Crooked, gapped, or crowded teeth can cause functional and cosmetic concerns, negatively affecting your oral health and confidence. When considering orthodontic treatment, you may ask yourself: “Is Invisalign® right for me?” Although traditional braces have been a trusted orthodontic method for decades, Invisalign is a popular alternative because it is effective, discreet, and comfortable. When weighing which orthodontic treatments suit your needs and lifestyle, answering four questions can help determine whether Invisalign is the best option for you.
Are You Hesitant to Wear Braces?
#1. What Is the Condition of Your Smile?
Although Invisalign is appropriate for mild to complex cases of misalignment, gaps, or overcrowding, it may not be an appropriate solution for treating severe orthodontic issues. In general, Invisalign can effectively correct:
- Gapped teeth
- Overly crowded teeth
- Open bite
The ideal Invisalign candidate should have a treatable case, be over the age of 13, and remain committed to treatment.
If you have a dramatic overbite, large underbite, or crossbite, traditional orthodontic treatment may be necessary. To evaluate whether your condition can be effectively corrected with Invisalign, the company offers a complimentary smile assessment. Although this tool can help you begin developing realistic expectations, only a dentist can decide whether you are a good candidate for treatment during an Invisalign consultation.
Treating Misalignment and Overcrowding
#2. How Old Are You?
As younger patients quickly develop and change, so do their smiles. Children’s teeth are constantly shifting as their jaw continues growing, which makes it virtually impossible to create a predictable Invisalign treatment plan based off of an initial set of impressions. Teens over the age of 13 and adults are usually the best candidates for Invisalign treatment. To better suit the orthodontic needs of teens, Invisalign has created a specifically tailored line of products that allow teenagers to continue participating in active lifestyles while straightening their smiles.
#3. Are You Fully Committed?
Invisalign aligners must be worn at least 22 hours per day in order to effectively achieve your desired results within the proposed treatment timeline. The aligners should only be removed when brushing, flossing, or eating. As the aligners can be easily removed, many patients forego consistently wearing their aligners or lose their trays, which can lengthen your treatment timeline or completely alter the course of your treatment. In some cases, your dentist may have to take a new set of impressions and create a new treatment plan if your teeth have shifted significantly.
Once your Invisalign treatment is complete, you will likely be required to wear a retainer. Often these devices are only worn while you sleep. If your doctor recommends wearing a retainer, neglecting to do so may reverse the effects of your treatment. Therefore, even patients who have completed Invisalign treatment should be committed to follow-up care.
#4. Can You Afford Treatment?
Although the final cost of your Invisalign treatment will depend on the severity and duration of your case, treatment generally costs the same as traditional metal braces. If your insurance plan covers orthodontics, you may be able to pay for part or most of your Invisalign treatment using your dental benefits.
Invisalign offers a virtual cost calculator to help you estimate your treatment costs. If you are interested in financing your care, many doctors also work with third-party lenders such as LendingClub® and CareCredit®. Both companies offer low-interest financing to help you repay costs at a rate that works well for your budget.
Seek a Professional Opinion
If you or your child are over 13 and have a treatable case, you should also consider whether removable aligners and retainers work well with your lifestyle. Patients who are worried about the cost of Invisalign should note that investing in orthodontic treatment now can save you time and money on extensive restorative care in the future. If you still believe you are a good candidate for Invisalign, scheduling a consultation with your dentist is an important next step.