Invisalign FAQ

Why Choose Invisalign?

Most of our Placerville orthodontic patients use Invisalign to correct their malocclusions. As a result, they gain convenience, comfort and confidence over the use of traditional braces. Braces are a permanent installation — once they are applied, they do not come out of your mouth until the procedure is complete. Invisalign uses a nearly invisible and completely comfortable attachment system on your teeth and clear aligners over your teeth. You can remove these aligners for eating, cleaning (of both your aligners and your teeth) and for special occasions. Like braces, Invisalign needs to be in your mouth for an extended period of time. Unlike braces, you can “take a break” from Invisalign. The advantages are clear and the treatment is transparent with Invisalign!

How Does Invisalign Work?

What Are “Aligners”?

Invisalign aligners are clear thermoplastic medical devices. Employing a material unique to Invisalign, these aligners look like teeth-whitening trays and are custom-fit to your teeth with the help of one of our Placerville dentists.

How do aligners straighten teeth?

Invisalign’s patented system applies controlled force where and when it is needed to be most effective. The strong thermoplastic aligners provide force in a specific direction to specific teeth at pre-determined points in the treatment procedure. Proven simulation software assists our Placerville dentists to create an effective and predictable treatment plan for your orthodontic condition. New aligners that you receive approximately every two weeks continue your treatment process.

How Long Does Invisalign Take?

Average adult treatment time with Invisalign is one year. Treatment for teenagers varies based on their initial condition and is best determined after a visit to our convenient Placerville office.

Do I Wear My Aligners All Day?

You may remove your aligners for short periods, but for treatment to be effective, Invisalign must be worn for 20 to 22 hours every day.

Are There Many Office Visits?

You only need to visit our Placerville office every four to six weeks during Invisalign treatment. These consultations ensure that your teeth are moving as planned.

Does Invisalign Hurt?

Generally, Invisalign is painless with no sharp or irritating surfaces to affect your cheeks and gums. Some patients, however, do report minor discomfort when they start using a new set of aligners. This sense of “pressure” is a normal side effect of teeth being moved into their new positions. It passes within a few days and can be treated using over-the-counter pain medications.

Do the Aligners Slip and Fall Off?

The aligners fit firmly in place. If they didn’t, Invisalign would not work! Laughing, talking, sleeping and other normal activities should never cause them to loosen or fall off.

What’s the Minimum Age for Invisalign?

While there is not a minimum age, there are minimum requirements for using Invisalign. All your baby teeth must have been replaced by permanent teeth and your second molars must be at least partially erupted. These requirements allow most teenagers to use Invisalign.

What Happens After My Treatment?

Wearing a retainer after the completion of your treatment is a fact of orthodontics. Some patients qualify for a clear retainer very similar to our Invisalign aligners, called Vivera. Others will need a conventional retainer system. Some individuals will only need to wear a retainer when they sleep. You might even receive a retainer that’s permanently bonded to the back of your teeth, so that other people can’t even see it. The length of post-orthodontic treatment time and type of retainer can only be determined by a consultation with one of the dentists in our Placerville dental office.

Invisalign Do’s and Don’ts

Do I Only Wear Invisalign While I Sleep?

You do wear Invisalign while you sleep. You also must wear Invisalign during the day. For effective orthodontic treatment with Invisalign, you must wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours every day.

Do I Speak Normally with Invisalign?

Many patients report a slight lisp for the first couple of days as their tongue gets used to the aligners. After this initial adjustment period, your tongue will adjust and you should sound like yourself.

Do I Eat What I Want with Invisalign?

Absolutely! Keeping your favorite foods is one of the big advantages of Invisalign. Traditional foes of braces, such as corn, apples, popcorn, sandwiches and sticky foods, are not a problem. You remove your aligners to eat, and replace them after cleaning your teeth.

May I Smoke with Invisalign?

Our Placerville dentists do not recommend smoking of any kind while you wear Invisalign aligners. Smoking often leads to discoloration of the aligners, reducing one of their chief advantages — invisibility!

May I Drink Alcohol or Soda?

While alcohol, or any drink with high sugar content, will not damage the aligners, drinking sugary drinks excessively can lead to tooth decay. This is preventable if you clean the teeth and the aligners soon after drinking these substances, so as to not trap bacteria-feeding sugar against your teeth.

May I Chew Gum with Invisalign?

Our Placerville dentists do not recommend gum chewing with Invisalign, as gum sticks to the aligners. You may chew gum with the aligners removed, just as you would for eating. Keep in mind, you need to wear your aligner for 20 to 22 hours every day, so a persistent gum chewing habit can interrupt your orthodontic treatment.

Does Food Residue Stain the Aligners?

Yes, leftover foods in your mouth, such as pasta sauces or dark berry fruit, can stain the aligners. This is one more reason why it is very important to brush your teeth after every meal and before reinstalling your aligners.

