need to be worn 20-22 hours a day, throughout the course of treatment.
There’s no “one size fits all” answer to how long a patient will need to be in braces or aligners. Every case is different and each patient will respond to treatment in their own way. In general, the average number of aligners used with aligner treatment is somewhere between 10 and 48, with the total treatment time averaging anywhere from 6 to 18 months. This is actually slightly faster than the average time spent in braces!
Is aligner treatment more expensive than braces?
Like any new technology, aligner treatment was somewhat expensive when it first came onto the orthodontic scene. Over the years, that cost has decreased as popularity increased. There are several factors associated with the overall cost of treatment, but comparatively speaking, aligners cost just about the same as traditional braces.
At Zeifman Orthodontics, we aim to provide affordable, high-quality orthodontic care for every budget. We offer no-interest financing in-office, credit cards, and most major insurance plans as well as discounts, if you decide to pay in full at the beginning of your treatment. We’ll even verify your orthodontic benefits and process your insurance forms for you!
What advantages do aligners have over braces?
Invisalign gives patients more freedom and flexibility than traditional treatment methods. Food restrictions are a perfect example of this. For many patients, one of the toughest parts of treatment is having to give up some of their favorite foods to keep their braces safe. They must avoid anything crunchy or chewy, which eliminates several popular foods and snacks. With Invisalign, this isn’t an issue! The aligners are simply taken out before eating, then put back in when the patient is done. Not having any food restrictions makes the treatment process a lot more fun!
Removable aligners make it easier to maintain a good oral hygiene routine, too. Brushing and flossing around wires, brackets, and bands can be frustrating and time-consuming. With aligner treatment, aligners are removed before brushing and flossing as normal, and caring for the aligners themselves couldn’t be simpler. There are special kits designed to clean them, or you can gently brush them using toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
Without any wires or brackets to get in the way, Invisalign’s removable aligners are great for athletes and musicians who play certain instruments. Since they can be removed for short periods of time, they are also perfect for any special event when a patient wants their natural smile to shine through, such as prom, weddings, or even senior pictures.
Will Aligners work for everyone?
In general, aligners tend to work best for adult and teen patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are more complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve. When you schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Zeifman, she will be able to determine if aligner treatment is a good fit for you, or if you’d be better served by more traditional orthodontic treatment. Our practice will only recommend the treatment we believe is best for your unique smile!
What happens once aligner treatment is complete?
No matter what kind of orthodontic treatment you choose, your teeth will always remember their previous place in your mouth. Over time, they will naturally begin to drift back towards those positions if there’s nothing there to stop them. That’s why retainers are crucial to maintaining lasting results! Once your treatment is completed, our office will provide you with a retainer. In order to maintain your newly straightened smile, you should always wear it exactly as directed by Dr. Zeifman.
Trust your smile to the Invisalign experts at Zeifman Orthodontics
It’s easy to see why aligner treatment is the most popular alternative to traditional braces! This exciting aligner system continues to change the way people view orthodontic treatment, and we’re proud to offer it to our patients in Florham Park and the surrounding communities.
If you’d like to learn more about Invisalign aligners and the incredible things they can do for your smile, get in touch with us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Zeifman! With aligners and our expert team, you can achieve the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve.