Is Invisalign Right for Me?

Is Invisalign Right for Me?

Invisalign aligners, also called Invisalign braces or Invisalign clear aligners, have changed the face of the dental sector. More and more people, especially teenagers, are turning to these as their go-to method for corrective orthodontic treatment. The product is relatively new but easy to tolerate and maintain as the technology is simply revolutionary. With Invisalign, you can smile confidently, knowing those embarrassing metal braces won’t show. Maintenance of your Invisalign dental appliance is relatively easy, and the process can be quick to deliver the smile of your dreams, if you are a good candidate. Depending on the complexity of your case, your treatment could be completed in as little as 6 months, but it’s not unusual to start seeing results in a few weeks.

What Is Invisalign?

An Invisalign aligner consists of a series of clear trays that help make your teeth straight. These trays change the positioning of your teeth over time. Dr. Mitchell will create a custom mold made for your teeth, and from that mold, a series of clear aligner trays will be created. As you progress through treatment, the specific tray you are using will be replaced with the next in the series and you will notice that much-needed transformation.

Invisalign is made from BPA-free, see-through plastic making the product virtually invisible. The trays are replaced on a specific schedule (1-2 weeks or more depending on your specific case) shifting your teeth in the right direction. Invisalign can be an ideal orthodontic treatment for teens and adults, needing less upkeep than traditional braces while also remaining cosmetically hidden.

Check out our Smile Gallery and see a few Invisalign before and after images of our satisfied patients. These can provide a reference of what we can do with Invisalign for your smile and may help you understand how to address the individual needs of your smile.

A young Asian woman with black hair and light skin holds a representation of metal braces in her left hand and an Invisalign retainer in her right on a teal background. Invisalign vs. Metal Braces

Both Invisalign and traditional metal braces serve the same purpose: they improve smile aesthetics by moving the teeth into a smooth arch of notably straighter teeth. While traditional metal braces have been in use for decades, Invisalign is a relatively new technology that better meets the needs of the modern dental consumer. Metal braces are unsightly since they bond metal attachments to the teeth.

Impairing one’s looks even further are metal wires that are connected to the attachments in order to exert teeth straightening force. Managing this force can be tricky: too little slows down treatment times; too much results in root absorption and teeth falling out of the patient’s mouth when the braces are later removed. (Fortunately, this is rare.) Invisalign, on the other hand, has not had any cases of documented root absorption in over 7 million cases. This is a result of: 1) Invisalign aligners being purposely fabricated to exert less force than metal and 2) Invisalign’s control over excessive tooth movements (in too short a time) through the use of aligner technology.

So what we have with Invisalign is no unsightly metal, no tooth loss issues arising from root absorption, a clear orthodontic appliance that others will not notice if they are more than 2-3 feet away, a reduction in treatment time of up to 50%, and a lower cost, which results from significantly less labor being required for an Invisalign case versus one using metal braces.

How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

For many individuals, it is the lure of lower prices that attracts them to Invisalign. It is not unusual to hear Invisalign being quoted at prices 10-50% less than that for metal braces. Invisalign is usually priced according to how difficult the case is expected to be, which is a function of how many aligners it will take to complete your case. Consequently, Invisalign costs about $3000 – 6000 in the greater Midwestern portion of the U.S. and somewhat more than this in the larger metro areas of the East and West coasts.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Invisalign?

If you have dental insurance, the cost for Invisalign will be even less. It is estimated that about 50% of the U.S. population has dental insurance and that approximately one in three of these policies offer orthodontic benefits. These insurance policies typically provide $1500-2000 in benefits with a once in a lifetime restriction (meaning you cannot receive these benefits more than once from that insurer). Consequently, insurance (if you have it) covers somewhat less than half of the total Invisalign cost.

Insurance payout may be negatively impacted by other restrictions that may or may not be written into your policy. These include: orthodontics/braces only covered for dependent children under the age of 19, no orthodontic benefits whatsoever ($0) for adults on the policy even when their children are covered. Whether you have dental benefits or not is entirely up to your employer and how generous they are with employee benefits. It has nothing to do with the dentist or medical necessity.

If your employer does not offer you dental insurance, you can check with them to see whether they offer an HSA option (health savings account), You can also investigate setting up a personal HSA an through or other providers. These allow an employee to put money away in a health savings account and to pay medical and dental bills with gross (untaxed) earnings instead of net (taxed) earnings. This effectively lowers the cost of items like Invisalign 10-37%.

Invisalign is Not for Everyone

Invisalign can handle the vast majority of cases, but it is not for everyone. For example, children under the age of 14 are usually better served by traditional metal braces, since many of these cases involve guided growth scenarios. Severely crooked, rotated, or tipped teeth may not be may not be amenable to Invisalign.

Other situations where Invisalign may not be the best tool for the job, are: 1) Case involves significant movement and repositioning of the rear molar teeth or 2) Individual being fitted for Invisalign is not willing to wear the aligners the required 20-22 hours per day, 7 days a week. In cases where this level of non-compliance is an issue, Invisalign will perform very poorly and should not even be considered as a possible teeth-straightening tool.

Start Your Straight Smile Journey with Mitchell Dental Spa Today

If you’re looking to fix your smile fast with a cosmetically superior option, Invisalign may be right for you. These clear aligners can help give you a straight and brand-new smile. However, only an Invisalign specialist like Dr. Margaret Mitchell can help you make that decision. If you don’t have a dentist yet, Mitchell Dental Spa is accepting new patients. We are a premier dental spa in Chicago committed to serving patients with their unique dental needs. Call us at (312) 642-1014 to book a consultation and get a smile that brims with confidence.

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