How Do I Clean My Aligners?

Our Placerville dental office can provide you with the official Invisalign Cleaning Kit. You can also just brush your aligners as you would your teeth, rinsing them thoroughly afterwards to remove any residue or debris.

Is Invisalign Safe?

How Many People Have Used Invisalign?

Over one million people have been successfully treated for orthodontic problems with the Invisalign system. Our Placerville dental office has provided many good experiences for patients using Invisalign and continues to contribute to the growing number of successful Invisalign treatments. Since Invisalign’s expansion into China, the number of happy smiles is increasing tremendously!

Does Invisalign Contain Bisphenol-A (BPA)?

Absolutely not. BPA was commonly used in plastics up to the last decade, when concerns arose about its affect on human endocrine systems. Invisalign products and our Vivera Retainers contain no Bisphenol-A or phthalate plasticizers. All of our dental products are made with medical-grade, high molecular weight, polyurethane resins. Tests show that they are biocompatible and pass all thresholds for human wear in the mouth. Feel free to consult with our Placerville dentists or your medical health professional if you have any concerns.

Does Invisalign Have FDA Approval?

Since 1998, the FDA has classified our dental products as medical devices, approved for use with the general public.

Will Invisalign Work with Other Dental Treatments?

Can Our Dentists Remove Braces and Switch to Invisalign?

It is possible to repair malocclusions with a combination of braces and Invisalign. Consult with the dentists in our Placerville office to determine if such a treatment plan is possible for you.

Can Invisalign Fix My Teeth if I Used Braces Before?

Sometimes teeth shift in adults who had childhood orthodontic correction. Invisalign is usually a logical treatment for such issues. For younger clients, our Placerville dentists must first examine the patient to determine if Invisalign treatment is recommended.

Does Invisalign Work with Veneers?

It is possible for Invisalign to work with veneers, but not in all cases. You must first consult with one of our Placerville dentists to see if treatment is possible.

Does Invisalign Work with Bridgework?

Invisalign places pressure on individual teeth to cure malocclusions. Bridgework joins sets of teeth together, which defeats the purpose of Invisalign. In some cases, it is possible to combine the two, but this can only be determined after consulting with one of our dentists with the Placerville Dental Group.

How Much Does Invisalign Cost and How Do I Pay For It?

What’s the Bottom Line with Invisalign?

Invisalign costs are basically similar to the expense of traditional braces. While the range for treatment is from $3500 to $8000, the average Invisalign program costs about $5000. Obviously, the length of your treatment plan and the type of malocclusion determines the actual costs. Talk with one of the dentists in our Placerville dental office to get specific information about what your treatment would require and what it would cost.

Will My Insurance Help Pay for Invisalign?

Most dental insurance policies have some type of orthodontics coverage. Since Invisalign is a recognized treatment for orthodontic procedures, your insurance will likely cover at least part of the cost. Our Placerville dental office will provide you with specifics regarding your insurance policy coverage, or you can talk with your dental insurance provider.

Are There Payment Plans for Invisalign?

Placerville Dental Group accepts payments via Care Credit, a recognized nationwide provider of credit for medical procedures. You can get more information in our Placerville dental office or via our financing section of our website.

Common Invisalign Patient Questions

Sometimes My Teeth Feel Loose — Is That Normal?

Your aligners are moving their teeth from their original positions to a new position. During this procedure, the jaw and gums do not hold the teeth as tightly as before. Do not worry! This is normal with any orthodontic procedure. It is perfectly safe to use your teeth in a healthy manner. When your aligners are in place, you should not notice any looseness. Once your procedure is complete, the jawbone and gums will tighten around the teeth once more.

I Left Home and Forgot My Aligners — What Now?

If the period you are without your aligners is short, only a few days, you should notice little difference upon your return. If the period is longer, wearing your aligner may feel like it did when you first started using it. If you have been gone too long and the aligner no longer fits, you need to meet with your dentist at our Placerville office to determine your next step.

I Dropped My Aligners on the Floor — Now What?

Always clean your aligners before reinserting them in your mouth, especially if they are not hygienic for some reason, such as dropping them on the floor. Invisalign recommends the use of their own Cleaning Kit with sanitizing crystals that thoroughly clean your aligners in fifteen minutes or less. You can buy this kit from our Placerville dental office. By the way, never use hot water for cleaning your aligners – they may deform under the heat.

I Cracked an Aligner — What Do I Do?

If you just changed aligners, you may be able to go back to the old one while a new aligner is created. If you are near the date for changing your aligner, you may be able to start using the new one a little early. In any case, a cracked aligner will not work properly and must be replaced. Talk to your dentist at our Placerville dental office to determine exactly what steps are right for your situation.

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