Invisalign Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Invisalign (Invisible Braces) And How Does It Work?
Invisalign is a fully customized orthodontic solution for achieving straight, beautiful teeth without the look and feel of metal braces. Using a series of virtually invisible, removable aligners that fit neatly and comfortably over your teeth, Invisalign gently guides your teeth into their ideal position without anyone knowing.
Even the most skeptical patients who ask Why Invisalign? will find these aligners to be custom-made for your teeth and your teeth only! That way, you know that the treatment will help you achieve a smile that truly fits every part of you.
If you are considering Invisalign and want to know more about the treatment, celebrity dentists Steven and Debra Glassman can answer all your questions. To get you started, we have created a helpful guide outlining some of the most common questions asked by our patients.
Who is a candidate for Invisalign?
Invisalign provides an excellent solution for most of the orthodontic problems commonly affecting both teenagers and adults: from malocclusions (incorrect bites), such as overbites and under-bites, to poorly aligned teeth, crowding and jaw problems. This treatment can be used to treat patients of any age who have either never had orthodontic treatment, or who have had braces in the past but whose teeth have shifted back out of place.
The Invisalign system is incredibly versatile and has changed the lives and smiles of more than half a million people in the United States alone! It clearly works and almost anyone is a candidate.
How does Invisalign work?
The Invisalign process, step by step, is as follows:
- You will come in for an appointment with Dr. Steven Glassman, during which he will create an entirely unique treatment program designed to address your specific orthodontic or dental issues. This typically involves a session with our iTero® scanner, a sophisticated piece of machinery that performs a quick and painless scan of your mouth and teeth. The digital images produced by this scan are then used to custom-fabricate your Invisalign aligners, which takes approximately 4 weeks. Once these have been prepared for you and sent back to our office, you can begin treatment! Invisalign works by slowly and gently guiding your teeth out of their over-crowded, asymmetrical and/or skewed positions and into better, straighter positions. An Invisalign treatment utilizes a set of 18 to 30 aligners, and each is worn for an approximate period of two weeks.
- Each consecutive Invisalign aligner moves the teeth little by little, applying a greater controlled force to the teeth each time. Many patients ask how much teeth move with each Invisalign tray. Every two weeks, as you switch out your aligners, your teeth will have moved approximately 1/10mm.
- Throughout treatment, you will be required to have regular appointments with Dr. Glassman so that he can ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Unlike braces that require frequent adjustment, Invisalign check-ups require no more than one visit every four to six weeks.
Am I Too Old for Invisalign?
Absolutely not! Studies show that not only have up to 80% of teenagers received orthodontic treatment, but also nearly 25% of adults aged 19 to 70+ have worn braces or other corrective appliances. The great news about living with Invisalign is that it creates a beautiful smile in a virtually invisible manner, never encumbering your social or professional life. In addition, straight and easy-to-clean teeth can help adults avoid gum defects, plaque accumulation, as well as heart disease, stroke and even diabetes.
How long will my Invisalign treatment take?
Every single patient is different, and hence the amount of time that you will be required to wear your aligners will vary. The good news is that Invisalign works far quicker than traditional braces, with a treatment time of between 9 and 15 months, at an average of 12 months. Dr. Glassman will discuss the specifics of your individual treatment timeline with you during your initial consultation and assessment.
How often do I have to wear my Invisalign aligners?
n order for treatment to progress at the prescribed rate, you must wear your Invisalign aligners all the time, aside from eating and cleaning your teeth. In fact, we strongly recommend that you wear them for at least 22 hours per day. The longer that you take your aligners out, the less impact they can have upon your teeth, thereby increasing your total treatment time.
Having full control over your treatment is often considered an empowering experience rather than a nuisance!
Is Invisalign comfortable?
If you have ever worn or simply researched traditional braces, you will appreciate just how comfortable the Invisalign aligners are. They are custom-fabricated to fit neatly over your teeth and do not have any sharp edges or metal brackets to irritate and ulcerate your cheeks and gums. In addition, the aligners be removed so that you can keep your teeth nice and clean.
The gentle pressure applied to your teeth by the aligners may cause the teeth to become a little sensitive for the first few days of each new treatment stage. However, rest assured that this is positive proof that your teeth are being moved into the positions where they should have been all along!
Are there any foods I should avoid during treatment?
Unlike during traditional orthodontic treatment, eating with Invisalign trays is almost exactly like eating without them! There are virtually no foods that you have to avoid during an Invisalign treatment, as you can simply take your aligners out before eating.
Chewing gum is typically discouraged since it can stick to your retainers, and smoking can cause them to become discolored. While drinking water is acceptable, coffee, tea and red wine can cause staining, and all hot beverages can warp the aligners. However, taking your aligners out for these activities will not help because it will just lengthen treatment time or even lead to the reversal of orthodontic problems.
Dr. Glassman always encourages patients to brush their teeth and clean their aligners after each meal to maintain a good standard of oral hygiene. Because immediate brushing is not always an option, an alternative solution is to rinse the aligners with warm water as soon as possible.
What are Invisalign aligners made of?
Your Invisalign aligners are fabricated from medical grade polyurethane resin, containing methylene diphenyl diisocyanate and 1.6-hexanediol, that is not only exceptionally strong and durable but is also virtually invisible when worn. Invisalign does not contain any hazardous or harmful materials, such as phthalate plasticizers or Bisphenol-A (BPA), and is thus approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Pharmacopeia (USP) for oral use.
Will I Require a Retainer After Invisalign Treatment?
In short, yes. Once your teeth have shifted into the desired alignment, new bone is deposited around the teeth to keep them in place, a process that takes up to 12 months. To ensure that teeth do not fall out of alignment again, we recommend that patients wear a retainer between 12 and 22 hours a day for 3-6 months, depending on the extent of your initial problem. For the next 6 months, retainers should be worn nightly.
To avoid compromising the beautiful smile that you have worked so hard to achieve, retainers should then be worn 3-5 times a week for life.
What is the cost of Invisalign treatment in New York?
The cost of treatment depends on the extent of your orthodontic problems, your length of treatment, and the number of appointments you require throughout treatment, among other factors. Generally speaking, the cost is comparable to that of traditional braces, which is fantastic when you consider the advantages of Invisalign.
It also serves to bear in mind that the outcomes of an Invisalign treatment are priceless! Not only will you have a smile that you can be exceptionally proud of, but straight, symmetrical teeth and a healthy bite are essential for good oral health. Dr. Glassman will explain the cost of your Invisalign treatment to you in detail during your initial consultation.
Will medical insurance help cover the cost of treatment?
If you are interested in Invisalign treatment, you should first and foremost speak to your medical insurance provider. Many dental plans do provide coverage for Invisalign just as they would traditional braces, so it is definitely worth investigating. If you do not have coverage and could benefit from financial assistance, Glassman Dental Care offers flexible payment options through CareCredit, Lending Point and Lending Club.
How do I get started with an Invisalign treatment?
Simple! Using the details provided below, just call our New York, NY dental office and set up a consultation with Dr. Glassman. You’ll get answers to any questions you may have and learn whether or not Invisalign is the right option for your smile. As an Invisalign Elite Provider, Dr. Glassman has years of experience creating beautiful, straight smiles using the Invisalign system.