Is Invisalign Worth it?

Happ young girl

Teeth misalignment is one of the most common dental issues around the world. The primary treatment for many years was traditional metal braces. This involved placing brackets on the teeth and running an archwire through them to pull the teeth into proper alignment.

In the late 1990s, an orthodontic patient decided that there had to be a better way. He got to work creating a system based on the retainer he received when he completed his treatment. This is when the Invisalign system was born.

Dr. Avi Matha at Normandale Dental understands how the Invisalign system works. He can use it to successfully resolve your mild to moderate malocclusion. In this article, we’ll explain what makes Invisalign superior to other treatment options.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a series of transparent aligners that look very similar to a retainer. The aligners are custom-made to fit snugly against your teeth. This puts even pressure on the entire arch to push the teeth into alignment.

While the dentist will work with you to create your personalized treatment plan, the process is somewhat self-directed. You will be given your entire system upfront and instructed to change out the aligners every 1 to 3 weeks based on your condition. You must wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day for maximum results.

What Types of Malocclusion can Invisalign Treat?

Invisalign is effective at resolving the following conditions:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Overbite
  • Overjet
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Gapped teeth
  • Open bite
  • Crowded teeth

Invisalign Advantages Over Other Options

Invisalign offers several advantages over other options, including:

  • Better Aesthetics

    Traditional braces require unsightly brackets and wires, which is why many people avoid orthodontics if possible. On the other hand, Invisalign aligners are transparent, which means they are almost invisible- even at close range. Therefore, no one ever has to know that you are wearing them unless you mention it. This allows you to discreetly transform your smile.

  • Faster results

    Traditional braces can take 24 months or longer to resolve misalignments. Invisalign, on the other hand, has been proven effective within 12 to 18 months- and sometimes in 6 or less if the misalignment is very mild.

  • Fewer dental visits

    If you have traditional braces, they will loosen over time due to the shifting of the teeth- which means you’ll need to visit the dentist every few weeks to have them adjusted or tightened. Invisalign clear aligners can be changed at home every few weeks based on your personalized treatment plan. This means that you will visit the dentist less than half as often as you would with traditional braces. The only reason for the visits is to monitor your progress and determine if you are still on the right track or if adjustments must be made to your plan.

  • Solves other issues

    In some cases, sleep apnea is due to tooth misalignment. By straightening your teeth, you also resolve the other issues.

  • Dental Hygiene

    Dental hygiene can be a challenge with traditional braces because of the wires and brackets. This is why many orthodontic patients end up with cavities while they are straightening their teeth. Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed, which means you brush and floss your teeth as usual.

Other Treatment Options for Teeth Straightening

The primary treatment option for misaligned teeth is braces, which come in several different styles. However, they all work the same- slowly forcing teeth into proper alignment in the jaw. On average, treatment with braces takes about 12 to 24 months but can take up to 36, depending on the severity of your malocclusion. In some cases, a procedure known as interproximal reduction must be used, which involves filing down the teeth to create space or even the edges.

If your misalignment is very slight, you may be able to use dental veneers to improve the aesthetics of your smile. This doesn’t address the positioning of the teeth but makes them appear straight. If your malocclusion is due to jaw misalignment, surgery may be required in addition to traditional braces.

Invisalign vs Braces

InvisalignBraces
Treatment time is typically 12 to 18 months but may be longer or shorter depending on the type and severity of malocclusionTreatment time is typically 12 to 24 months but may take up to 36 for complex malocclusions
Treatment can be expedited by wearing aligners 22+ hours a day
Invisalign does offer an Express option for very mild malocclusions
Treatment can be expedited by visiting the dentist every few weeks for adjustments and by keeping teeth clean

Benefits include:

  • Removable
  • Easier to maintain oral hygiene
  • No food restrictions
  • Virtually invisible

Benefits include:

  • Usually covered under dental insurance
  • Effective for more severe malocclusions
Cost ranges from around $1,200 to $8,000 depending on type and severity of malocclusionCost ranges from around $3,000 to $7,000 depending on type and severity of malocclusion
Dental visits approximately every 4 to 6 weeks to monitor progress, switch to new aligners every 1 to 3 weeks at home based on your treatment planDental visits every 2 to 3 weeks for adjustments/tightening
Some discomfort when first starting treatment and when switching to a new set of aligners due to the pressure of the aligners on the teeth,
No wires/brackets to cut cheeks, lips, or tongue
Brackets and wires can cut cheeks, lips, and tongue
Pressure of the archwire pushing on the teeth can be uncomfortable
Can be removed for brushing/flossing teeth and for eating/drinking anything but waterCannot be removed until the end of treatment by the dentist
No food restrictions since aligners can be removed for eating/drinkingMust give up foods that are crunchy or sticky, must limit foods and beverages that are excessively sugary
Virtually invisible, even at close rangeCan be seen, even from a distance
Ideal for mild to moderate misalignment, may be effective for complex cases along with attachmentsIdeal for all types and severity of malocclusions

