If you’ve been considering Invisalign for yourself or your teen, you probably have a number of questions. Even though Invisalign has been on the market for many years, it’s still relatively new compared to traditional metal braces, which means patients simply aren’t as familiar with the system and how it works. Below, we answer the five most common questions we hear about Invisalign.
How much does it cost to get Invisalign?
Most people are under the impression that Invisalign aligners are much more expensive than braces, so the answer to this question might surprise you. Invisalign ranges between $3000 and $7000; it’s typically less expensive than clear (ceramic) braces and lingual braces, but the cost is either comparable to or more expensive than traditional metal braces.
The cost of Invisalign ultimately comes down to the duration of treatment and the number of aligners required—in other words, the more crooked your teeth, the more expensive Invisalign treatment will usually be since more extensive treatment is needed.
Although it’s very rare for dental insurance to cover orthodontic treatment for adults, if you’re considering Invisalign for your teen, you should know that many plans cover Invisalign up to what they’d pay for metal braces. This can make Invisalign quite affordable for many of our patients.
Which is better, braces or Invisalign?
There are some complex orthodontic cases in which Invisalign simply isn’t an option. If you’re not one of those cases, braces and Invisalign will both do the job of straightening your teeth and correcting your bite for a beautiful smile, so answering which is better comes down to your budget, personal preferences, and lifestyle.
One additional factor to consider for our younger patients is compliance. Even though Invisalign does have a compliance indicator so parents can keep tabs on whether their teen is wearing their aligners as needed, some patients may still have trouble keeping their aligners in for the required 20 to 22 hours a day. You know your child better than we do—if you think this may be an issue for them, it’s important to be honest with yourself (and your child).
Do you wear Invisalign all day?
Yes, Invisalign aligners only work when you wear them. Braces are working to move your teeth 24/7 since they cannot be removed, but whenever you take out your aligners, your teeth aren’t getting the gentle pressure they need to permanently shift in your mouth. When patients make a habit of leaving their aligners out for extended periods of time, it results in a longer treatment.
Do your teeth move back after Invisalign?
Just like any orthodontic treatment, your teeth will move back after Invisalign if you don’t wear your retainers as directed. The ligaments that hold your teeth in place are a bit like rubber bands—once your Invisalign treatment is complete, they’ll want to snap back to their old positions. Retainers hold your teeth in place, allowing the ligaments to stretch and reposition.
Can I use mail order aligners instead of Invisalign?
Invisalign is often imitated, never duplicated. You simply can’t get quality orthodontic treatment without being seen (in person!) by an orthodontist. We won’t name names here, but if you search mail order aligner providers on Google, you’ll see why we recommend getting Invisalign from an orthodontist instead.