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What Exactly Is Invisalign, and How Does It Work?

ScottCosmetic Dentistry

We're all very familiar with traditional metal braces. They've been used for decades to straighten misaligned teeth and correct bite problems because they work. Of course, the downside of metal braces is that they're not exactly a secret––as soon as you flash a smile, everyone knows you have them. For patients who want to straighten their teeth in a way that's a little less obvious, Invisalign is a great alternative to braces.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an advanced orthodontic system that uses a series of invisible plastic trays, or aligners, to slowly shift your teeth to new positions in your mouth. We'll take images and impressions in our office, then we work with Invisalign on a custom treatment plan designed to correct misalignment and bite issues. Invisalign fabricates your aligners and sends them to us, where we’ll give them to you and closely monitor your progress to make sure you’re on the right track.

Can anyone get Invisalign?

We recommend Invisalign for teenagers and adults only. Because the aligners can be removed, they are not a good option for children––Invisalign treatment only works as long as a patient is wearing them.

There are some complex cases where Invisalign isn't a fit. That said, advances in aligner technology mean that Invisalign can solve more and more orthodontic problems.

Do braces work faster than Invisalign?

In most cases, the answer to this question is yes. This is because braces cannot be removed––you wear them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you wear your Invisalign aligners the recommended 22 hours a day, you'll still see results in a reasonable amount of time, but if you take your aligners off often, you can expect a more lengthy treatment.

No two patients are the same, so treatment times vary from person to person. We usually see treatment length ranging between 9 and 18 months. Patients receive 20-30 sets of aligners and each is worn for one or two weeks.

Is Invisalign more expensive than braces?

Invisalign is usually more expensive than traditional braces. The good news is that your insurance may cover some of the cost. FSA and HSA funds can also be used for Invisalign treatment.

What are the advantages of choosing Invisalign?

Our patients are overwhelmingly happy with Invisalign both during and after their treatments. The benefits of Invisalign include:

  • Invisalign aligners are practically invisible.
  • Because aligners can be removed, you can continue eating any food you want.
  • Invisalign is more comfortable than braces.
  • Oral hygiene is easier without brackets and wires getting in the way of brushing and flossing.
  • Invisalign typically only requires office visits every 6 weeks to check on your progress.

Learn More About Invisalign in East Longmeadow, MA

To discuss whether Invisalign is an option for you, contact us at 413-224-1493 to schedule an appointment for an in-office consultation. We look forward to meeting you!