Invisalign

Treatment time is typically 12 to 18 months but may be longer or shorter depending on the type and severity of malocclusion

Braces

Treatment time is typically 12 to 24 months but may take up to 36 for complex malocclusions

Invisalign

Treatment can be expedited by wearing aligners 22+ hours a day

Invisalign does offer an Express option for very mild malocclusions

Braces

Treatment can be expedited by visiting the dentist every few weeks for adjustments and by keeping teeth clean

Invisalign

Benefits include:

  • Removable
  • Easier to maintain oral hygiene
  • No food restrictions
  • Virtually invisible

Braces

Benefits include:

  • Usually covered under dental insurance
  • Effective for more severe malocclusions

Invisalign

Cost ranges from around $1,200 to $8,000 depending on type and severity of malocclusion

Braces

Cost ranges from around $3,000 to $7,000 depending on type and severity of malocclusion

Invisalign

Dental visits approximately every 4 to 6 weeks to monitor progress, switch to new aligners every 1 to 3 weeks at home based on your treatment plan

Braces

Dental visits every 2 to 3 weeks for adjustments/tightening

Invisalign

Some discomfort when first starting treatment and when switching to a new set of aligners due to the pressure of the aligners on the teeth,
No wires/brackets to cut cheeks, lips, or tongue

Braces

Brackets and wires can cut cheeks, lips, and tongue

Pressure of the archwire pushing on the teeth can be uncomfortable

Invisalign

Can be removed for brushing/flossing teeth and for eating/drinking anything but water

Braces

Cannot be removed until the end of treatment by the dentist

Invisalign

No food restrictions since aligners can be removed for eating/drinking

Braces

Must give up foods that are crunchy or sticky, must limit foods and beverages that are excessively sugary

Invisalign

Virtually invisible, even at close range

Braces

Can be seen, even from a distance

Invisalign

Ideal for mild to moderate misalignment, may be effective for complex cases along with attachments

Braces

Ideal for all types and severity of malocclusions

Treatment with Invisalign offers many benefits over traditional braces and costs about the same. The major difference is that dental insurance will typically cover a portion of treatment with traditional metal braces and some will not cover Invisalign treatment. Our office staff will work with your dental insurance provider to determine your coverage. If you do not have dental insurance or you still need help paying for treatment, we can explain our financing options. These allow you to get the treatment you need, and break up the fee into easy-to-manage payments over time.

Is Invisalign Worth It?

Most patients would agree that Invisalign is well worth the investment. The cost is comparable to traditional braces and the benefits far outweigh the costs. If you would like to learn more about Invisalign treatment for your mild to moderate tooth misalignment, schedule your consultation with Dr. Avi Matha at Normandale Dental in Bloomington.

We are located at 5300 Hyland Greens Drive, #100. Our office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Fridays from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. We can evaluate your misalignment and help you decide if Invisalign is right for you.

Invisalign FAQs

Below are some of the questions that the team at Normandale Dental has heard about Invisalign treatment. If you have others that are not addressed here, please feel free to contact us via phone, office visit, or our website.

  • Can Invisalign fix crossbite?

    Yes, Invisalign has been proven effective for fixing mild to moderate dental misalignment, including crossbite.

  • How many times a day can you take Invisalign out?

    You can take Invisalign out for up to 4 hours a day. You should take your aligners out any time you are eating or drinking anything besides water, as well as when you brush and floss your teeth.

  • What are the restrictions for Invisalign?

    There are a few restrictions for Invisalign treatment, including no smoking or eating/drinking while wearing the aligners. These activities could damage or stain the aligners, causing them to be ineffective.

  • Can Invisalign fix an overbite?

    Invisalign treatment has been proven effective in resolving overbites, as well as other conditions including mild to moderate underbite, crossbite, open bite, and more. However, in order to be effective, aligners must be worn as directed.

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