As your Invisalign specialist in Longmont, we can help straighten your teeth. Dr. Hedrick has been helping patients with clear aligners for years with excellent results. In fact, she does approximately 30 Invisalign cases per year, likely more than any other individual dentist in the area.
What is Invisalign?
Also known as clear aligners, Invisalign consists of removable clear trays that gradually straighten teeth. It’s a modern option to traditional metal braces.
Invisalign performs similarly to metal braces, but the clear device makes it more aesthetically pleasing.
The most common brand name of clear aligners is Invisalign. The name has become generic (like Chapstick, Kleenex, or Q-tips) and can refer to any brand of clear aligner.
Clear Aligner Brands That Longmont Dental Loft Uses
The most common brands that dentists use are Invisalign and Sure Smile. Both are highly reputable and have great, high-quality products. We have had terrific results with both brands at our office.
This was the first clear aligner on the market and was FDA-approved in 1998. Since then, approximately three million patients have used them. The aligners are manufactured in Mexico and treatment is planned in Costa Rica
Launched in 2018, Sure Smile offers patients more treatment options and improved pricing. Its manufacturer, Dentsply Sirona, is the world’s largest for professional dental solutions. These aligners are made, and treatment is planned, in Dallas, Texas. We really love Sure Smile because all treatment is supervised remotely by a licensed orthodontist.
What Are the Risks of Mail-Order Clear Aligners?
You’ve probably seen ads for mail-order clear aligners, especially for the most common brand, Smile Direct Club. Promising low-cost aligners without going to the dentist, this brand has become more popular over the past several years.
The mail-order process starts by acquiring a 3D image of the patient’s mouth, achieved with either an at-home impression kit or by going to a local shop for a scan. After the 3D image is complete, the mail-order company sends the patient a series of clear aligners to wear over a set period.
The main reason people choose mail-order aligners is cost. Since there is no need for a trained dentist’s supervision, the price is lower than if you were to purchase clear aligners from a dentist. However, you usually get what you pay for, and mail-order aligners are no exception. They come with many risks, including:
Moving teeth is a medical procedure that is safest under the supervision of a dentist or orthodontist. Using aligners in an unsupervised manner increases the chances of damage to teeth and gum tissue.
No Comprehensive Exam
There is no comprehensive exam before treatment with mail-order aligners. With clear aligners, dentists will perform a full exam prior to treatment to ensure any issues are addressed first.
No Supervision During Treatment
After you begin treatment, the original treatment plan may need to be modified. But mail-order aligners offer no supervision during treatment, which means deviating from the original treatment plan often isn’t feasible and changes in the mouth may be overlooked.
Advantages of Invisalign Over Braces
When it comes to Invisalign vs. braces, Invisalign has many advantages:
- Comfort: Clear aligners are more comfortable than traditional braces. Their smooth plastic won’t rub and irritate your gum tissue.
- Removable: Unlike metal braces, clear aligners can be removed to eat and to floss your teeth.
- Aesthetically pleasing: We’ve never heard anybody say they like the look of metal braces. Alternatively, clear aligners are virtually invisible.
Why Get Invisalign?
People get clear aligners for varied reasons, from cosmetic to functional. Some of the most common reasons are to help fix:
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Gap in teeth
- Open bites
- Premature wear
Clear Aligner Process
During the initial visit, Dr. Hedrick will take a 3D image of your mouth using an iTero scanner. She will then upload the data to a computer to show what your current teeth look like and how they’ll appear after Invisalign.
Dr. Hedrick will analyze all images and create a fully customized treatment plan. During this phase, Dr. Hedrick will let you know how many sets of trays you’ll need as well as the duration of the treatment. Dr. Hedrick will then submit the treatment plan to Invisalign or Sure Smile.
Aligners Are Created
Your custom aligners are created and shipped to our office in a matter of weeks.
Clear Aligner Treatment
You’ll switch to a new set of aligners every one to two weeks. Dr. Hedrick may modify the exact schedule after starting the process. Each new set will gradually shift the teeth into place until we reach the desired results. The entire process usually takes nine to 18 months depending on how much movement is needed.
Since aligners are a medical device, it’s important to see Dr. Hedrick on a regular basis to make sure everything is on track and determine if modifications are needed. We usually see patients every four to six weeks during treatment.
How much does Invisalign cost?
At Longmont Dental Loft a typical case is approximately $5,500. Some dental insurance plans will offer partial coverage.
What Does Invisalign Feel Like?
Although it may feel uncomfortable at first, you’ll get used to it after a few days. In fact, over time, you might even forget you’re wearing an aligner.
Each time you move up to a new set of trays, you will notice some discomfort at first. For this reason, we recommend switching to the next set right before you go to sleep. By the time you wake up in the morning, the new trays will feel more normal.
Am I a Candidate for Clear Aligners?
Invisalign can benefit a wide range of people, from teens to adults. Due to recent advances, we can even use it for complex cases that could have only once been achieved with traditional braces.
However, not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign, but we can determine your eligibility with a consult and 3D scan with Dr. Hedrick.
Why Get Invisalign at Longmont Dental Loft?
We think there’s no better place than our office to help you with Invisalign. After all, it’s hard to find a dentist more skilled and experienced with clear aligners than Dr. Hedrick, who’ll provide a great experience and beautiful results. We can also provide many useful clear aligner tips. If you have any questions or would like to see what your smile would look like after Invisalign, please contact our office at 303-772-6333.